Denali's Howl: The Deadliest Climbing Disaster on America's Wildest Peak (Paperback)
In 1967 at the height of summer, 12 men attempted a summit of Mt McKinley. Their climb coincided with a once-in-a-generation collision of storm fronts at the peak of the mountain. The majority of those 12 men would parish on the Mountain. Denali's Howl is written by Andy Hall, whose father was superintendent of Denali National Park in '67 and coordinated the rescue attempts for the 12 men. Hall not only excels at telling this harrowing tale, he also makes us feel connected to each climber's personal story, and the path that led them to this fateful climb. Denali's Howl is a riveting and satisfying read that will hold you in its icy grip until the final page.— Matt
Andy Hall, a journalist and son of the park superintendent at the time, was living in the park when the tragedy occurred and spent years tracking down rescuers, survivors, lost documents, and recordings of radio communications. In Denali’s Howl, Hall reveals the full story of the expedition in a powerful retelling that will mesmerize the climbing community as well as anyone interested in mega-storms and man’s sometimes deadly drive to challenge the forces of nature.
ANDY HALL grew up in the shadow of Denali. He is the former editor and publisher of Alaska magazine. He lives in Chugiak, Alaska.
“In this straightforward, balanced account of the greatest mountaineering disaster in Alaskan history, Andy Hall allows the full tragedy of that episode to emerge. In resisting the facile urge to lay blame, his narrative captures with gripping immediacy the intersection of seemingly small human decisions with one of the most powerful storms ever to descend on Denali. As one who was climbing elsewhere in the Alaska Range at the time, I had long pondered just how the catastrophe came to pass. Thanks to Hall, I understand it better than ever before.”
—David Roberts, author of The Mountain of My Fear and Alone on the Ice
“A haunting, meticulously-researched account of twelve men’s encounter with the awesome fury of nature.”
—Amanda Padoan, author of Buried in the Sky: The Extraordinary Story of the Sherpa Climbers on K’s Deadliest Day
“Twelve men went up the slopes of North America's highest mountain in the summer of 1967. Only five made it back. The ill-fated Wilcox expedition to Denali finds an able chronicler in Andy Hall's gripping account of mountain majesty, mountain gloom, and human doom.”
—Maurice Isserman, co-author of Fallen Giants: Himalayan Mountaineering from the Age of Empire to the Age of Extremes
“One of those couldn’t-put-it-down books! This harrowing story of a more than 40-year-old mountaineering tragedy is raw and immediate as it marches relentlessly towards the final, devastating end.”
—Bernadette McDonald, author of Freedom Climbers