The highest peak in North America is Mount McKinley situated in Alaska’s rugged terrain, but you might know this mountain as Denali with its soaring 20,237 feet stretching to the sky.
Making an attempt on Denali’s summit is a huge undertaking that requires you to be committed to the task, the average climbing expedition lasts a full three weeks to reach the top. The risks of rock fall, hypothermia, avalanches, crevasse falls, and hypothermia are ever-present but despite that over 1,000 people a year make the trek to take advantage of the mountain’s brief climbing season in May through early-July.
Even in those warmer months the summer high temperatures of the mountain can be a frigid negative 40 F; only about half the climbers who attempt it succeed in reaching the summit.
Denali is in the elite; a member of the climber’s holy grail of Seven Summits that comprise the tallest peaks on each continent and that makes it a prime destination for many a mountaineer. One such intrepid soul is mountain guide and freelance photographer Ben Adkinson. This last June, Adkinson achieved his second successful climb to Denali’s summit out of ten expeditions onto the mountain and captured his entire dramatic experience in photos.
Adkinson is based out of Montana but he’s worked as a guide on mountains across California, Patagonia, Antarctica, Alaska, and Peru. You can find more of his photos of the Denali summit climb, as well as shots from other remote corners of the globe on his Facebook or at his website; benadkisonphotography.com.