Mount McKinley: Icy Crown of North America

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The Mountaineers Books, 1993 - Travel - 320 pages
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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 With personal anecdotes and previously unpublished photographs, Mount McKinley: Icy Crown of North America is a valuable reference for adventure readers, historians, and climbers everywhere.
 

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Mount McKinley: icy crown of North America

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This book's introductory chapters offer a prehistory and history of all Alaska up to its purchase. Succeeding chapters report six explorations of Mt. McKinley before 1914, emphasizing the ascents of ... Read full review

Contents

Heinrich Harrer Reminisces
7
Acknowledgments
14
Geology
21
The Pleistocene Ice Age
29
Mount McKinley Enters History
39
The Last Half Century A Surge of Popularity
131
A Buttress to Each McKinley Peak
139
Denalis Child1954
159
The Parachute Brigade Expedition
167
The Southeast Spur
179
The Winter Ascent The Most Desperate of Odds
187
Two Contrasting Expeditions Success and Tragedy
196
Alone Among the Elements
214
Routes Accidents and Logistics
219
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About the author (1993)

Fred Beckey was born Wolfgang Beckey near Düsseldorf, Germany on January 14, 1923. He emigrated to Seattle with his family in 1925. He learned climbing techniques as a Boy Scout and in a Mountaineers course. At the age of 13, he and two friends reached the top of Mount Despair, a rugged 7,292-foot peak in the North Cascades that mountaineers had considered unclimbable. In 1942, he joined the wartime army's 10th Mountain Division, based in Colorado. He received a degree in business administration from the University of Washington in 1949. He became a mountaineer and author who was the first to take hundreds of routes to the summits of North America's tallest peaks in Alaska, the Canadian Rockies, and the Pacific Northwest in a seven-decade climbing career. He searched for unconquered summits and routes considered too difficult to climb. He often climbed 40 or 50 different peaks a year. His books included Climber's Guide to the Cascade and Olympic Mountains of Washington, Challenge of the North Cascades, Cascade Alpine Guide, Mountains of North America, Mount McKinley: Icy Crown of North America, Range of Glaciers: The Exploration and Survey of the Northern Cascade Range, and Fred Beckey's 100 Favorite North American Climbs. He died from congestive heart failure on October 30, 2017 at the age of 94.

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