Even if you don't ever plan on climbing Mt McKinley – Denali – this decision could effect where, when, and how you could hire a guide. Other National Parks and land managers will watch what is decided and how it effects visitors to determine if something similar should happen at their location. By commenting now you're not just effecting policies in Alaska, but potentially also effecting policies in Yosemite, Joshua Tree, Grand Teton, Black Canyon, Rock Mountain, and other wilderness areas.
So please support this important issue and submit your thoughtful comment by October 15th. Visit this link – http://parkplanning.nps.gov – and click on “Climbing Allocation for Mount McKinley.”Consider these points while you write:
Unfortunately, not one of the three Alternatives proposed by the Park effectively accommodates visitor opportunity and the public's historical or current demand for a guided climb on Denali.
Trends point to a continued increase in the public demand for guided summit attempts due to a variety of factors including the unique requirements of Alaskan terrain and the educational and safety benefits of climbing with a trained professional.
If the Park is unwilling to consider and propose a fair and equitable Alternative -- which eliminates altogether the use of an arbitrarily chosen percentage and instead allows public demand to drive climbing allocations -- then the Park should guarantee guided climbing use at 50% of total possible activity on the West Buttress. To then accommodate increased visitor demand in the future, I support the Park's proposal to allocate unused climbing permits by private climbers to those wishing to be guided.Thanks for your support!
LINK to the National Park Service site - remember to click on "Climbing Allocation for Mount McKinley"
Thanks to the American Mountain Guide Association for the alert and the talking points provided above.
All the photos are from my successful 2004 trip on Mt McKinley with Rainier Mountaineering Inc. We had 100% team success in reaching the summit and making it back without any injuries!