For many of the one thousand registered climbers, Denali’s West Buttress is the ultimate extension of their years of backpacking. But after several seasons on the mountain, I am surprised at how quickly lightweight tactics get kicked to the curb on this grueling 13,000-foot ascent. Most climbers on the route barely move under towering packs supporting crushing loads of seventy-five pounds or more. Sadly, this seems to be the norm, something you just have to endure if you want a shot at the top of North America. In 2007, Agnes and I put together a little experiment to see if that’s the hard truth.

ARTICLE OUTLINE

  • Denali Light 2007 Gallery

# WORDS: 1240
# PHOTOS: 15

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