Record number of McKinley ascents for 2013 climbing season

Mt. McKinley, “Denali” to Alaskans, seen from an Alaska Airlines flight between Fairbanks and Anchorage. Photo by Rosemarie Alexander / KTOO

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – A record number of climbers reached North America’s highest peak this season.

The National Park Service says 787, or 68 percent,  of the 1,151 registered climbers reached the summit of Mount McKinley this year.

The number of climbers to reach the summit has topped 700 in only four other years.

A spokeswoman for Denali National Park and Preserve says good weather is the major factor in  a strong summit year. She says May and June saw “long stretches of warm temperatures, clear skies and mild winds.”

This year marked the 100th anniversary of the first ascent of the mountain’s 20,320-foot south summit.

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