by Lorien Nettleton ~ June 13th, 2012
Listen to Full Denali Report:
There are currently 440 climbers on Mount McKinley, that’s down from 489 last week. So far 561 mountaineers have ended their expeditions. 74 climbers have successfully reaching the top of North America’s highest Peak since last week, bumping this year’s total number of climbers to make the summit to 233.
There are currently no climbers on mount Foraker, six having completed their attempt, none have made the summit of that peak.
The investment of climbing McKinley is not one to be taken lightly. The rigors of high altitude travel on a glaciated peak can be extreme, and preparation for such an undertaking requires determination.
Rob Gowler handles Operations for Alaska Mountain School, also called AMS. He says people climbing with that organization go through a lot of preparation before attempting an ascent of McKinley.
Like many guiding companies that take clients high on the mountain, AMS expects a certain level of experience in order to use their services. In order to go with them on a Denali expedition, they expect a climber to have experience with glacier travel, crevasse rescue experience, winter camping experience. Experience traveling at high altitude is preferred, but not mandatory
The cost to climbers who enlist AMS for their Denali Climb is $6400 dollars. That covers Glacier Fights, Climbing, Camping, Food. What it doesn’t include is personal gear.
Quality, lightweight mountaineering gear suitable for high altitude living for several weeks at a time, could run up towards $2000 for jacket, sleeping bag, and boots. Many guide companies like AMS rent these for the people who might only use them once.
Gowler says for the price of an AMS expedition, climbers get no guarantee about making the summit, but they get a world of knowledge along the way.