Mountains make their own weather, especially tall ones. Denali (formally Mount McKinley) is the tallest mountain in North America at 20,310 feet. The 'high one,' as it is known by the Koyukon people of Alaskan Athabaskans, has a vertical rise from base to the summit of over 18,000 feet. That is considerably more than the vertical rise of Mount Everest at 12,000 feet.
Part of the long Alaska Range, this huge massif forces warm, moist air from the Gulf of Alaska upward to collide with colder dry air from the Arctic. As a result, Denali is usually partly or completely obscured by clouds. Visitors to Denali National Park hope the 'mountain is out' during their stay. Park rangers categorize your chances of seeing the mountain into two informal groups: the 30% club and the 10% club. That is, 30% of park visitors get to see part of the mountain and 10% get to see all of the mountain, respectively.
On this beautiful fall day in mid-September, I was fortunate to become a member of the 10% club. Cold, dry weather created beautiful blue sky conditions to see the entire mountain from base to summit. This photo was taken from the Wonder Lake area 85 miles from the park entrance. The tundra is ablaze at the peak with autumn colors of alpine blueberry bushes.
This particular spot is called Blueberry Hill due to the abundance of blueberries. Denali looms large even though it is twenty-six miles away! This is the iconic, grand Alaskan landscape that attracts visitors worldwide to this spectacular wilderness park, weather permitting, of course!
Did you know that now we offer a VIP membership? Create your Personal Portfolio Page and let us share your published pictures with over 300,000 members and followers.
Benefits of VIP membership:
• Your Personal Portfolio Page – click here to see a sample
• We promote all your pictures to over 300,000 followers via our social media pages
• Download all new issues of the magazine
• Download all back issues
• Download premium eBooks worth £19.45.
• Your uploaded pictures/posts stay attached to your page for as long as you are a VIP member, which could be forever
• Fast Support – we aim to reply within 12 hours
• Submission Priority – your submission goes to the front of the queue
Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor