Mountaineering

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Ready to test your mountaineering and wilderness skills on North America's highest peak? Or maybe you are eyeing the vertical rock and ice walls that line the Ruth Gorge. World class mountaineering and climbing options abound in Denali National Park and Preserve. Let us help you plan for a safe and successful journey in the Alaska Range.
 
Mountaineers on a glacier in a snowstorm

Photo courtesy of Menno Boermans

 

Steps to Planning a Climb on Denali or Mount Foraker

The four-page Expedition Planning Tools section (a revision of the former 'Mountaineering Booklet') is required reading for all climbers attempting Denali or Mount Foraker.

The information covers up-to-date, Denali-specific topics including the park's Search and Rescue Policy; contact information for the seven authorized mountain guide companies; required supplemental form for solo climbers; equipment and clothing suggestions; high altitude medical problems; clean climbing requirements, and other important topics.

A 2019 registration code can be found within the Expedition Planning Tools pages. As you read, take note of this four-digit code. Your registration form cannot be submitted without it.
All members of an expedition attempting Denali or Mount Foraker must check in together at the Talkeetna Ranger Station and attend a mandatory safety and resource protection orientation. Appointments for the orientation are required. Team Leaders are highly encouraged to check appointment availability before firming up their team's departure date, particularly during the peak of the season (mid-May through the first week of June). Orientation times during this period fill up fast.

Each Team Leader may check appointment availability for their desired departure date at http://www.nps.timetrade.com
  • Username: VIEWONLY
  • Password: 123456
Team Leaders may VIEW availability at any time; however, they may not RESERVE an Orientation until after Step 3.
Climbers attempting Denali or Mount Foraker must register at least 60 days prior to their start date.

This 60-day pre-registration period allows mountaineering rangers to have direct contact with climbers before they arrive in Talkeetna. Rangers can answer questions, suggest appropriate routes for different levels of expertise, and offer first-hand knowledge of conditions encountered in the Alaska Range.

The Team Leader should register prior to the rest of the team so that they can choose a departure date based on the orientation schedule availability (see #2). Once the team leader is registered, they will receive an email with information on reserving a time slot using TimeTrade, the NPS scheduling program.

Denali climbing registration is conducted via Pay.Gov's online climbing registration form. Climbers will immediately receive an emailed receipt confirmation from Pay.Gov if the forms and payment are submitted correctly. Climbers are responsible for ensuring forms are received in time for the desired start date.

There are two exceptions to the 60-day pre-registration period: (For more information, go to the Frequently Asked Questions page).
  • Mountaineers that have physically climbed on Denali or Mount Foraker since 1995 can request a "seven-day exception" to the 60-day rule and instead register 7 days in advance of the climb.
  • An expedition leader is permitted to add one new member to their team at least 30 days prior to the start date of the expedition.
Due to the increased risk associated with solo travel, ALL soloists must complete the supplemental solo form (found in the Expedition Planning Tools) in addition to the climbing registration form. Soloists will not be considered registered until we receive this completed form via mail, fax, or email.

The mountaineering special use fee is $375 U.S. currency for the 2019 season. A reduced fee of $275 will be charged for climbers aged 24 or younger as of the start date of the climb. The fee is payable via the Pay.Gov registration form. These funds directly offset costs such as maintaining the high altitude ranger camps, supporting ranger/volunteer patrols, providing mountaineering information, and keeping the mountain environment clean.

If the climb is cancelled prior to January 15 of the year in which the climb is scheduled, all but $100 of the fee will be refunded (i.e. $275 for adults; $175 for youth in 2019). No refunds will be made for cancellations after January 15.

In addition to the special use fee, climbers must pay the Denali National Park entrance fee of $10 per individual (increasing to $15 per person beginning May 1, 2019). This park entrance fee can be paid at the Talkeetna Ranger Station. Interagency passes are accepted in lieu of entrance fee payment (actual passes must be presented). Interagency passes are sold at the Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station.
When a Team Leader has successfully registered at Pay.gov, they will receive an email from the NPS with instructions on how to reserve the required appointment. Team Leaders are unable to reserve this appointment until they have received this email.

When a Team Leader has successfully RESERVED an appointment, they will receive a confirmation email directly from Time Trade.

All registered climbers are required to attend an appointment at the Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station, including those teams beginning their climb on the north side of the Alaska Range. Expeditions must check in and attend the orientation appointment together. Please allow two hours for the check in process and appointment. Expedition members will be required to provide government issued photo identification, such as a driver's license or passport.
Once the Team Leader has reserved their appointment, all remaining Team Members may register for their climb.

Again, all climbers attempting Denali or Mount Foraker must register at least 60 days prior to their start date (with the two exceptions noted above and in the FAQ's).

Expedition Registration is considered COMPLETE when:
  1. The Team Leader has registered at Pay.gov and reserved an appointment, and
  2. All Team Members have registered using the Pay.gov registration form.
The Team Leader will be notified by email when all their Team Member registrations have been received and the review process is completed..

Climbers with a permit for either Denali or Mount Foraker are subject to the current Terms and Conditions. Denali National Park and Preserve reserves the right to revoke a climbing permit in the event of a violation of these terms.
 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) About Mountaineering


Denali climbing rangers have created a helpful list of Frequently Asked Questions to use as a resource in planning your expedition.

Backcountry Climbing and Mountaineering


The Alaska Range offers an amazing variety of remote climbing and backcountry skiing opportunities. The Backcountry Climbing and Mountaineering section currently offers basic trip planning information, with more area descriptions and features to be added in coming months.

Denali Weather Links

 

Historical Mountaineering Information

Other Helpful Reading

Contact Us


Registration and mountaineering ranger staff are available year-round at the Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station to answer your questions. Contact ranger staff by E-mail, or: Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station PO Box 588 Talkeetna, AK 99676 (907) 733-2231 (phone) (907) 733-1465 (fax)
 

Last updated: December 18, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 9
Denali Park, AK 99755

Phone:

(907) 683-9532
A ranger is available 9 am—4 pm daily (except on major holidays). If you get to the voicemail, please leave a message and we'll call you back as soon as we finish with the previous caller.

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