Mount McKinley: The Conquest of Denali

Bradford Washburn, Author, Ansel Adams, Photographer, David Roberts, With ABRAMS $60 (206p) ISBN 978-0-8109-3611-9
At 20,320 feet, Mt. McKinley, the highest mountain in North America, presents a formidable challenge to climbers and has claimed more than 60 lives. Washburn, retired director of the Boston Museum of Science, noted cartographer and a member of the third party to reach the summit (1942), produced stunning aerial photographs and finely detailed maps that opened new routes for climbers. Roberts made his first ascent as a college student in 1963. Together and alternately, they here recount adventures--successes, failures, tragedies--on the slopes of Mt. McKinley (Denali is its Indian name). The years 1904-1913 saw explorers and prospectors rather than experienced climbers: a trio of sourdoughs reached the top of North Peak (19,450) in 1910, wearing ordinary winter clothing and carrying only walking sticks and a shovel. Frederick Cook made a false claim for the summit in 1906; Hershel Parker and Belmore Brown were forced down by a storm in 1912; Henry Karstens and Charlie McGonagall took summit honors the following year. The 1930s brought intensive exploration and mapping activities aided by the use of ski planes. In the postwar period, climbers flocked to McKinley from all over the world, attempting new routes, going solo and in winter. During the summer of 1990, 600 climbers crowded up to the summit. Dramatic photographs and lively tales make this volume a rare momento of the mountain. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1991
Release date: 10/01/1991
Hardcover - 207 pages - 978-0-8109-8194-2
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