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Denali climb (6,190m) via West Buttress and Mandatory Prep. Course

Join a certified mountain guide for this unforgettable and truly sublime 25-day mountaineering expedition to the summit of Denali after attending a mandatory 5-day prep. course. Along the way, enjoy some incredible climbing and some of the best views available in all of North America.

Mountain RangeAlaska Range
Duration25 days
Offer periodMay, Jun, Jul
Skill LevelAdvanced
Fitness LevelExtremely Fit
Type of tripGroup


  • Conquer the tallest mountain in North America.

  • Enjoy high-quality ice and glacier climbing along the way.

  • Take in some of the best views on offer in all of North America.


Towering 20,320 feet above sea level, Denali, in the heart of the Alaska Range, is the tallest mountain in North America.

It’s difficult to appreciate how massive this peak really is. Many experienced climbers say that the final ascent on summit day is the toughest climb and day of their whole lives.

While Denali is not even among the 120 highest mountains on earth, it is the third most prominent. This means from base to summit, you gain more elevation (20,146 feet) than any other on earth, except for Everest and Aconcagua.

Denali is also one of the most isolated mountains on earth, meaning it dominates the landscape all around it and all the time you are gaining elevation on the trip will be on its slopes.

Considering the Denali trip will last about 25 days, that’s a whole lot of time on the mountain. Over the course of the trip, we will haul roughly 60 pounds of gear up to various camps, employing the “climb high sleep low” technique in order to appropriately climatize.

Because the Denali ascent is so challenging, we require you to attend a mandatory prep. course on Mount Rainier in order to prepare. This course will also serve you to prepare for other demanding ascents such as Mount Logan or the Vinson Massif, to name a few. It will take place over 5 days and will include:

  • Glac­i­er trav­el, steep snow and ice climb­ing to 50-degrees
  • Carrying loads of up to 50 – 60 lbs
  • Sus­tained expe­di­tion trav­el uti­liz­ing sleds
  • Back­coun­try winter camp­ing and cook­ing skills
  • Roped glac­i­er trav­el, rope team man­age­ment, route find­ing, and crevasse navigation, glaciol­o­gy, and crevassed ter­rain assessment
  • Team and indi­vid­ual self-arrest, crevasse res­cue tech­niques, and scenarios
  • Snow climb­ing, ice axe posi­tion­ing, and mov­ing in balance
  • Snow and ice anchor selec­tion, con­struc­tion, and equalization
  • Ice climb­ing, and cram­pon­ing techniques
  • Fixed-line ascension
  • Belay­ing, rap­pelling, and rope management
  • Nav­i­ga­tion using maps, com­pass­es, and altimeters
  • Haz­ard assess­ment
  • Prop­er cloth­ing and equip­ment for sur­vival in the glacial envi­ron­ment, moun­tain weath­er, alpine ecol­o­gy, effi­cient, and self-depen­dent climb­ing tech­niques, and Leave No Trace ethics.

Our Rainier training course runs from March to May, however, custom dates are also available upon request, so make sure to check with us in advance so that we can plan the perfect itinerary together.

Once the training is completed, we will tackle Denali. As we go, expect steep glacier travel and sustained periods of snow and ice climbing at grades of up to 50 degrees. Summit day will be 12-plus hours of grueling climbing in thin air and a precarious ascent and descent back to our high camp.

That being said, the trip is more than worth it. We’ll enjoy some quality climbing and views that can hardly be described. Don’t forget your camera! Without a doubt, the highlight of the trip will be numerous vistas out over the sublime Alaska backcountry.

So what are you waiting for? Book now for the adventure of a lifetime and come to the Alaskan backcountry to climb Denali in 25 days after a top-level training course that will serve you in all of your adventures!

If you like the look of this trip then we think you will also enjoy our climbing expedition to Mount Vinson, the tallest mountain on Antarctica!

Meeting point

Anchorage, Alaska




Day 1: Orinetation

We will meet at 10 am sharp to discuss the itinerary of the trip. Below is a rough outline of the trip, depending on a number of factors, our experienced guides may alter this itinerary to give you the best possible shot of summiting the mountain.

Day 2: Travel to Talkeetna

We will transfer to Talkeetna in the morning and register with the National Park Service, before flying to Kahiltna Glacier (7,200 feet). From here, we will set up base camp then go over some necessary winter mountaineering skills.

Day 3: Single carry to 7,8000 feet

We will drop down to Heartbreak Hill and haul our gear up the glacier to about 7,800 feet, where we will set up another camp.

Day 4: Haul loads to Kahiltna Pass

We will set up a third camp between 9,000 and 11,000 feet on Ski Hill before returning to our camp at 7,800 feet.

Day 5: Move everything to 11,200 foot camp

We will move all of our gear up to the 11,200 foot camp at the base of Motorcycle Hill.

Day 6: Back-carry day

We will hike back down to the Kahlitna Pass camp and move more gear to the 11,200 foot camp.

Day 7: Haul loads around Windy Corner

We will climb up Motorcycle Hill, ascending to 13,300 feet, enjoying great views from the top. We’ll get the first glimpses of Denali from here.

Day 8: Move camp to 14,200 feet

We will move all the gear to our 14,200 foot camp at Genet Basin. This is a pretty tough day as the air begins to get much thinner.

Day 9: Back-carry day

We will descend down to the Windy Corner camp and bring more gear up to the 14,200 foot camp.

Day 10: Climb up the Headwall to the ridge

We will bring gear up to the Headwall (the part of the route between 15,500 and 16,100 feet with fixed lines) before returning to the 14,200 foot camp. This is another strenuous day.

Day 11: Rest day

We will rest this day in preparation for heading to the high camp.

Day 12: Move to high camp

Depending on the weather, we will either ascend to 16,100 or 17,200 feet and set up our high camp. This is a very hard day, but full of incredible climbing and views too.

Day 13: Rest day

We will rest again today.

Day 14: Summit day

Depending on the weather, we will get up early and begin our ascent to the summit. This will first take us up to Denali Pass (18,000 feet) before we follow the route past Arch Deacon’s Tower and the Football Field to the slopes of Summit Ridge and then up to the true summit.

Day 15 to 16: Descent

From our high camp, we will pack up our gear and begin descending to our second camp (which was at 14,200 feet) and then heading down to the base. Depending on the weather, we will fly back to Talkeetna today.

Day 17 to 23: Extra days

Depending on the weather, we may have to stick around at a certain point of the trip for a couple of days. These days will give us the flexibility to do so.

Day 24 to 25: Return to Anchorage and departure

We will fly back to Anchorage where we will spend one last night in the city before you all return home.

Equipment you will need to bring




Ice Axe



Belay device


Water bottle

Other gear: Please contact us for a complete equipment list.

About the guide

guide profile img

For over 35 years, Mountain Madness has been bringing profound outdoor experiences to trekkers and mountaineers across the globe. We have built a strong foundation of skills and expertise, fueling our passion to impart our wisdom onto other like-minded explorers. Cultivating an enthusiasm for the
outdoors while helping you enjoy the journey and achieve your goals is a dream come true.

Our mission is to provide the best experience possible and to instill a passion for adventure. We value cultural exchange, take pride in facing physical and mental challenges head on, and strive to development wilderness skills that encourage self-discovery without compromising our environment.

Climbing, trekking, and skiing worldwide allows Mountain Madness to guide internationally. Our success and determination have given us worldwide acclaim and reignited our hunger – from Rainier and Baker to Kilimanjaro and Everest, no adventure is too big or too small.

Our guides have extensive training and are AMGA and/or IFMGA-certified guides. We enjoy assisting in all aspects of your trip, from the first conversation to the last goodbye. The collection of activities are endless, with alpinists, trekkers, explorers, mountaineers, and ski tourers on our team. To assist first time explorers and grizzled veterans in finding hidden, everyday wonder is our pleasure.

Deal opportunities

Join an existing group and pay much less

May 04, 2021 - May 27, 2021

USD 14118 per traveller

May 07, 2021 - May 30, 2021

USD 14118 per traveller

May 10, 2021 - Jun 02, 2021

USD 14118 per traveller

May 13, 2021 - Jun 05, 2021

USD 14118 per traveller

May 18, 2021 - Jun 10, 2021

USD 14118 per traveller

May 23, 2021 - Jun 15, 2021

USD 14118 per traveller

May 27, 2021 - Jun 19, 2021

USD 14118 per traveller

May 30, 2021 - Jun 22, 2021

USD 14118 per traveller

Jun 03, 2021 - Jun 26, 2021

USD 14118 per traveller

Jun 06, 2021 - Jun 29, 2021

USD 14118 per traveller

Jun 09, 2021 - Jul 02, 2021

USD 14118 per traveller

Jun 13, 2021 - Jul 06, 2021

USD 14118 per traveller

Jun 17, 2021 - Jul 10, 2021

USD 14118 per traveller

Jun 20, 2021 - Jul 13, 2021

USD 14118 per traveller

Jun 22, 2021 - Jul 15, 2021

USD 14118 per traveller

For booking assistance

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Prices per person

Group of 1

USD 14118 each

Group of 2

USD 14118 each

Group of 3

USD 14118 each

Group of 4

USD 14118 each

Group of 5

USD 14118 each

Group of 6

USD 14118 each

Group of 7

USD 14118 each

Group of 8

USD 14118 each

Want a different number of travellers?

Price includes

• Guiding fee

• Accommodation

• Transport during the trip

• Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Price details

• 5-day training course on Mount Rainier (including guiding fee, tents, meals, ground transportation, and group climbing equipment) + Denali guiding fee, accommodation, transport during the trip, meals (price for 6 climbers, 3 guides). Not included: Airfare to Anchorage, accommodation post-trip in Anchorage, accommodations in Talkeetna, personal camping / climbing equipment (beyond team tents / cookware), meals while staying in towns, all personal items, Denali National Park entrance and climber fees, gratuities for staff and guides.

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