Ascent Day – June 7, 1913

It was one o’clock when we got to the top. I was ahead all day and was the first ever to set foot on Mt. Denali.  – Walter Harper


June 7, 2013: THE FIRST ASCENT – One hundred years ago, Walter Harper, an Athabascan man from Interior Alaska, was the first person to stand on top of Denali, the tallest mountain in North America. He was joined by his teammates, Harry Karstens, Robert Tatum, and Hudson SAscent 23tuck.

I had made a flag and raised it. First of all after we all shook hands with congratulations, Arch deacon offered a prayer of thanks.  Then the instruments were read and I raised the flag and Arch d photographed it.  – Robert Tatum

These photos from Stuck’s Book “Ascent of Denali” are featured in our exhibit, Denali Legacy: 100 Years on the Mountain.Ascention Day

if it w[h]ere not the final climb I should have stayed in camp but being the final climb & such a promising day I managed to pull through I put Walter in lead an kept him there all day with never a change. – Harry Karstens

Also on display are the only remaining pick ax of the four constructed in Fairbanks for the climb (right), the flag made of bits of materials along the trail (above), the original climbing journals, and a thermometer used to record the minimum temperatures on the mountain.

I had no sensation in my feet at all until nearly noon: and even my lynx mitts could not keep my hands warm.  – Hudson Stuck


About University of Alaska Museum of the North

Tour the North. Explore the Museum. The University of Alaska Museum of the North is a thriving visitor attraction, a vital component of the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the only research and teaching museum in Alaska. The museum’s research collections – 1.4 million artifacts and specimens – represent millions of years of biological diversity and thousands of years of cultural traditions in the North. Museum members receive free admission to the exhibit galleries throughout the year. The Museum Store features items that relate to the museums collections, and all proceeds support the museum’s operations.
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