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Mount McKinley


height 6190  m
location Alaska , USA
Mountains Alaska chain
Dominance 7450 km →  Yanamax
Notch height 6140 m ↓  Rivas (Nicaragua)
Coordinates 63 ° 4 ′ 7 ″  N , 151 ° 0 ′ 28 ″  W Coordinates: 63 ° 4 ′ 7 ″  N , 151 ° 0 ′ 28 ″  W
Denali (Alaska)
First ascent June 7, 1913 by Hudson Stuck
Normal way Hochtour glaciated
particularities highest mountain in North America, northernmost mountain on earth over 5000  m
Reflection of the Denali massif in Wonder Lake

Reflection of the Denali massif in Wonder Lake

Template: Infobox Berg / Maintenance / BILD1

The Denali (1917-2015 officially Mount McKinley ) in Alaska is with 6190 meters the highest mountain in North America . It is one of the Seven Summits , the highest mountains on each of the seven continents .

Name and renaming

"Denali" is the traditional name of the mountain, a word from the Athapaskan language of the North American Indian tribe Koyukon , which means "the great" or "the high". Under Russian sovereignty , the mountain was called "Bolshaya Gora" (Большая Гора, German "big mountain"), a translation of the word Denali. In the late 1880s and 1890s, Denali was named Densmore's Mountain after a gold digger . In 1897, another gold miner tried to establish the name Mount McKinley after the then presidential candidate William McKinley , who was elected 25th President of the United States and was murdered shortly after his re-election in 1901. This name became official in 1917 in the law establishing Mount McKinley National Park , which also officially named the mountain.

In the course of the growing respect for the traditions of the indigenous people, the geography authority of the state of Alaska decided in 1975 to rename it to Denali . Since then, all of the state's publications have used this name. In 1980, the National Park in the federal law was Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act in Denali National Park renamed. The mountain itself was not renamed at the federal level because politicians from Ohio , the home of William McKinley, blocked the plans for a long time. On August 29, 2015, the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) changed the official name to "Denali" on the instructions of Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and in coordination with President Barack Obama . The GNIS has over 40 other unofficial names for the mountain.

Geography and climate

Denali is the highest peak in the Alaska range and is located in the Denali National Park named after it . Due to its isolated location, it is the mountain with the highest relief on earth; no other peak protrudes so far beyond its surroundings.

The mountain is considered to be one of the climatic extremes on earth and is characterized by bad weather, strong winds and particularly low temperatures. Hurricane-like storms with wind speeds over 120 km / h often reach the mountain, which form over the Aleutian Islands and are directed to Alaska by Pacific high pressure areas. In the winter months the about 160 km / h fast jet stream descends over the mountain. In combination with the height of the mountain, it creates a venturi effect that can double the wind speeds.

It is particularly cold on Denali, especially when the weather is good, ie free of clouds and precipitation. The temperature on the summit rarely rises above -15 ° C, and temperatures of -30 ° C are not uncommon at high altitudes. A self-recording minimum measuring station calibrated to -95  ° F (around -70 ° C) was placed at an altitude of around 15,000 feet (around 4,570 meters) between 1913 and 1923, and the evaluation resulted in a cold record below its calibrated measurement range. A subsequent laboratory test showed that the device was working and the recorded cold record was around -100 ° F (around -73 ° C). Since there are usually strong winds on the mountain, the perceived temperature is significantly lower due to wind chill . The climbing season is between April and July.



The first documented reference to the mountain is found in the records of the British explorer George Vancouver from 1794. The first attempts at ascent were made in the early 20th century. The first to reach the summit was the American- British explorer Hudson Stuck and the Alaskan Henry Peter Karstens , as well as the Athabasca Indians Walter Harper and Robert Tatum on June 7, 1913. Frederick Cook had claimed to have stood on the mountain seven years earlier, but this was refuted. The peak that was climbed back then is now called Fake Peak .

The first documented attempt at ascent was made in 1903 by James Wickersham over the north face, which has now been named Wickersham Wall after him . This route is considered extremely dangerous and was only successfully climbed in 1963. A longtime explorer of this mountain was Bradford Washburn , who made a 1: 50,000 scale map in 1960.

On June 7, 1913, a rope team led by Hudson Stuck and Harry Karstens made the first ascent. Walter Harper, originally from Alaska, is considered to be the first person on the summit. In 1967 the documentary filmmaker Martin Schliessler climbed the mountain accompanied by a team led by Ray Genet , with Schliessler recording the entire ascent on film. It has since been considered the most detailed film document of a mountain climb. Shortly before reaching the top, Genet turned back.

See also


  • Dow Scoggins: Discovering Denali: A Complete Reference Guide to Denali National Park and Mount McKinley, Alaska . iUniverse, 2004, ISBN 0-595-29737-4 .
  • Bradford Washburn, David Roberts, Roberts Washburn: Mount McKinley: The Conquest of Denali . Harry N. Abrams, 2000, ISBN 0-8109-8194-7 .
  • Tom Walker: The Seventymile Kid. The lost legacy of Harry Karstens and the first ascent of Mount McKinley . Mountaineers Books, Seattle 2013, ISBN 978-1-59485-729-4 .

Web links

Commons : Denali  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Office of Communications: USGS Release: New Elevation for Nation's Highest Peak (9/2/2015 9:00:00 AM). In: Retrieved October 2, 2015 .
  2. ^ Frank Norris: Crown Jewel of the Nort: An Administrative History of Denali National Park and Reserve . Ed .: Alaska Regional Office, National Park Service. Volume 1 - General Park History to 1980. Anchorage 2006, pp. 1 ( PDF ).
  3. decree v. August 28, 2015: THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, WASHINGTON. ORDER NO. 3337, Subject: Change of the Name of Mount McKinley to Denali
  4. North America's highest mountain gets its old name back Denali . dpa article on , August 30, 2015.
  5. ^ Denali ( English ) In: Geographic Names Information System . United States Geological Survey . Retrieved August 31, 2015.
  6. Summit Post: Denali (as of September 17, 2015)
  7. a b R. J. Secor: Denali Climbing Guide . Stackpole Books, 1998, ISBN 978-0-8117-2717-4 , pp. 22 ff . ( Excerpts online from Google Books [accessed October 19, 2010]).
  8. a b Dow Scoggins: Discovering Denali: A Complete Reference Guide to Denali National Park and Mount McKinley, Alaska . iUniverse, 2004, ISBN 0-595-29737-4 , pp. 155 ( Excerpts online from Google Books [accessed October 19, 2010]).
  9. Mount McKinley, Alaska. In: Retrieved October 18, 2010 .
  10. ^ McKinley - Climate and Flora / Fauna. In: Archived from the original on October 14, 2013 ; accessed on August 23, 2010 (English).
  11. Practical tips for organizing your own trip. Part 1: Climbing Denali (Mount Mc.Kinley), Alaska. Retrieved October 18, 2010 .
  12. ^ Climate of Mount McKinley National Park. In: National Park Service website . Retrieved January 25, 2018 .
  13. Current Climbing Activity. In: National Park Service website . Retrieved October 18, 2010 .
  14. ^ McKinley - Climbing History. In: Archived from the original on January 5, 2015 ; accessed on August 23, 2010 (English).
  15. Historical Timeline. In: National Park Service website . Retrieved August 23, 2010 .
  16. Minor Planet Circ. 34342