2020 season climbing permits for Denali and Mount Foraker suspended

Mount Denali at Denali National Park Alaska, Photo Date: June 29, 2010 / Photo: Ken Conger / NPS / (MGN)

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - The Denali National Park and Preserve will not be issuing climbing permits for Denali and Mount Foraker for the 2020 Season.

In a news release, officials say because of coronavirus concerns and the promotion of social distancing and other health protocols, they think it’s in the best interest of everyone to suspend permits.

“The health and safety of the climbing community, including park visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners is our number one priority. High alpine mountaineering typically requires transport in small aircraft and shared tents, climbing equipment, and other camp infrastructure. In light of these and other factors, such as the difficulty maintaining recommended hygiene protocols in a mountain environment, park officials have determined it is not feasible to adequately protect the health of mountaineering rangers, other emergency responders, pilots, and the climbing public at this time,” according to a release.

So far no permits have been issued for the 2020 season.

All mountaineers currently registered to climb Denali or Mount Foraker will be entitled to a refund of their 2020 mountaineering special use fee and park entrance fee.

Traditionally, the Denali and Mount Foraker climbing season typically begins in late April and ends in mid-July, however, most teams begin their expeditions in May and early June.

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