dena25724 Wide river and Alaska range at sunset. Denali National Park, Alaska, USA. http://www.terragalleria.com/parks/np-image.dena25724.html dena52559 Alaska range and boreal forest in winter. Denali National Park, Alaska, USA. http://www.terragalleria.com/parks/np-image.dena52559.html mcki3369 The three tracks starting from the 14300 camp are very visible: to Windy Corner, the West Buttress, and the West Rib (although these were only my tracks). The 14300 camp would soon be in the shade. Denali, Alaska http://www.terragalleria.com/mountain/mountain-image.mcki3369.html mcki3392 Evening falls on the 14300 camp. Denali, Alaska http://www.terragalleria.com/mountain/mountain-image.mcki3392.html mcki3352 At the 16000 narrow camp on the Rib, there is just another party. Denali, Alaska http://www.terragalleria.com/mountain/mountain-image.mcki3352.html dena11630 Upper section of West Buttress of Mt McKinley. Denali National Park, Alaska, USA. http://www.terragalleria.com/parks/np-image.dena11630.html dena25754 Tundra landscape with Mount McKinley. Denali National Park, Alaska, USA. http://www.terragalleria.com/parks/np-image.dena25754.html mcki3394 The deserted 11000 camp. Denali, Alaska http://www.terragalleria.com/mountain/mountain-image.mcki3394.html dena52565 Northern lights above Mt McKinley. Denali National Park, Alaska, USA. http://www.terragalleria.com/parks/np-image.dena52565.html mcki3332 Camp 11000 with a forest of wands. Denali, Alaska http://www.terragalleria.com/mountain/mountain-image.mcki3332.html mcki3373 The West Rib has 45 degrees inclination, with some steeper mixed parts. This means that unlike the West Buttress, it is a somewhat technical route, where you have to do some sort of climbing, and be careful not to fall. Denali, Alaska http://www.terragalleria.com/mountain/mountain-image.mcki3373.html dena21042 Tundra and Mt McKinley range, late afternoon light. Denali National Park, Alaska, USA. http://www.terragalleria.com/parks/np-image.dena21042.html mcki3393 To the 11000 camp, where I retrieved my gear. Denali, Alaska http://www.terragalleria.com/mountain/mountain-image.mcki3393.html dena52568 First light on Denali in winter. Denali National Park, Alaska, USA. http://www.terragalleria.com/parks/np-image.dena52568.html mcki3329 Camp 11000 with a many skis. Denali, Alaska http://www.terragalleria.com/mountain/mountain-image.mcki3329.html dena21037 Tundra and Mt Mc Kinley from Eielson. Denali National Park, Alaska, USA. http://www.terragalleria.com/parks/np-image.dena21037.html mcki3374 Camping high on the West Rib route. Denali, Alaska http://www.terragalleria.com/mountain/mountain-image.mcki3374.html mcki3383 The camp 17000, the last camp on West Buttress. Denali, Alaska http://www.terragalleria.com/mountain/mountain-image.mcki3383.html dena52569 Mt McKinley, winter sunrise. Denali National Park, Alaska, USA. http://www.terragalleria.com/parks/np-image.dena52569.html dena52560 Alaska range peaks rising above forest at sunrise. Denali National Park, Alaska, USA. http://www.terragalleria.com/parks/np-image.dena52560.html mcki3367 Camping on the Balcony camp of the West Rib. Denali, Alaska http://www.terragalleria.com/mountain/mountain-image.mcki3367.html mcki3346 The ranger tent. They perform rescues and operate a medical camp, but also give tickets for littering. The two lattrines help keep the snow good for drinking. Denali, Alaska http://www.terragalleria.com/mountain/mountain-image.mcki3346.html dena5960 Mt McKinley in the fog from Reflection pond, dawn. Denali National Park, Alaska, USA. http://www.terragalleria.com/parks/np-image.dena5960.html mcki3309 Model of Mt McKinley in the museum of Artic Adventure with West Face routes. Alaska http://www.terragalleria.com/mountain/mountain-image.mcki3309.html mcki3325 The mighty West face of Mc Kinley. The West Buttress is the ridge on the left on the skyline, the Cassin the ridge on the right. Denali, Alaska http://www.terragalleria.com/mountain/mountain-image.mcki3325.html mcki3399 My last vision of the mountain (through the East Fork of the Kahilna Glacier). Denali, Alaska http://www.terragalleria.com/mountain/mountain-image.mcki3399.html dena52561 Mt McKinley seen from the south. Denali National Park, Alaska, USA. http://www.terragalleria.com/parks/np-image.dena52561.html mcki3381 The North Summit was reached by the Sourdough at the turn of the century in a one-day push, an incredible feat. Unfortunately for them, i t is slightly lower than the true (South) Summit. Denali, Alaska http://www.terragalleria.com/mountain/mountain-image.mcki3381.html dena52598 Northern lights above Alaska range. Denali National Park, Alaska, USA. http://www.terragalleria.com/parks/np-image.dena52598.html dena1562 Mt Mc Kinley above Wonder Lake, evening. Denali National Park, Alaska, USA. http://www.terragalleria.com/parks/np-image.dena1562.html dena52578 Mt McKinley rises above Alaska range in winter. Denali National Park, Alaska, USA. http://www.terragalleria.com/parks/np-image.dena52578.html mcki3320 Hauling heavy loads on the Kahilna Glacier, including mostly food and fuel for three weeks and polar-grade gear. Denali, Alaska http://www.terragalleria.com/mountain/mountain-image.mcki3320.html dena1563 Mt Mc Kinley in the clouds from Wonder Lake area. Denali National Park, Alaska, USA. http://www.terragalleria.com/parks/np-image.dena1563.html dena1567 Summit of Mt Foraker and Mt Mc Kinley emerging from clouds. Denali National Park, Alaska, USA. http://www.terragalleria.com/parks/np-image.dena1567.html mcki3365 The Balcony camp on the West Rib really deserves its name. Panoramic view over 180 degrees. Denali, Alaska http://www.terragalleria.com/mountain/mountain-image.mcki3365.html mcki3343 Waiting out in bad weather. Denali, Alaska http://www.terragalleria.com/mountain/mountain-image.mcki3343.html dena21043 Mt Mc Kinley above Wonder Lake, evening. Denali National Park, Alaska, USA. http://www.terragalleria.com/parks/np-image.dena21043.html dena52577 Alaska range in winter, early morning. Denali National Park, Alaska, USA. http://www.terragalleria.com/parks/np-image.dena52577.html dena52572 Mt McKinley under clear winter sky at sunrise. Denali National Park, Alaska, USA. http://www.terragalleria.com/parks/np-image.dena52572.html mcki3348 The ridge visible on the skyline is the West Rib, which was my planned itinerary. My companions had settled for the West Buttress, so I would do the second part of the climb solo. Denali, Alaska http://www.terragalleria.com/mountain/mountain-image.mcki3348.html dena80058 Alaska range panorama in winter. Denali National Park, Alaska, USA. http://www.terragalleria.com/parks/np-image.dena80058.html mcki3363 Being acclimatized thanks to my extended waiting at 14300ft, I skip the 16000 camp, which is occupied by a guided team comming from the bottom of the ridge. Denali, Alaska http://www.terragalleria.com/mountain/mountain-image.mcki3363.html mcki3340 The route so far (outlined in red): the Kahilna glacier in front of Mt Foraker, Windy Corner, and the camp 14300 which is nested in a snow bowl. Denali, Alaska http://www.terragalleria.com/mountain/mountain-image.mcki3340.html mcki3342 The day when we arrived, the weather was great, and there is a large numbers of climbers going for it. Denali, Alaska http://www.terragalleria.com/mountain/mountain-image.mcki3342.html dena52567 Denali and Mt Hunter at dawn in winter. Denali National Park, Alaska, USA. http://www.terragalleria.com/parks/np-image.dena52567.html dena25752 Pastel landscape with Mount McKinley reflected in lake. Denali National Park, Alaska, USA. http://www.terragalleria.com/parks/np-image.dena25752.html dena52562 Mt McKinley in winter. Denali National Park, Alaska, USA. http://www.terragalleria.com/parks/np-image.dena52562.html dena11627 Lower section of West Buttress of Mt McKinley. Denali National Park, Alaska, USA. http://www.terragalleria.com/parks/np-image.dena11627.html dena11635 Mountaineers climb West Buttress of Mt McKinley. Denali National Park, Alaska, USA. http://www.terragalleria.com/parks/np-image.dena11635.html dena1564 Mt Mc Kinley in the clouds from Wonder Lake area. Denali National Park, Alaska, USA. http://www.terragalleria.com/parks/np-image.dena1564.html dena25755 Tranquil autumn evening with Mount McKinley reflections. Denali National Park, Alaska, USA. http://www.terragalleria.com/parks/np-image.dena25755.html dena52579 Mt McKinley South and North peaks in winter. Denali National Park, Alaska, USA. http://www.terragalleria.com/parks/np-image.dena52579.html mcki3336 Our first carry day, back to 11000 camp. Denali, Alaska http://www.terragalleria.com/mountain/mountain-image.mcki3336.html dena1572 Mt Mc Kinley at sunrise from Denali State Park. Denali National Park, Alaska, USA. http://www.terragalleria.com/parks/np-image.dena1572.html mcki3345 Fresh snow and sea of clouds on 14300ft camp. Denali, Alaska http://www.terragalleria.com/mountain/mountain-image.mcki3345.html dena1566 Mt Foraker and Mt Mc Kinley emerge from sea of clouds. Denali National Park, Alaska, USA. http://www.terragalleria.com/parks/np-image.dena1566.html mcki3390 The West Buttress is easy but very airy. You cannot travel it if there are high winds. Denali, Alaska http://www.terragalleria.com/mountain/mountain-image.mcki3390.html mcki3344 Fresh snow on the 14300ft camp. Denali, Alaska http://www.terragalleria.com/mountain/mountain-image.mcki3344.html dena80057 Alaska range, winter sunrise. Denali National Park, Alaska, USA. http://www.terragalleria.com/parks/np-image.dena80057.html mcki3380 A view from the summit of Mt McKinley. Denali, Alaska http://www.terragalleria.com/mountain/mountain-image.mcki3380.html mcki3388 Joan Phelps, a blind woman from Anchorage summited a few hours after me, guided by her twin sons Marty and Mike. The most remarkable ascent ofthis year. Denali, Alaska http://www.terragalleria.com/mountain/mountain-image.mcki3388.html dena21064 Mt Mc Kinley and Chulitna River at sunset. Denali National Park, Alaska, USA. http://www.terragalleria.com/parks/np-image.dena21064.html dena52571 Denali, winter sunrise. Denali National Park, Alaska, USA. http://www.terragalleria.com/parks/np-image.dena52571.html dena25751 Mount McKinley rises above autumn tundra. Denali National Park, Alaska, USA. http://www.terragalleria.com/parks/np-image.dena25751.html dena21065 Mt Mc Kinley from Denali State Park. Denali National Park, Alaska, USA. http://www.terragalleria.com/parks/np-image.dena21065.html dena1568 Mt Foraker and Mt Mc Kinley emerge from a sea of clouds. Denali National Park, Alaska, USA. http://www.terragalleria.com/parks/np-image.dena1568.html mcki3362 This time, I had to painfully break the trail, which was swept by the recent storm. It is hard work when you are by yourself. Denali, Alaska http://www.terragalleria.com/mountain/mountain-image.mcki3362.html mcki3317 From the cockpit. The three main summits of the range are, from left to right, Mt Foraker, Mt Hunter, and Mt McKinley, which is cloud-capped, as often. Alaska http://www.terragalleria.com/mountain/mountain-image.mcki3317.html mcki3330 The first important camp, where people gather at a same spot, is found at 11000. Denali, Alaska http://www.terragalleria.com/mountain/mountain-image.mcki3330.html mcki3375 The next day, I would cross the gully and climb the ridge. Denali, Alaska http://www.terragalleria.com/mountain/mountain-image.mcki3375.html dena25723 Alaska range and sunset sky. Denali National Park, Alaska, USA. http://www.terragalleria.com/parks/np-image.dena25723.html mcki3350 Midnight alpenglow on Mt Hunter, seen from the 14300ft on Mc Kinley. Denali, Alaska http://www.terragalleria.com/mountain/mountain-image.mcki3350.html mcki3382 The treacherous Denali Pass, scene of numerous accidents. The descending traverse is somewhat delicate for tired climbers. Moreover some take only ski poles and therefore cannot self-arrest. Denali, Alaska http://www.terragalleria.com/mountain/mountain-image.mcki3382.html mcki3376 Across the gully, the last camp spot is visible. Denali, Alaska http://www.terragalleria.com/mountain/mountain-image.mcki3376.html dena11629 Summit Ridge of Mt McKinley. Denali National Park, Alaska, USA. http://www.terragalleria.com/parks/np-image.dena11629.html dena11634 Mountaineers descend West Buttress of Mt McKinley. Denali National Park, Alaska, USA. http://www.terragalleria.com/parks/np-image.dena11634.html mcki3364 On the West Rib. Denali, Alaska http://www.terragalleria.com/mountain/mountain-image.mcki3364.html mcki3347 The low-profile tents have to be protected against the wind (which can reach 100mph). Climbers dig a hole and built thick snow-walls by sawing off large chunks of frozen snow. Denali, Alaska http://www.terragalleria.com/mountain/mountain-image.mcki3347.html mcki3351 I leave by myself the camp for a summit attempt, taking a cut-off to the West Rib. The West Buttress route goes to the pass, through the steep wall, and is quite crowded. Denali, Alaska http://www.terragalleria.com/mountain/mountain-image.mcki3351.html mcki3349 The temperatures during the day were pleasant, but within fifteen minutes after the sun has disappeared, they would drop down to subzero (F). This was a warm year, with minimum temperatures of -20F.. Denali, Alaska http://www.terragalleria.com/mountain/mountain-image.mcki3349.html dena52566 Aurora above Mt McKinley, winter. Denali National Park, Alaska, USA. http://www.terragalleria.com/parks/np-image.dena52566.html mcki3331 Above the 11000 camp, the route becomes steeper, making sleding or sking unpractical. Denali, Alaska http://www.terragalleria.com/mountain/mountain-image.mcki3331.html mcki3377 Last technical steps on the West Rib route. Denali, Alaska http://www.terragalleria.com/mountain/mountain-image.mcki3377.html dena21040 Wonder Lake and Mt McKinley at dusk. Denali National Park, Alaska, USA. http://www.terragalleria.com/parks/np-image.dena21040.html dena2286 North Face of Mt McKinley above Thorofare Pass. Denali National Park, Alaska, USA. http://www.terragalleria.com/parks/np-image.dena2286.html mcki3379 Summit ridge of Mt McKinley. Denali, Alaska http://www.terragalleria.com/mountain/mountain-image.mcki3379.html mcki3391 Back to the 14300 camp, McKinley City. Denali, Alaska http://www.terragalleria.com/mountain/mountain-image.mcki3391.html mcki3324 The West Buttress route goes behind the ridge above the Kahilna pass. Totally invisible from the land, it has been discovered in the 50s by Bradford Washburn thanks to his large format aerial photographic surveys. This discovery would revolutionize Mt Mc Kinley climbing. Denali, Alaska http://www.terragalleria.com/mountain/mountain-image.mcki3324.html mcki3378 Junction with the West Buttress route (see the numerous crampon marks) on the summit plateau. Denali, Alaska http://www.terragalleria.com/mountain/mountain-image.mcki3378.html mcki3384 The camp 17000 is quite exposed to the winds. Denali, Alaska http://www.terragalleria.com/mountain/mountain-image.mcki3384.html mcki3372 Being late on my schedule, due to the unexpected effect of altitude, I am lucky to find a ledge large enough for my Stephenson tent. Denali, Alaska http://www.terragalleria.com/mountain/mountain-image.mcki3372.html