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Research Report: Perceptions on Denali

Posted on: November 30th, 2009 by admin


Researcher Jon Kedrowski at Kahiltna base camp in 2009.

Jon Kedrowski from Texas State University spent more than a month on Denali this past season—including a trip to the summit via the West Buttress—in order to conduct a study entitled “Climbers’ Perceptions on McKinley: Crowding Concerns, Hazards, and Climber Demographics.” The researcher handed out written surveys to climbers at Kahiltna base camp, and the results are analyzed in a report that you can download at the AAC website.

One interesting finding was that climbers’ fears about climbing Denali changed while they were on the mountain. Fears of acute mountain sickness, HAPE, and dehydration were most prevalent before the climb, while high winds, not making it to the top, sunburn, and snow blindness were the biggest concerns of climbers after their expeditions. The survey also found that a substantial majority believed crowding on Denali remains within acceptable limits.

Kedrowski’s research was partially funded by an AAC Research Grant. (He received an AAC grant for a similar study on Mt. Rainier in 2008.) Each year, the AAC awards nearly $10,000 for scientific research projects within the scope of the club’s charter. Click here to learn more about these grants or to download an application.

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