Myself and Mark Mosgrove have just booked flights to Alaska for May 2013. Although still over 8 months away it is very exciting and feels like the trip is a reality now. We will be flying from Glasgow to Anchorage on the 21st of May and then traveling to Talkeetna - the gateway to the Denali NP. From Talkeetna it’s a short flight in a single engine plane to base camp on the Kahiltna Glacier.
Our plan is toacclimatiseby climbing the West Buttress of Denali to the summit before getting on our main objective - the Cassin Ridge on the South Face of Denali.
Denali (or Mt. Mckinley) is the highest peak in North America at 6194m. The Cassin route is a super classic and world renowned route first climbed in 1961 by a strong Italian team led by Ricardo Cassin. The route is possibly the most popular of the harder routes in this area of Alaska but it still doesn’t see a huge number of ascents. By modern technical standards it isn’t ridiculously hard;approx.scottish grade V with rock sections of up to 5.8 and a lot of easier groundin between,but it is a serious undertaking given the length (almost 2.5km of climbing), altitude and the nature of Alaska’s arctic climate.