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Denali 2020

Original Post
Ben Murphy · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2018 · Points: 0

Hello all, my name is Ben Murphy and I am looking to form a group to summit Denali in 2020. Currently I have one prior climbing partner friend of mine who looks like he is probably going to join me but not sure yet. My plans are to do this sometime in either mid-late May or late May and early June in 2020. I do have flexibility in my schedule so I can work around what works for others and what we decide on. I am planning the West Buttress route but am open to discussing the upper West Rib as an option. My primary goal is to summit and return safely. I would like to plan on a trip somewhere in the 14-21 day range and plan on it being shorter if weather permits. I have been considering making the summit attempt from Basin camp at 14.2K and we can discuss this as a group. I am open to discussion about our specific plans and the duration of the trip.

Now a little about myself and my experience. I am a highpointer and this will be my last Highpoint except for my home state of South Carolina, so I have been thinking about this trip for some time now. I have been up mt. Hood, mt. Borah, mt. Rainier via Emmons Winthrop, majority of the way up Gannett peak (bad weather), Pico De Orizaba. On Pico De Orizaba (elevation 18,500) I had little trouble with the altitude and camped at the hut at 14,000 without issue. I have also been on many other climbs and have been in very inclement weather before, although I haven’t done something quite as cold as Denali yet. I still have multiple trips planned up until this including Gannet peak in August, Granite peak in September, and TBD in the winter which will include more experience snow camping. I also keep in excellent physical condition. I have run many ultra marathons up to 100 miles and have done multiple Ironmans including a double Ironman. I train regularly through going to the gym, weightlifting, heavy backpack carrying, stair training, tire dragging, and running. I am looking for fit and motivated individuals who can carry their weight (figuratively but wouldn’t mind literally either!). Additionally I am a physician and am trained in altitude medicine.

Let me know if you are interested or have any questions, I look forward to finding some more reliable teammates. My email is

-Ben Murphy

Jonathan S · · Golden, CO · Joined Sep 2009 · Points: 100

I'm potentially interested. I'll send an email.

Dan Koepke · · Anchorage, AK · Joined Apr 2019 · Points: 140

Hi Ben & Jonathan, I want to introduce my Anchorage-based mountaineering company, Alaskan International Mountaineering & Adventure (, that helps unguided climbers like you with essential logistics for Denali including rental equipment, transportation to/from Talkeetna, expedition food packages, & more.

If you would like, perhaps I could help by trying to connect you with other unguided clients and teams who will start around May or June.  In addition, I also teach climbers how to prepare for climbing Denali on a solo permit and I have summited like this myself - that may be a game-changing option for you too, especially if you join another team.  

Solid background and OP about Denali.  Might send an email too.  Just wanted to reach out in case you or any other Denali 2020 mountaineers might be interested in some local help!

Dan Koepke
Anchorage, Alaska

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Extended Trips and International Partners
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