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ASCENT OF THE MT. McKINLEY

The objective.

For the first time in history the team, including participants with spinal cord injury, who use wheel chairs in everyday life, will attempt to conquer Mt. McKinley, 6194 m, the highest summit of the North America, Alaska. The team will demonstrate potentialities of people with disabilities. This ascent would be conclusive evidence of successful joint work of able bodied and disabled people.

Mount McKinley.

McKinley (6194 m) is the highest summit of the North America and the highest mountain in the polar areas of the Northern Hemisphere.The mountain is located at the territory of the Denali National Park, Alaska, USA. Its original name is Denali, which means the High One.

The dates.

The start is planned on May 10, 2002. It is supposed that the ascent will take from 40 to 50 days, depending on weather conditions. Ordinary teams with able-bodied participants overcome this route in 2025 days. Many professional mountaineers consider this period to be the only suitable time for making an ascent of McKinley. Many expeditions, which tried to make an ascent during other seasons, ended tragically. For example, in February 1984 Naomi Uemura, a famous Japanese explorer, perished at the summit of this mountain.

Hardships.

Every year more than one thousand mountaineers make attempts to reach the summit of McKinley. Most of them attempt the classical West Buttress route. The main part of the route passes over the "closed glacier" (a glacier is covered with snow and crevasses are invisible). This snow-ice route does not require any special technical adjustments, but there are the 3540 degree sections with fixed lines, mounted before. Nevertheless many tragedies occur here every year.

Professionals consider the weather to be the most dangerous and difficult aspect of the McKinley. Often the difference between the day and night temperatures reaches 50 degrees (+20 Celsius in the daytime and -30 Celsius in the night). If you also add a hurricane wind with the rate more than 25 m/sec, you will get a picture of the weather conditions, typical for McKinley.

McKinley is located in the Arctic latitudes, and that is why the main reasons of the tragedies here are usually frostbite cases and altitude illness. Mountaineers assert that the altitude 6200 m at Alaska equals to 7500 m in Himalayan, judging by emotional feelings and a physical state of health.


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