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Denali National Park and Preserve is now offering online registration for mountaineers attempting climbs of Mt. McKinley or Mt. Foraker. The online registration and associated payment system is operated by Pay.Gov, a service of the United States Department of Treasury. Climbers wishing to register online should go to www.nps.gov/dena, and follow the Mountaineering Information link.
In this first phase of implementation, climbers who use a credit card to pay the $25 mountaineering special use fee deposit will be able to submit the registration forms electronically using the Pay.Gov system. In the upcoming year, park staff intends to broaden this capability to include all registrants, including those opting to pay with money orders or electronic deposits.
Park management anticipates that the online system will greatly improve in-house efficiency and data accuracy. From the climber’s perspective, submitting the data and payment information electronically will be much quicker, ensure greater security, and provide immediate confirmation that the park has received the registration form.
All climbers attempting Mt. McKinley or Mt. Foraker are required to pre-register with Denali National Park and Preserve at least 60 days in advance of a climb, a regulation implemented in 1995 with the intention of preventing climbing-related accidents and altitude illnesses. Payment of a $200 mountaineering special use fee is also required, which includes the $25 deposit.
As of April 14, 738 mountaineers have registered to climb Mt. McKinley for the 2008 season, with ten registered for Mt. Foraker. These early registration numbers do not yet include guided clients, guides, or National Park Service patrol members. Based on previous years, the park anticipates a fairly typical registration year of between 1,200 and 1,300 climbers, the vast majority of whom will climb during the months of May and June.
Denali National Park’s mountaineering rangers will fly to the Kahiltna Glacier to install the seasonal basecamp on Thursday, April 24, while the first upper mountain ranger patrol of the season will start their climb to the 14,200-foot camp on Monday, April 28.