Way back in May of last year I shared a story about an upcoming expedition to Denali that had some much bigger goals than simply reaching the summit of the highest peak in North America. The climb, which is being organized by NOLS, will feature a team that is entirely made up of African American mountaineers who hope to use their adventure as a platform to inspire young people from minority groups to engage with the outdoors. We all know that the young people of today are increasingly turning away from outdoor activities, and this is especially true amongst minority groups, but the team behind this climb – dubbed Expedition Denali – hope to serve as role models who can inspire kids of all ethnicities to reconnect with nature and discover their own adventures.
The expedition will take place in June of this year and will coincide with the 100th anniversary of the first ascent of Denali. The 6194-meter (20,320 ft) mountain located in the Alaska Range is always a challenge, even under the best of conditions. The weather on Denali is notriously fickle even during the summer months, and while its altitude doesn’t compare with the high peaks in the Himalaya, it is every bit as cold and foreboding as those mountains, and often just as deadly.
But the team behind Expedition Denali is well aware of the challenges they face and they have been training and planning for this journey for a long time. For each of the dedicated men and women on the team, the bigger challenge is finding ways to connect with the children that they are hoping to inspire. One of the ways that they intend to do that is through a documentary of their climb. Organizers of the expedition hope to film every stage of their adventure and then produce a great film that will inspire the next generation of climbers to follow in their footsteps.
To that end, the team has launched a Kickstarter page to help fund this documentary. They’re hoping to raise $107,500 to help with production costs. That is a lofty number to be sure, but the Expedition Denali team is confident that they can reach that goal and create a film that is worthy of their high expectations.
The video below will give you more information on Expedition Denali and their plans. This is an important expedition for a number of reasons and certainly one worthy of supporting through Kickstarter or other means. I’m looking forward to following along with the team once they start their adventure in a few months time.
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