Team of African American climbers in 2013, part of Expedition Denali. Photo Credit: © Expedition Denali.

United States – Denali Expedition

On June 7, 1913, Walter Harper, Harry Karstens, Hudson Stuck, and Robert Tatum were credited with being the first men to reach the top of Mt. McKinley’s, now known as Denali.

To mark the 100th anniversary, a team of African Americans did a similar climb. Known as the Denali Expedition, they began on June 9, 2013, and climbed to 19,600 feet before turning back on June 27 due to inclement weather. While they didn’t reach the top (20,310 feet), the trip organized by the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) is deemed a success as the initial and subsequent coverage created awareness and encouraged Black and other minorities to pursue outdoor activities.


National Park Service. n.d. “Denali National Park.”