On Wednesday, Lieutenant-Governor Mead Treadwell announced that Denali is eighty-three feet shorter than previously believed. That means that instead of 20,320 feet, the mountain now measures in at 20,237 feet. It’s not in any danger of losing its place as North America’s tallest peak, but there could still be some impact from the change. In Talkeetna, Denali is big business. Companies offer tours from the air, water, and land that promise visitors a chance at seeing the mountain that dominates the skyline. In addition, all of the climbers who attempt to summit Denali come through Talkeetna to register with the National Park Service. Any change involving the mountain is bound to have ripples in the community. (more…)
The Centennial Denali expedition arrived in Talkeetna late on July 3rd after retracing their ancestors’ steps all the way to the top of North America. On June 28th, five men, most with direct family ties to the original 1913 summit team, made the final ascent from the Harper Glacier along with four guides from Alaska Mountaineering School. They spent half an hour on the highest spot on the continent, then began the long trek down.
History was repeated last week when the Centennial Denali expedition reached the summit of North America’s highest peak. The summit team is made up of five men representing the first party to reach the summit of Denali as well as four guides from Alaska Mountaineering School.
On June 19th, the Senate voted unanimously to approve the Denali National Park Improvement Act sponsored by Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski and co-sponsored by Alaska Senator Mark Begich. The legislation changes the name of the Talkeetna Ranger Station to the Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station, in honor of the first man to stand on the summit of Denali. I spoke with Senator Murkowski on the significance of naming the Ranger Station after Harper.
The National Park Service is reporting A 59-year-old German mountaineer suffered a fatal cardiac arrest at the 13,500-foot level of Mt. McKinley on the evening of Sunday, May 19. Klaus Bielstein of Muenster, Germany was ascending the West Buttress route as a member of an 11-person Alpine Ascents International guided expedition. (more…)
KTNA is celebrating 20 years broadcasting to the Upper Susitna Valley by bringing you audio broadcast during the past two decades. We share the past with you on 88.9 FM every Friday at 12:35.
This week, one of a series of stories about women on Denali that KTNA news producer Johanna Eurich recorded in 1997. In this segment, Johanna talks to former Trapper Creek resident Betty Menard, who, at 21, became the first Alaska Native woman to climb Denali, earning her a page in mountaineering history.
Betty Menard now spends most of her time in sunnier climes.
The National Park Service has named Don Striker as its new Superintendent for Denali National Park. Striker is currently superintendent for New River Gorge National Park in West Virginia. KTNA’s Lorien Nettleton spoke with Striker about his move to one of the nation’s most recognized national parks. (more…)
Arctic adventurer Lonnie Dupre has spent the last week in Talkeetna enjoying time with the characters around town and recovering from his most recent expedition. Dupre had attempted to climb Mt. McKinley alone in the month of January, but had to call the voyage off when weeks of potent storms kept him from being able to safely travel at high altitude in extreme cold and against tremendous winds. (more…)
Minnesotan adventurer Lonnie Dupre has called off his quest to climb Mt. McKinley alone in the month of January after 18 days on the mountain. Beset by raging storms, extreme winds, and phenomenal cold, the climber has ceded victory to the Mountain and returned to Talkeetna.
One climber is still out in Denali National Park, steadily making his approach to the third-tallest peak in the Alaska Range. Japanese mountaineer Masatoshi Kuriaki has been steadily making his approach on Mount Hunter since December 14th. It is his 6th attempt to summit Mt. Hunter alone in Winter, a feat never before achieved. (more…)