Denali Mountaineering - Alumni

Credit: Dale Lescher

Denali Mountaineering - Alumni

  • Climb the tallest peak in North America with fellow NOLS climbers
  • Take the road less traveled for a remote experience on the mountain
  • Experience an extended expedition

The highest peak in North America—known as Denali or “Great One” by Alaska Natives—is the site for this expedition designed for qualified NOLS graduates. Denali offers extremely challenging glacier travel and some of the most difficult weather in the world, so this course is one of the most demanding NOLS offers, both physically and mentally. During the course you’ll attempt to climb the Muldrow Glacier route on the north side of the mountain. 

The expedition begins with several days of tundra hiking followed by navigating up the lower expanses of the Muldrow Glacier. After a resupply at McGonagall Pass, you’ll continue up the Muldrow, encountering crevasses and deep snow, and ascend the dramatic Karsten’s Ridge to the Harper Glacier. There you’ll establish high camp at approximately 17,000 feet, from which you’ll attempt the 20,320-foot summit. This route has a remote wilderness flavor that is not found on the more frequented routes up the mountain.

For qualified alumni only.

See Frequently Asked Questions

  • The initial application deadline for Denali Mountaineering 2019 is December 1, 2018.
  • Applicants who meet the initial deadline will be notified by December 31, 2018
  • Applications received after December 1 will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Qualified applicants will be offered space if available or placed on a wait list.

Activity Rating:

 Heavy packs and sleds, high altitude, harsh conditions, and a short summit window make for a challenging expedition.



2020 Dates

June 6 – July 9, 2020

Tuition: $9,350
1 space remains Apply now


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Equipment Deposit



34 days

Minimum Age

18 yrs.

Academic Credit

6 College Credits
  • 2 Skills Practicum
  • 2 Risk Assessment
  • 2 Environmental Studies

1.50 High School Credits

  • 1.00 Leadership
  • 0.50 Physical Education
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Course Description

Equipment List

Travel and Logistics


Palmer, Alaska

Fly in/out

Anchorage, Alaska

Skills learned


Additional Details

  • For qualified alumni only

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What Our Grads Say

"Denali mountaineering is quite different than a regular NOLS course; the one objective is to summit Denali, from there we set and achieve goals one day a time; moving slowly from the beautiful tundra up to the alpine environment. This is when active fellowship becomes the key factor of an expedition. Climbing Denali through the Muldrow route was more than summiting the mountain, it was a journey through the timeless landscape of Alaska, to feel, to observe and to be part of this moving apex of the North America continent. If you are willing to make the effort, the reward is tremendous."


If you have questions about enrollment or including families/guests on a particular alumni trip, then contact:

NOLS Alumni Department

Other Alumni Courses