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Mount Mc. Kinley
Mount Mc. Kinley is the highest mountain peak in North America and in the United States, with a summit elevation of 20, 320 feet (6, 194 m) above sea level. It is the third most prominent peak in the world after Mount Everest and Aconcagua. Mount Mc. Kinley is situated in Alaska and it is the centerpiece of Denali National Park.
Mount Mc. Kinley has two significant summits: the South Summit is the higher one, while the North Summit has an elevation of 19, 470 feet (5, 934 m).
The Koyukon Athabaskan people who inhabit the area around the mountain referred to the peak as Dinale or Denali («the high one» or «the great one»). In the late 1890 s, a gold prospector named it «Mc. Kinley» as political support for then-president William Mc. Kinley.
The first recorded attempt to climb Mount Mc. Kinley was by Judge James Wickersham in 1903, via the Peters Glacier and the North Face, now known as the Wickersham Wall. This route has tremendous avalanche danger and was not successfully climbed until 1963.
Famed explorer Dr. Frederick Cook claimed the first ascent of the mountain in 1906. His claim was regarded with some suspicion from the start, but was also widely believed. It was later proved false, with some crucial evidence provided by Bradford Washburn when he was sketched on a lower peak.
The first ascent of the main summit of Mc. Kinley came on June 7, 1913, by a party led by Hudson Stuck and Harry Karstens. The first man to reach the summit was Walter Harper, an Alaska Native. Robert Tatum also made the summit. Tatum later commented, «The view from the top of Mount Mc. Kinley is like looking out the windows of Heaven!»
The temperature is very low. Even in July, temperatures as low as − 22. 9 °F (− 30. 5 °C) and windchills as low as − 59. 2 °F (− 50. 7 °C).