by Phillip Manning ~ February 14th, 2014
Denali National Park has released the Mountaineering Summary for 2013, highlighting a year that was full of remarkable achievements. The ten page report covers notable achievements in the entire Alaska Range, including on Denali. According to the summary, 783 climbers reached the summit of North America’s highest peak, setting a new record. It’s been known since last summer that 2013 was a record breaking year, but the report also breaks down some of the details about the climbers. Sixty percent of the climbers who attempted Denali in 2013 came from the United States, with Alaska again taking the prize for the state with the most climbers with 135.
The average trip length in 2013 for a Denali attempt was just under seventeen days. The average climber’s age last year was thirty-eight years old, including the newly set record for oldest person to stand on the summit, which now belongs to Tom Choate of Anchorage, who was about three months from his seventy-ninth birthday the day he stood on the summit.
The high number of successful climbs were largely helped by this summers very mild weather. The West Buttress route, which is used by about ninety percent of climbers, is not considered especially technical. The biggest obstacle for many climbers ends up being the weather. That was not the case in 2013. As temperatures in Talkeetna were breaking records, the mountain saw weeks of warm, sunny weather.
In addition to statistics for Denali, the Mountaineering Summary covers an unusually high number of new and technical routes on some of the smaller peaks in the Alaska Range, including The Citadel, Moose’s Tooth, Mount Johnson, and Gargoyle.
The complete report can be found here.