A Window to Heaven: The Daring First Ascent of Denali, America’s Highest Peak: Dean, Patrick
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A Window to Heaven: The Daring First Ascent of Denali, America’s Highest Peak

Author(s): Dean, Patrick

Copyright: 2021, US
Specifications: 1st, 8vo, pp.xx, 316, photo frontis, 4 color & 28 bw photos, red/tan cloth
Condition: dj & cloth new

In 1913, four men made a months-long journey by dog sled to the base of the tallest mountain in North America. Several groups had already tried but failed to reach the top of a mountain whose size and position - as the Earth’s northernmost peak of more than 6,000 meters elevation - make it one of the world’s deadliest mountains. Although its height from base to top is actually greater than Everest’s, it is Denali's weather, not altitude, that have caused the great majority of fatalities—over a hundred since 1903.

Denali experiences weather more severe than the North Pole, with temperatures of forty below zero and winds that howl at 80 to 100 miles per hour for days at a stretch. But in 1913 none of this mattered to Hudson Stuck, a fifty-year old Episcopal priest; Harry Karstens, the hardened Alaskan wilderness guide; Walter Harper, half Native Alaskan; and Robert Tatum, a divinity student. They were all determined to be the first to set foot on top of Denali.

In ‘A Window to Heaven’, Dean brings to life this heart-pounding and spellbinding feat of this first ascent and paints a rich portrait of the frontier at the turn of the twentieth century. The story of Stuck and his team will lead us through the Texas frontier and Tennessee mountains to an encounter with Jack London at the height of the Yukon Goldrush. We experience Stuck's awe at the rich Inuit and Athabascan Indigenous traditions—and his efforts to help preserve these ways of life.

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