Though many have tried to capture the majesty of McKinley in painting, print and photograph throughout the decades, there is nothing that can match the experience of seeing the magnificence of North America’s highest mountain with your own eyes. And while one may have taken a winding journey through the great Alaska Range to witness it – and been greeted with remarkable vistas around every corner – there is simply no good argument that could be made that would dismiss this as ‘just another mountain’.
Emerging from the glacial blue haze that lies blanket-like across the national park it calls home, the arresting alp ascends for a whopping 20,237 feet, until its snow-capped top finally stops. It is so extraordinarily huge it even creates its own localised weather, forcing temperatures within range to take a nosedive into sub-zero zones.
It owes its common name – after a series of native monikers which all make reference to its magnitude – to a former president of the United States; one who succeeded in leading the country to triumph in the Spanish-American war, no less. To locals, however, it is simply known as Denali – ‘The Great One’.