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First Summiting Of Mt. McKinley Celebrated

Denali National Park and Preserve

National Park News

On June 7, 1913, four men stood on the top of Mt. McKinley, or Denali as it was called by the native Koyukon Athabaskans, for the first time.

By achieving the summit of the highest peak in North America, Walter Harper, Harry Karstens, Hudson Stuck, and Robert Tatum made history. One of the party, Harry Karstens, would continue to have an association with the mountain and the land around it by becoming the first superintendent of the fledgling Mt. McKinley National Park in 1921.

Denali National Park and Preserve and its partners are celebrating the centennial of the first summitting of Mt. McKinley with several activities and events. The 1913 centennial speaker series premiers on June 7th with an illustrated talk on the 1913 ascent of Mt. McKinley. The series features presentations by five Alaskan mountaineers and historians on significant Denali mountaineering expeditions. 

Descendants of all four of the 1913 expedition members are making their own attempt to reach the summit, following the historic pioneer route on the north side of the mountain. Other activities include new exhibits at the park’s Eielson Visitor Center, Talkeetna Ranger Station, and the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Museum of the North. 

Additional information about these and other components of the 1913 centennial celebration are available at the following sites:


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