Most Avoid Valley of Death McKinley West Rib Route

Climbing season has started on McKinley. The Anchorage Daily News has an interesting article on the hazardous West Rib Route in its coverage.

Climbers gather for McKinley season

Anchorage Daily News – Anchorage,AK,USA

By MARY PEMBERTON. A steady stream of mountaineers is now headed for Mount McKinley to tackle North America’s tallest mountain. Four

As of Tuesday, 1,052 climbers were registered to climb Mount McKinley this summer. Park officials expect the number to reach about 1,200 climbers, with most of them on the mountain 135 miles north of Anchorage in the next two months.

Most will choose the less technical West Buttress route to the top, but not Collins’ group. His group is going up the West Rib route, a steep ascent that provides a direct route to the summit but requires climbing up short sections of 60-degree ice inclines.

Climbers call one particularly scary stretch the “valley of death,” Collins said.

“I don’t know why they call it the valley of death,” he said. “There’s just a few meters of death.”

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