A few weeks ago, Flickr member Joe Stylos, his sister Melissa and their Friend Travers started on a trip to explore the mind-blowing outdoors of Interior Alaska. Home of North America’s highest mountain, the Denali National Park and Preserve covers an area or nearly 9.5 mi². We contacted Joe and asked him to share a little more about this unique experience with us:
"We climbed the Muldrow glacier route on the north side of Denali, starting on June 8th and finishing on July 8th. The first week of the 30 day climb was spent ferrying gear, food and fuel across the tundra. On the 20 mile approach hike from Wonder Lake, we were also joined by my father. This was especially meaningful to me because he gave me the middle name of ‘Denali’ after having climbed the mountain in 1974."
"From there on we were on our own, taking the next twenty days to reach the summit, and three more to get out. We were lucky enough to summit on the 4th of July! During that time there were only two other groups on that side of the mountain. Elevation wise this is one of the tallest climbs in the world, gaining 18,000 feet from the starting point. The route follows the Muldrow Glacier passing two major ice falls, the Lower and the Great. Then we climbed to Karstens ridge, a several mile long knife edge ridge with grades up to 45 degrees. That leads to the Harper Glacier. Our high camp was at 17,000 feet, where we spent four days waiting for a clear day to summit. Overall we were very lucky with the weather, not having any major storms. Travers and myself both took minor crevasse falls but were both able to extract ourselves. — We also triggered a small avalanche on Karstens ridge, but luckily we were not harmed in any way. We wisely found an alternate route for that section. Another interesting part was when we found an old sleeping bag that we think belonged to my dad before it was lost to the wind on his 1974 climb."
The two large photos on top of this phost are Joe’s favorites from his expedition. The first one, “Climbing the Coxcomb” was taken high on Karstens Ridge with the team’s camp visible far below on the ridge. The "Great Ice Fall Panorama" was stitched together of six images taken in the middle of the night on Joe’s first trip through the great ice fall: "That far north the sun never really sets just skims the horizon in a beautiful sunset/rise."
Let Joe take you up to Denali in his Denali set. Photo by photo he recounts the experience with his insightful and enjoyable descriptions that we highly recommend reading.
Photos from Joe Stylos.