American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Alaska, Alaska Range, Mount McKinley, Glisse Descents

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1997

Mount McKinley, Glisse Descents. In May and June, two mountaineers from Slovenia, skier Dr. Iztok Tomazin and snowboarder Marko Car, accompanied by Ms. Urska Poljansek, were busy on the west side of Mount McKinley. Although the weather and the snow conditions were poor, the pair was extremely successful. Upon arriving at Base Camp (4300 meters), they promptly started their activity. The first target was the Rescue Gully, which reaches the West Ridge at 5200 meters, where they made camp. They made the 900 vertical meters up and down, Tomazin skiing and Car snowboarding. After some rest at Base Camp they climbed the Orient Express, then continued, Tomazin to the top of Denali, Car up to the edge of the face. Both skied and snowboarded down first the Wickwire route and then the Orient Express (VI, 1900 vertical meters). On June 10 Tomazin scaled the Diagonal Route and West Ridge to the summit of Denali, which he reached at 8 p.m. His ski descent went via the West Ridge and then the Rescue Gully. Despite very bad weather he reached Base Camp at 11 p.m. The next day Car and Urska climbed to the camp at 5200 meters. Storm and cold (-40°) kept them tent-bound for three days with only a minimum of food. On June 14 the pair managed to reach the top. Marko Car snowboarded down, filmed by Urska, who descended on foot. Marko spent the night at Camp 5200 meters and next day continued the descent via the Rescue Gully. The same day Tomazin climbed once again to the summit, this time via the Messner Route, which he then skied (VI, 900 meters). During less than a month he made three ascents of the summit by three different routes. All ski and snowboard descents were continuous descents. Urska Poljansek is the first woman from Slovenia to reach the highest point of North America.

Józef Nyka, Editor, Taternik, Poland

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