Expedition Denali Heads To Alaska

Denali Mt McKinley

One of the more prominent teams that has received media attention so far this year has been Expedition Denali, which I’ve written about on several occasions already. This is the squad of climbers that consists entirely of African-Americans who have set a goal to climb the tallest peak in North America in an effort to inspire young people of all ethnicities to connect with the outdoors and seek their own adventures. After months of planning and weeks of preparation, the climbers are about to kick off their climb at last as they make their way to Alaska before setting out for the mountain.

As the expedition name implies, the team has set its sights on the 6194 meter (20,320 ft) Denali (aka Mt. McKinley) in Alaska. The 2013 climbing season is already in full swing there with a number of climbers already topping out. After a nasty season last year, during which the weather prevented most teams from summiting, things have been much better so far this spring. Whether or not that continues to be true remains to be seen.

The Expedition Denali crew is now starting to gather in Palmer, Alaska, which will serve as their proving ground before heading to the mountain itself. It will be a few days before they actually reach Base Camp, but you can follow their progress on their blog, Facebook page and Twitter feed.

Prior to setting out the team was happy to announce that their Kickstarter campaign was fully-funded. They were looking to raise $107,000 to create a documentary film about their adventure and when the clock wound down on their fund-raising efforts, they actually exceeded their goal by bringing in $111,125. That means that we should see an excellent film about this project in the future.

Expect to hear a lot more about this team in the days ahead. As I mentioned, their efforts to increase diversity in the outdoors is making this a high profile climb for sure. That means we shouldn’t have too much difficult following along with their progress on the mountain and getting updates throughout the Denali season.

Good luck to the entire team!

Kraig Becker