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Alaska: Denali celebrates 100th anniversary with special events

April 08, 2013|By Terry Gardner
  • Robert Tatum, porter Esaias, Harry Karstens, porter Johnny and Walter Harper at the Clearwater Camp during the historic ascent of Mt. McKinley 100 years ago.
Robert Tatum, porter Esaias, Harry Karstens, porter Johnny and Walter… (Hudson Stuck / From "The…)

On June 7, 1913, Walter Harper, Harry Karstens, Hudson Stuck and Robert Tatum were credited with being the first men to reach Mt. McKinley's 20,320-foot summit, the highest peak in North America.

Denali National Park is celebrating the 100th anniversary of that summit with an exhibit and a climb, among other events.

You can see the "First Ascent of Denali 1913-2013" exhibit, co-produced by the park and Alaska Geographic, from June 1 to Sept. 16 at the Eielson Visitor Center near the base of Mt. McKinley.

In the Denali 2013 Centennial Climb, descendants of Harper, Karstens, and Stuck will participate in a guided ascent that will follow the historic pioneer route up the mountain from its north side.

The climbing season begins this month and runs through early July. All climbers must register 60 days in advance of their climb so rangers can provide recommendations on the most appropriate route based on conditions in the Alaska Range (and the climber's level of experience).

Climbers older than 24 at the start of the climb pay a use fee of $350; those younger than 24 pay $250.

During the 2012 season, Denali saw 1,223 climbers try for the summit. Of those, 498 made it.

Info: Denali National Park, (907) 733-2231

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