Real Life. Real News. Real Voices.
Help us tell more of the stories that matter from voices that too often remain unheard.
Join HuffPost Plus
thinner_close_xCreated with Sketch.
THE BLOG

Getting Down and Dirty with Mt. Denali/McKinley: To Denali and Fairbanks on the Looney Front, Part 2

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

I would be lying if I said the thought of Germanwings does not cross my mind. In fact it's front and centre, left and right, uppermost and bottommost, as the pilot of the Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 decides to give us a close-up look at 20,237-foot-high Mt. Denali (aka McKinley).

He says he's descended from 36,000 feet to 24,000 feet, but the ice- and snow-capped crags seem much too close for comfort. In fact they look about two feet to the left of us and two feet below us, just waiting to smash us to smithereens should this pilot, too, be a suicidal maniac hell-bent on destroying us all.

From this
2015-07-13-1436823171-1350438-IMG_0550.JPG

To this
2015-07-13-1436823297-4604178-IMG_0578.JPG

But no, he just happens to be a heavenly philanthropist giving us a free peek at what costs half a grand if you take a flight round the mountain from Denali National Park - and that's assuming you've lucked out on the weather.

It's a week after the Denali park visit and I'm on my way from Barrow in Alaska's Arctic Far North to Homer and the Aleutian Islands, but this segment fits in here thematically.

And this
2015-07-13-1436823477-3062426-IMG_0579.JPG

The weather again is superb, there's not a cloud in the sky, and the crumpled mass of the mountain's lesser neighbours falls away in a tormented landscape of pinnacles, precipices and ravines.

Let the photos speak for themselves.

2015-07-13-1436823569-59811-IMG_0577.JPG

2015-07-13-1436823751-1669926-IMG_0569.JPG

2015-07-13-1436823791-8740353-IMG_0570.JPG

2015-07-13-1436823848-8522559-IMG_0571.JPG

2015-07-13-1436823895-9821324-IMG_0572.JPG

2015-07-13-1436823937-5121142-IMG_0574.JPG

2015-07-13-1436824230-6138848-IMG_0575.JPG

2015-07-13-1436824274-9545539-IMG_0580.JPG

2015-07-13-1436824343-7499641-IMG_0583.JPG

2015-07-13-1436824385-9993768-IMG_0584.JPG

2015-07-13-1436824626-9259046-IMG_0585.JPG

2015-07-13-1436824681-8799321-IMG_0587.JPG

2015-07-13-1436824720-8555194-IMG_0589.JPG

2015-07-13-1436824810-5641789-IMG_0592.JPG

2015-07-13-1436826061-6201570-IMG_0595.JPG

2015-07-13-1436826109-3353422-IMG_0598.JPG

[Upcoming blog on Thursday: Grizzlies and other wildlife roaming Denali National Park]

______________
By the same author: Bussing The Amazon: On The Road With The Accidental Journalist, available with free excerpts on Kindle and in print version on Amazon.

Swimming With Fidel: The Toils Of An Accidental Journalist, available on Kindle, with free excerpts here, and in print version on Amazon in the U.S here.