Mark Beaumont has accomplished his first major goal on his Cycling the Americas expedition, in which he plans to ride his bike from Anchorage, Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, in Argentina, found at the southernmost tip of South America. Along the way, Mark intends to climb both Denali and Aconcagua, the two highest mountains in North and South America respectively. Yesterday he accomplished the first of those goals by reaching the summit of Denali.
According to the most recent entry on his blog, Mark, and the rest of the team he was climbing with, spent nearly 16 hours making the round trip to the summit and back down to high camp. The weather had been perfect for most of the day, but as they neared the summit, the winds began to pick up, and it started to snow, resulting in blizzard conditions, a complete whiteout and zero visibility. Five members of the team, including Mark actually stood on top sometime late yesterday afternoon Alaska time. One member of the team had to turn back near the summit ridge after nearly collapsing. Ensuring that that climber got back down off the mountain safely slowed their descent in the deteriorating weather conditions, but everyone is reportedly safe and resting at 17,200 feet now.
From here, Mark will continue his descent and return to Anchorage, where he’ll shortly begin his ride, which is being filmed by the BBC and expected to take him roughly ten months or so to complete. You may recall this isn’t Mark’s first epic cycling trip, as he has already ridden around the world, and in a record time of 195 days no less. Soon he’ll be heading out on the Trans-America Highway and heading south. You can follow his progress and latest updates from the Cycling the Americas website.