NOLS teams with NOVA on North America's Highest Summit
May 12, 2000 -- Producers of the highly acclaimed PBS television
program NOVA are climbing and filming on 20,320-foot Denali
in Alaska. NOLS is supplying equipment and expertise, including
instruction, to the team of climbers.
The medical adventure follows a team of doctors
who will study the body's ability to cope in subzero temperatures.
NOLS instructor, Colby
Coombs, and his wife, Caitlin Palmer, will teach classes
on crevasse rescue, glacier travel and other topics. Colby
and Caitlin are both Denali veterans, who have made multiple
ascents of the mountain.
NASA shuttle astronaut John
Grunsfeld a two-time NOLS alumnus, will
make his first attempt on the mountain during
the expedition. The team will meet up with
famed mountaineer Pete
Athans who will be on patrol from the
Denali base camp at 14,000 feet. Athans graduated
from a NOLS mountaineering course in 1974.
Set in the subarctic climate of Alaska, Denali,
or Mount McKinley, is among the coldest mountains
on the planet and has the highest base-to-summit
elevation of any mountain on Earth. Denali
has been the site of more cases of frostbite
and altitude-related sicknesses than any other
North American peak. The expedition will study
Two doctors, Peter Hackett and Howard Donner,
will operate a medical center at 14,000 feet
on the mountain while the others will attempt