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A career in theology can be very exciting and lead in all sorts of unexpected directions. Read on...
Today is the centennial anniversary of the first succesful climb up Mount McKinley, which as you know is in Alaska, and the highest point on the American continent at 20,320 feet. Over half of it is covered by permanent snow fields.
On June 7, 1913, Hudson Stuck, an Alaskan Missionary, became the first to climb Mount McKinley.
Hudson Stuck was born in London in 1863. After moving to the US, he became archdeacon of the Episcopal Church in Yukon in 1905. He was an admirer of Native Indian culture, and traveled Alaska’s difficult terrain to preach to villagers and establish schools. He was also an accomplished amateur mountaineer.
In March 1913, the adventure-seeking Stuck left Fairbanks for Mount Kinley with three companions: Harry Karstens, the co-leader of the expedition, Walter Harper whose mother was a Native Indian, and Robert Tatum, a theology student. At any time a difficult journey, it was made worse by bad weather and a fire that destroyed food and supplies at their camp. However, the group persevered. On June 7, they reached the summit of Mount McKinley.
Hudson Stuck died in Alaska in 1920.
Mount McKinley National Park was established as a wildlife refuge in 1917. Harry Karsten (the expedition co-leader) served as the park’s first superintendent.
In 1980, the park was expanded and renamed Denaly National Park and Preserve, Denali being the original Athabascan Indian name of this mountain, and meaning “The High One”. At 6 million acres, the park is larger than the state of Massachusetts.
Today, over 1,000 climbers attempt to scale Mt. McKinley every year, and about half of them succeed in reaching the top.
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