Denali Continued
There is just one road into Denali. Our airplane took off from a dirt runway at the end of the road into Denali and flew directly
towards the mountain. Denali is over 20,000 fee high. The ground at the base of the mountain on the side we flew towards is
only 2,000 feet high. Denali rises up as an 18,000 foot vertical wall on this side, making this the highest vertical wall in the
world. From bottom to top, Denali is much higher than Everest even if Everest is 10,000 feet higher at the top.

We flew directly towards this wall. At first, clouds obscured our view of the top of Denali so all we saw was the base of the
mountain.
Incidentally, NO ZOOM was used to take any of the pictures below!
As we got closer, more of the mountain top came into view.
As we reached our maximum altitude of 9,000 feet, the peak of the mountain came into view!
As we continued along Denali, we saw a glacier tens of miles long.
Hidden from view of all except the most avid hiker or an airplane rider like me was a magnificent view of the Alaska divide. The
mountain on the right are part of the coastal plate rising against the interior portion of Alaska. That is the view pictured below.

It was a breathtaking view!
We turned for one last
view of Denali's peak
and one of the glaciers
below it.

Sadly, scientists have
determined that as a
result of global warming,
the depth of these
glaciers is being
reduced by several feet
a year. How long before
Denali looks like
Kilimanjaro?

One thousand people
attempt the climb to the
top of Denali each year,
most of them in May and
June as weather makes
it nearly impossible later
on.
The melting glaciers
eventually turn into
water, but very dirty
water filled with silt
carved out by the
glaciers. The silt is so
thick that fish can not live
in these waters which is
why the grizzlies in Denali
are so small compared
with the coastal grizzlies
that feed on salmon.
Knowing the odds of getting a glimpse of Denali were against me, my expectations were low. To get such a rewarding day was
an awesome treat.
500 climbers were on the mountain as we flew by, climbing from the other side. Most were hunkered down waiting for the fierce
winds to die down. Five climbers have already died this year--as of June 3.