Monday, August 24, 2009
Mount McKinley or Denali
The native Athabascan's referred to Mount McKinley or Denali as "The Great One". Recently with good weather, I was very fortunate to fly the mountain as well view it from one of the park's shuttle buses. Above you can see the mountain from the Denali National Park road, at the Stony area. The sky was as clear as I have seen it since April, with not a cloud in the sky.
After arriving at the Eielson Visitor Center, this was my meager attempt to try to line the NPS US flag up with the ridge line of the lower mountain range. Waiting for the flag to be in the right position, with the wind, took 20 or so images to get the one pictured above.
Flying to Denali aboard a plane with K2 Aviation we were able to get quite close to the mountain. After rising above the clouds, Mt. McKinley was certainly visible and you knew it was the "great one". We were about 7 miles from the mountain when this image was captured.
As we got closer (5 miles away), you could plainly see the difference in elevation of the two peaks. The southern peak, the larger rounded one in the center, is 20,320 feet tall, the highest mountain in North America. The smaller peak to the right, which is the northern peak, is 19,470 feet tall. At this distance, the mountain did not seem to be as overwhelming as it does from the park road at 30 miles away.
Although the sun was adding allot of contrast with the snow covered mountains and shooting through a plane window was a challenge, the mountain range and glacier views were still amazing and fun to photograph. The steadfast curmudgeon "Critter Guy" has certainly broke down during this trip.