Denali (Mount McKinley) Facts

Denali (Mount McKinley) Facts
Mount McKinley, also known as Denali (since its name change in 2015), is the highest mountain in Alaska, and in North America. The Athabaskan Natives originally named the mountain Denali, which means 'high one' but in 1896 a gold prospector renamed the mountain Mount McKinley after U.S. President William McKinley. McKinley never visited the mountain, or even Alaska, and in 1975 the state of Alaska changed its name back to Denali. In 2015 President Obama approved the change at a federal level. Denali is located in Alaska, approximately 130 miles northwest of Anchorage and 170 miles southwest of Fairbanks.
Interesting Denali (Mount McKinley) Facts:
Denali's peak is 20,310 feet above sea level, making it the highest mountain in North America.
Denali is located in Denali National Park and Preserve, which is more than 6 million acres in size. Denali National Park and Preserve is larger than New Hampshire's entire state.
Denali has had several names including Bolshaya Gora (Russian), Densmore's Mountain, Mount McKinley, and finally Denali. Prior to Russian or American settlement the Koyukon Athabaskan Natives referred to the mountain as Denali or Dinale.
In 1896 Denali was renamed Mount McKinley.
In 1917 Mount McKinley National Park was established.
In 1975 the mountain was officially named Denali by the state of Alaska.
In 1980 the size of Mount McKinley National Park was tripled and it name was changed to Denali National Park and Preserve. The federal government still continued to call it Mount McKinley National Park.
It took until 2015 for the U.S. government to recognize the name officially. President Barack Obama approved the change to Denali in August 2015.
Denali is taller than Mount Everest when calculated by measuring the distance from base to summit. Denali's summit is 18,000 feet from its base while Mount Everest's summit is 12,000 feet from its base.
Denali has two main summits - the South Summit and the North Summit.
Different native names for Denali include Diinaalii, Diinaadhiit, Diinaazii, Dghelay Ka'a and Dghili Ka'a.
The first attempted climb of Denali took place in 1903, by Judge James Wickersham. This route in particular would not be ascended successfully until 1963, due to danger of avalanches. James Wickersham attempted to climb the mountain via Peters Glacier and the North Face. It is now known as Wickersham's Wall.
An explorer named Dr. Frederick Cook claimed to have made the first successful climb in 1906 but was later proven to have been untrue.
Denali's main summit was first successfully reached in 1913 by Walter Harper, a native of Alaska.
Denali is a popular mountain for climbers, despite its cold climate. Almost 60% of climbers reached the top in 2003, but by this year almost 100 climbers had lost their lives while attempting to reach the top.
To reach Denali's top it can take two to four weeks and most climbers use the West Buttress Route.
Barbara Washburn was the first woman to reach the summit of Denali, in 1947.
In 2013 Tom Choate, a 78 year old climber, became the oldest man to reach Denali's summit.


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