Notable Highlights in Alaska Range Mountaineering
The first recorded reference to Denali in the journal of British explorer 'George' Vancouver.
Prospector Frank Densmore refers to Denali as "Densmore's Mountain" after he traverses within 65 miles of the mountain.
Prospector William Dickey names Mt. McKinley for Presidential nominee William McKinley of Ohio.
First non-native overland traverse of the Alaska Range is made (via the Yentna and Kichatna Rivers) by 1st Lt. Joseph Herron's Army expedition. This same year, Herron names Mt. Foraker for U.S. Senator J.B. Foraker, also of Ohio.
USGS geologist Alfred Brooks first explores the area on a mapping expedition, travelling through and eventually naming Rainy Pass.
First attempt to climb Mt. McKinley made by Judge James Wickersham and four team members. The expedition started in Fairbanks and eventually reached the 10,000-foot level of what is now known as the Wickersham Wall.
That same year, a 6-member expedition led by Dr. Frederick Cook attempts Mt. McKinley's Northwest Buttress, reaching an elevation of 11,300 feet. The team completes the expedition by circumnavigating the mountain.
Dr. Cook claims to be the first to reach the summit of Mt. McKinley. Skepticism ensues when Cook claims to have ascended the peak in just eight days starting from the Tokositna River, travelling up the Ruth Glacier, and summiting via the East Buttress; the return trip took a reported four days.
Harper's Monthly Magazine publishes Dr. Cook's article "The Conquest of Mount McKinley" about reaching the top of Mt. McKinley with photos from the "summit" and a map of the route taken.
The Sourdough Expedition climbs the north peak of Mt. McKinley via the Muldrow Glacier, planting a spruce pole near the top.
Two expeditions, the Mazama Mountaineering Club of Oregon and the Explorers Club, set out to disprove Dr. Cook's claim of reaching the summit of Mt. McKinley.
The Fairbanks Daily Times expedition led by the newspaper's editor, Ralph Cairns, attempts to climb Mt. McKinley, reaching 9,200 feet on the Muldrow Glacier.
The Parker-Browne expedition starts in Seward and travels by dog team through Anderson Pass to Mt. McKinley, reaching the 20,000-foot level before retreating.
First ascent of Mt. McKinley's 20,310-foot south summit achieved by Hudson Stuck, Walter Harper, Harry Karstens, and Robert Tatum. Harper, a Native Alaskan, is first to set foot on top.