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The Ascent of Denali

Hudson Stuck

Book Overview: 

The story of the First Ascent of Denali by Hudson Stuck, Harry Karstens, Walter Harper and Robert Tatum in 1913, recorded in celebration of the restoration of the mountain's original name.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .er load taken right through a day’s march, and then [Pg 17]a return made to bring up the cache. In this way we moved steadily though slowly across rolling country and upon the surface of a large lake to the McKinley Fork of the Kantishna, which drains the Muldrow Glacier, down that stream to its junction with the Clearwater Fork of the same, and up that fork, through its canyon, to the last spruce timber on its banks, and there we made a camp in an exceedingly pretty spot. The creek ran open through a break in the ice in front of our tent; the water-ousels darted in and out under the ice, singing most sweetly; the willows, all in bud, perfumed the air; and Denali soared clear and brilliant, far above the range, right in front of us. Here at the timber-line, at an elevation of about two thousand feet, was the pleasantest camp of the whole excursion. During the five days’ stay here the stuff was brought up and carried forward, and a quantity of dry wood was cu. . . Read More

Community Reviews

The story of the ascent itself was quite engaging and told in an elegant manner with admirable modesty. The last quarter of the book, where he describes the calculation of the height of the peak, the previous attempts at the summit, and the naming of various features, can be skipped.

It is embarrassing to say that I did not know who first climbed Denali before reading this book. Now I do, and it's complicated. During the 1910's, there was a lot of interest in climbing this mountain. The Ascent of Denali tells about at least two of the other expeditions in the previous two yea...more

Articulately written, humble, and wonderfully even in tone: Stuck's account of the first true ascent of Denali is a minor classic.

It's a quick and very readable book but for those looking for a dramatic climb with interpersonal friction this isn't your book. In the grand tradition of Edwardian e...more