I’ve always wanted to go to the summit of Mt. Mckinley. Thanks to an invitation by Princess Cruises to participate in a Twitter Press trip to Alaska, I got to check another item off my Bucket List! Shortly after we settled into the Denali Princess Lodge, we took a short ride to the airfield where several of the Twitteratti and our escorts from Princess Cruises boarded a 1966 Beaver Plane.
Once buckled in we took off and headed towards the summit! For most of the flight everyone was quiet, taking in the beauty of the scenery. It was almost a spiritual experience. The views were spectacular as the landscape changed from green rolling hills to snow and ice covered mountains.
Though Mt. Everest is the highest point on earth, Mount McKinley‘s vertical rise is nearly 6000 feet higher than Mount Everest from base to summit (Everest sits on the Tibetan Plateau which is17,000 feet above sea level to begin with. The closer we got to the summit, the thinner the air had become and our flight had become much bumpier as we encountered strong winds coming around the mountain. At times it felt like we were on a roller coaster – a bit scary but exhilarating at the same time.
I was particularly appreciative that our Pilot circled the summit a couple of times, but in different directions, so as to allow people on either side of the plane to get a good look and snap some photos. Following some photos from this most bucket list worthy adventure!
At one point it looked as though we were going to fly right into the mountain. Someone asked the pilot, “shouldn’t you like be turning or something about now?” The pilot replied “Naw, we’re still about five miles away.”
Here we are pictured with Canada’s Adventure Couple, the famous Dave & Deb, along with Karen, Nicole, and Guy (from Princess Cruises) and of course our pilot, Jim Andie (we kinda needed him.)
After we landed, I got to interview Jim Andie, a man who has traveled all over the world and is living his bucket list. When asked where he’d like to go, Jim said, “anywhere I haven’t been.” Man, I LOVE that!!
Do any of your Bucket List items include flying in a small airplane?