Photos: a Denali summer ski vacation

Conrad Anker, Jon Krakauer, Jeremy Jones and a whole host of friends head to Denali. Why? Vacation.
By Brody Leven

Brody Leven just got back from a mountaineering all-stars trip to Denali, the highest peak in north America. In an exclusive story for he gives us the lowdown and shares the epic shots from the trip. Check out the feature story here and the gear he took here.

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Skinning again
Skinning again World Champion snowboarder, Ralph Backstom, skins up for a 9pm rest-day-lap above 14,200-foot camp. With 24-hour summer sunlight in Alaska, we left our headlamps at home. ©
Kiddie sleds? Gear haulers.
Kiddie sleds? Gear haulers. Kasha Rigby leads the team as they skin up the lower Kahiltna glacier. Conrad Anker, Brody Leven, and Jeremy Jones follow close behind. ©
Solo score
Solo score Possibly the only person to ski the West Buttress this summer, Brody Leven skis past more fixed lines (left), installed to aid climbers in a safe ascent/descent of the route. ©
Day or night
Day or night Brody Leven leads the team away from camp during the darkest hour of the day. Denali’s early morning shadow sits to the left of Mount Foraker. ©
Shrouds of clouds
Shrouds of clouds From the summit, the more precipitous side of its leading ridge shows the dangers that wait around every corner on Denali. In the distance, climbers—exhausted from 12 hours of motion – wonder if the summit sits too far away. ©
Dis-oriented Express
Dis-oriented Express Four team members summited a mere eight days after arriving on the glacier – a short time to acclimatize to the thin air. Robin Hill follows Brody Leven, Jeremy Jones, and Conrad Anker up the unpopular Orient Express route. ©
Dropping in
Dropping in To access base camp, the 14-person team flew onto the lower Kahiltna Glacier on a pair of DeHavilland Turbine Otters. It would take 5 days and 7,000 vertical feet (2133m) to reach their main camp at the base of the mountain’s climbing route. ©
Taking in the view
Taking in the view Three days after reaching the summit with Jeremy Jones, Conrad Anker, and Brody Leven, Robin Hill walks down the West Buttress. During a group ascent, the team was turned around at 18,600-foot (5,670m) “Zebra Rocks” by strong, cold winds. ©
Storm skiing
Storm skiing Kasha Rigby and Jacqui Edgerly reverse the ridge they just walked to the summit. High winds convinced them to store their skis on the other end of the summit ridge, from where they would descend. ©
Archdeacon ascent
Archdeacon ascent Kalen Caughey, Max Lowe, Rachel Pohl, and Conrad Anker near Archdeacon’s Tower at 19,400 feet (5,913m). On this attempt, a thunderstorm turned the team back less than 200 feet (61m) below the summit. ©
Ridge run
Ridge run New York Times Bestselling author and avid splitboarder, Jon Krakauer, nears 17,000 feet (5,181m) on the West Buttress. ©
Go pro, Brody. Go. Pro.
Go pro, Brody. Go. Pro. Brody Leven acclimatizes, six days after arriving at 7,200 feet (2,194m) on the lower glacier, by skiing the blue-ice filled Rescue Gully (on left). The couloir offered difficult, technical skiing from 17,000 feet (5181m). Other skiers chose to rappel the route. ©
Home is at 14,200 feet
Home is at 14,200 feet 3. Sunrise over camp 1 on day two of 21. After landing on the glacier at 9pm the previous night, the team members hiked on skis and snowboards through the night in order to cross crevasses when their snowbridges were frozen and supportable. They arrived at camp at 6am. ©
Roped up
Roped up Team members traveled with ropes connecting them, allowing a rescue in the event of a fall into a crevasse. Jeremy Jones, Max Lowe, Ralph Backstrom, and Kalen Caughey cross the lower glacier. ©
Down days
Down days Robin Hill, Max Lowe, KT Miller, and Brody Leven avoid boredom during a rest day on the summer solstice. A wide variety of camp chores normally kept everyone busy. ©
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