Mountain Climbing: The Challenge of Winter

Climbers have been scaling Mount McKinley ever since 1913, but North America's tallest peak is still one of the most forbidding mountains in the world. From the floor of the Susitna River valley, 1,500 ft. above sea level, the mountain sweeps to 20,320 ft. above central Alaska in a single cascade of rock and ice. In summer, McKinley is merely inhospitable; in winter, it is deadly. For one thing, it is among the coldest places on earth. Actual temperatures range to as low as—100°. Until Feb. 28, no one had climbed Mount...

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