Mount McKinley: Icy Crown of North America
Since its discovery in the late 1700s, Alaska's Mount McKinley has captivated legions. Native Americans were the first to feel Denali's spiritual power. Mountaineers have striven for its summit. Modern "wilderness tourists" are drawn to its awesome, rugged beauty. In this selective "biography" of Mount McKinley, renowned climber and mountain historian Fred Beckey pays tribute to one of the world's great mountains. Beckey begins by exploring Nature's effects on the surrounding region: the relatively recent geologic development of McKinley within the Alaska Range; the extreme northern climate and latitude; and the influence of the Pleistocene Ice Age, of which there are glacial remnants today. A look at another shaping force - the indigenous peoples - includes the migration of early man across the Bering Land Bridge, and the influx of Russian fur traders and the first American prospectors. An exploration of McKinley's mountaineering history follows, beginning with the gold seekers and the surveyors who were among the first to map and comprehend the region. Beckey then examines the efforts of those who first challenged McKinley, including the preposterous hoax of Dr. Frederick A. Cook, the novice but inspiring Sourdough expedition, the frustrations of Belmore Browne, and the first complete ascent by Hudson Stuck. The chronology continues with the ground-breaking work of Bradford Washburn and profiles of other notable summit achievements, including those of the author himself. For those desiring a deeper understanding of the great arctic mountain, this book features chapters on serious mountaineering accidents, and the challenges and logistics of climbing McKinley. Information on planning,travel, regulations, suggested routes and equipment, and what to expect are covered. With personal anecdotes and previously unpublished photographs, Mount McKinley: Icy Crown of North America is a valuable reference for adventure readers, historians, and climbers everywhere.