This spring Eddie Bauer superguide Dave Hahn reached the top of Mt. Everest for a record 15th time and 12th successful summit in a row. It’s an impressive stat but Hahn is more than just a one-mountain man. His personal summit record includes 31 summits of Mt. Vinson, more than 270 summits of Mt. Rainier and, now, a stunning 21 successful climbs out of 30 attempts on 20,320-foot Denali, the tallest peak in North America. Back safe from another successful climbing season with RMI in Alaska, Hahn shared his images and perspective with us from another successful season guiding America’s tallest peak on the way to his 21st summit of Denali. -LYA Editor
Images and Captions by Dave Hahn
Climbing team on the lower Kahiltna Glacier, Mount Frances provides the backdrop.
RMI guide Zebulon Blaise leading a rope team to 17,000 feet on the West Buttress of Denali with Mount Foraker in the distance.
Midnight view of Mount Foraker from our 17, 200-foot high camp. This was our night before the summit bid and I was up melting snow to fill water bottles. The sun was getting down into a layer of forest fire smoke, producing wild colors.
The midnight sun from 17,200 feet, finding its way into the forest-fire smoke layer.
The side of things that we never get to see until reaching Denali’s summit ridge. Mt. Huntington is hiding far below in clouds between the Ruth Glacier and the Tokasitna.
My rope team starting out along the summit ridge, at 20,120 feet and on the way to 20,320 feet, on July 13.
Zeb Blaise approaching the summit at 6:40 PM. The point we started 17 days earlier is visible at the left center margin of the picture.
Denali summit ridge with Mount Foraker in the distance.
Last RMI Denali team of 2013, successful (All RMI Denali teams were successful this season, which is not unprecedented… but sure is sweet). We spent an hour on the summit. It was that nice.
K2 Aviation “Otter” on Skis with Mount Hunter behind. This was our starting point for the trip, just over 7200 feet on the SE Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier, June 27.
Neighboring team descending from 11,000-foot camp while we were on the ascent.
Around 12,000 feett, going up “Squirrel Hill” on a carry to Windy Corner.
12,000 feet…Team reaching the “Polo Field” with the end of the West Buttress looming overhead.
Camp at 14,200 feet in Genet Basin.
My team resting at 16,200 feet on the West Buttress having just completed a “carry” up the fixed rope section. We then descended to 14,200 feet to rest and wait for good weather (which took a while to come).
The purple jacket. I was given a couple of EB FA prototypes to test out on Denali. I was happy to put them through their paces as they were obviously great jackets. My test instructions said, in big letters “IGNORE THE COLORS” since prototypes are built a piece or two at a time and their colors aren’t terribly relevant to the things we test. Being color-blind, I followed my instructions to the letter. My fellow Denali climbers hadn’t gotten the memo. Very little about my ensemble was ignored.
Sun setting behind the West Buttress from 14 Camp.
Cloud Cap and shadows on the South Peak of Denali from 14K. Messner Couloir in the center of the pic.
Starting up the “Autobahn” on summit day.
Zeb at Zebra Rocks, around 18,800 ft on summit day.
Approaching 19,000 ft on summit day in perfect conditions.
Descending from the summit… almost back to high camp at 11:30 PM. Foraker in the distance.
Descent the day after topping out. 16,600-foot vantage just below Washburn’s Thumb on the West Buttress.
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