Mt. McKinley (20,320 feet)

Mt. McKinley, in Alaska’s Denali National Park, is the highest mountain in the North American continent.  I climbed this mountain in an expedition that started on May 14, 2002 and ended on May 31, 2002.  We summitted on May 28.  The elevation gain from the bottom to the top of Mt. McKinley is 18,000 feet, the greatest of any mountain in the world.  The views are truly breathtaking, especially during the flight from Talkeentna to Base Camp, which is located on the Kahiltna Glacier.  We climbed the West Buttress Route.  On summit day, I was careless and did not put on my heavy expedition gloves fast enough.  As a result, one of the fingers on my right hand was frostbitten.  Although no permanent damage was done, to this day, that finger is the first to warn me of cold weather.