Alaska Update: Several Rescues, Few Summits

In our last update, Denali’s official summit percentage was hovering just below 70% with hundreds of fresh summits reported. Over the last week, that figure hasn’t budged. However, there are still 282 climbers on the mountain, so the summit percentage will no doubt eventually creep up as teams return to Base Camp and report their climbs.


After a few weeks of very warm weather, the temperature has dropped and there has been some fresh snow.

A couple of familiar names topped out recently. Mingma David, Nirmal Purja, and their client, Qatari princess Asma Al Thani, reportedly made it “in and out in four days” on Denali.

With few new summits reported, the majority of news has been about search and rescue operations. There have been a few more accidents in the last week, but thankfully no fatalities.

We previously reported that on June 10, a two-person team activated their InReach device while descending from a 24-hour summit push. One of the climbers “was struggling to descend safely under their own power”. Guides helped them down to High Camp. It later transpired that the pair both needed helicopter evacuation from High Camp because of frostbite.

Then on June 11, a skier fell twice, once near the summit and again near High Camp. He “sustained injuries” of unknown severity and needed evacuation from High Camp. The two other members of the three-person team were also evacuated with frostbite sustained while helping their friend to descend.

Two more rescues took place last week. A climber was evacuated with gastrointestinal issues on June 15 and another was removed by a “short-haul basket rescue” with HAPE on June 16.

Mount Foraker

I hate to sound like a broken record, but there’s still no major news from Mount Foraker. Eight climbers remain on the mountain. There are no summits listed in the official statistics so far.

Martin Walsh

Martin Walsh is a writer and editor for ExplorersWeb.

Martin has been writing about adventure travel and exploration for over five years.

Martin spent most of the last 15 years backpacking the world on a shoestring budget. Whether it was hitchhiking through Syria, getting strangled in Kyrgyzstan, touring Cambodia’s medical facilities with an exceedingly painful giant venomous centipede bite, chewing khat in Ethiopia, or narrowly avoiding various toilet-related accidents in rural China, so far, Martin has just about survived his decision making.

Based in Da Lat, Vietnam, Martin can be found in the jungle trying to avoid leeches while chasing monkeys.