The seven summits, the highest peaks of the 7 continents: Everest, Aconcagua, Denali, Kilimanjaro, Elbrus, Vinson, Carstensz! Trips, Statistics & information!
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Denali Books

Useful books to help prepare for your Denali expedition


Recommended reading:

See the 7summits books page: Reading the Denali books and the instruction books such as Mountaineering: the freedom of the hills will prepare you for the Denali trip. Below are some direct links to the most important books.


Kilimanjaro, Africa, one of the 7 summits! / The seven summits!

Some are guidebooks, some are read some of both before you try it!

Denail pocket Guide book by Harry Kikstra Denali, Summit of North America,

by Harry Kikstra (

At 6194 m (20,320 ft) Denali (Mt McKinley) is the highest mountain in North America. Its arctic latitude makes for extreme weather conditions and its remote location in the Alaskan wilderness means that climbing teams must be self-reliant and experienced. The book focuses on the West Buttress route used by 80-90% of climbers.

The pocket-sized guidebook provides all you need to plan and enjoy your summit attempt:

* concise advice about preparation and planning
* how to prevent and manage altitude sickness
* practical tips on load-carrying and, glacier travel and camping
* an extensive gearlist and advice on the use of sleds
* fold-out map showing the West Buttress route
* step-by-step description of the route and campsites
* 96 waterproof pages with open-flat binding
* in full colour, with over 60 photographs, some of them full page.

It is the same size as the Aconcagua pocket guide and fits in most pockets, being only 115grams/4oz and 14.5 x 11.5 x 0.8cm in size (5.7 x 4.5 x 0.3 inch). It can handle the snow you will meet on Denali without weakening the pages.

See the Denali Guidebook page for more info here.

Denali's West Buttress: A Climber's Guide to Mount McKinley's Classic Route By Colby Combs, photography by Bradford Washburn; the ultimate guide to the normal Route! Before, during and after climbing the West Buttress (normal) route, this was my bible. Don't leave home without it!

(5 out of 5 starsrating at Amazon)

Denali Climbing Guide  by R. J. Secor contains all the possible Denali routes you can think of, with some general info, For experienced Denali climbers who want more than the West Buttress. Contains B&W photos and  sketches. 

From Amazon (4.5 out of 5 starsrating):

Mount McKinley: The Conquest of Denali
by Bradford Washburn & David Roberts, (4.5 out of 5 starsrating at Amazon.)

 I met Brad Washburn last year in Boston (93 years old) and he is still going strong. This book contains some of the best mountain photographs ever made and deserves a reserved spot on you coffee table! In between the pictures is the story about climbing Denali, but every time I wanted to read it, I got caught up in the pix...

Minus 148 Degrees: The First Winter Ascent of Mt. McKinley
by Art Davidson 

This book makes you think twice before saying the words 'Winter' & 'Denali' in one sentence...

Amazing story of courage and survival, but also a good reminder of Denali's power and therefore also a good read before you decide on a 'summer climb'.

In the Shadow of Denali: Life and Death on Alaska's Mount McKinley
by Jonathan Waterman

Amazon 5 out of 5 starsrating, have not read it yet, but the reviewers comments made me put it in my shopping basket just now... more later

Mountaineering : The Freedom of the Hills by Don Graydon (Editor), Kurt Hanson (Editor), MountaineersSociety

Everything you need! This updated 7th edition of the mountaineering classic is an essential reference for novices and experts alike. Chapters are devoted to in-depth discussions of outdoors fundamentals; climbing techniques for rock, snow, and ice; safety procedures and emergency response; geology and weather; and appendices for climb ratings and supplementary reading, among other topics. Detailed sections on navigation, ropes, knots, and protection include drawings, diagrams, and maps. Enjoy the freedom of the hills to the fullest with this thorough guide.

More than 500,000 copies sold in previous editions
Written by a team of more than 40 experts
Fully revised to reflect evolution in mountaineering equipment and technique
Expanded Ten Essentials list
All 415 illustrations updated and redrawn
New chapters on: waterfall ice climbing and mixed climbing, physical conditioning, access and land stewardship, and much more
Now includes a glossary of climbing terms
Paperback - 528 pages 7th Rev edition (Sept 2003)4.9 out of 5 stars
 Dimensions (in inches): 1.47 x 9.03 x 7.29

To the Top of Denali: Climbing Adventures on North America's Highest Peak
by Bill Sherwonit.  (Amazon rating4 out of 5 stars)

This is more a fact book than an adventure book. If you want to know ,more about Denali than just stories or want to write your own story or essay, this is your book.

Atlas & outdoor recreation guide to Alaska
This is the only collection of detailed topographic maps covering all of Alaska! When you want to drive the Alaska highway or do some hikes, you will need maps like these.
In Denali: A Photographic Essay of Denali National Park & Preserve, Alaska
by Kim Heacox No reviews available, but it is really hard to not make nice pictures in this area, so it's probably worth it ;-}
Mount McKinley: Icy Crown of North America
by Fred Beckey
No pix, no review High Alaska: A Historical Guide to Denali, Mount Foraker, and Mount Hunter
by Jonathan Waterman (pictures by Bradford Washburn)
No pix, no review Surviving Denali: A Study of Accidents on Mount McKinley 1903-1990
by Jonathan Waterman
Facing the Extreme: One Woman's Story of True Courage, Death-Defying Survival, and Her Quest for the Summit
by Ruth Ann Kocour and Michael Hodgson Amazon review:3 out of 5 stars

I must say this book disappointed me as well, it seems that mrs Kocour might have been the most experienced in her (commercial) group, but that does not make her the expert that should write a book like this about a Denali storm... Sometimes arrogant, but the again also a reminder of possible Denali danger. Would borrow this book instead of buying it...

No pix, no review Mt. McKinley: The Pioneer Climbs
by Terris Moore 
No pix, no review To the Top of the Continent
by Frederick A. Cook 90th (from Amazon:)"Anniversary reprint edition of Cook's account of the first ascent of Mt. McKinley in 1906. The first to circumnavagate McKinley in 1903, Cook's claim would later be rejected by many, but in 1994 an expedition followed his route and determined that he had been where he described in his 1907 first edition. Contributions and maps by the 1994 Ruth Glacier Expedition and new photos along with the first publication of Cook's diary and index."