NPS Reinstates Mountain Trip International to Preferred Denali Guide Service Status

The National Park Service has overturned a ban of Mountain Trip International as preferred Denali guide service. The service had lost its status after a fatal accident in 2011 in which guide Dave Staeheli abandoned Beat Niederer on the mountain. Two others were injured on the expedition.

The NPS in overturning the local park’s move said:

“If viewed as an oversight, albeit it a tragic one, the guides’ (Staeheli’s) failure to carry all required equipment in the Pig Hill incident in 2011 along with MTI’s failure to have a current commercial-use authorization in the Root Glacier incident,” she concluded, “are not, balanced against seven years of satisfactory ratings, enough to declare the operator to have been unsatisfactory over the eight years the current owners of Mountain Trip International have been operating under this contract.”


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Official New USGS Maps Show McKinley is 83 Feet Shorter Than Earlier Reported (20,237 feet rather than 20,320 feet)

mckinley-map
New USGS and Alaska maps show McKinley is 83 feet shorter at 20,237 feet rather than 20,320 feet — still the highest mountain in the US.

You can see the difference in the maps from the new digital maps with the old raster maps. The new maps have different contours on South Peak which is the highpoint. Download the McKinley map (AK_Mount_McKinley_A-3_SE_20130905_TM_geo_ (which is also available from the National Map) Here’s the link to the USGS Alaska Initiative.

Here’s a press release from Alaska Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell:

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Stubbs the Cat, Talkeetna’s “Mayor” Returns Following Dog Mauling

Stubbs the cat that has been the unofficial mayor of Talkeetna for 15 years has returned home after a dog mauling.


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Renaming of Talkeetna Ranger Station for First McKinley Climber Walter Harper


The renaming of the Talkeetna Ranger station for McKinley first climber Walter Harper awaits President’s Obama’s signature.


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Model Explains Why McKinley is Where It Is


After 17,000 hours of Super Computer modeling scientist say they can explain why McKinley is where it is.

Geologists have always said the mountain was created by the Pacific Plate sinking beneath the North American Plate. However they did not know precisely why the mountain formed where it did and the mountain is farther inland than what could be explained in the previous models.
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Mysterious Disappearance of Runner in 2012 Mount Marathon Race in Alaska Spawns Conspiracy Theories

Outlookalaska.com has an update on the strange tale of Michael LeMaitre who disappeared and is unaccounted for in a 2012 race up Mount Marathon in Alaska.

The site notes:

The last time LeMaitre was seen was as he was nearing Race Point, the 3022 foot turnaround point of the race course. LeMaitre was in last place in the race, struggled to reach the turnaround point, when he met a race official that had been manning the turnaround point. The race official had tired of waiting for LeMaitre and decided to head down the mountain to the post-race party. The race official briefly talked to LeMaitre, and then he turned his back to him and left a soaking-wet race participant alone on the mountain in the clouds and cold drizzle.

Alaska Performance Backcountry Skiing Blog


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Record Number of 787 Summited McKinley in 2013 Season

A record number of 787 out of 1,151 (68 percent) summit McKinley in the 2013 season according to the Park Service.


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Famed mountaineers Krakauer, Anker called out for not using McKinley Clean Mountain Can


Mountaineers Jon Krakauer (“Into the Wild,” “Into Thin Air”) and Conrad Anker were publicly called by by the National Park Service rangers for not using a McKinley Clean Mountain can while going to the toilet on Mount McKinley.

The pair were spied doing their business by people with spotting scopes at base camp.

Famed mountaineers Krakauer, Anker caught ‘dumping’ on Mount McKinley | Strange Bedfellows — Politics News – seattlepi.com.


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German climber dies on Alaska’s Mount McKinley of cardiac arrest – first fatality of 2013 season

59 year old Klaus Bielstein of Muenster, Germany collapsed and died on Mount McKinley at the 13,500 foot level. He is the first fatality of the 2013 season.

German climber dies on Alaska's Mount McKinley – Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Alaska News.


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McKinley to Denali Name Change Legislation Passes out of Senate Committee

Senate Bill 155 to change the name of Mount McKinley to Denali has was approved by the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Per past instance Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman whose state includes the home of William McKinley voted against it.

McKinley to Denali Name Change Legislation Passes out of Senate Committee | Alaska Public Media.

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