History of Alaska

By | September 23, 2022

According to ablogtophone, Alaska is by far the largest state in the US. The state has an area of ​​1,481,347 km² and is nicknamed The Last Frontier which means The Last Frontier. America ‘s largest state is also the most sparsely populated. On average there are about 0.42 inhabitants per km². The capital of Alaska is Juneau.

According to bestitude, America bought Alaska from Russia on April 9, 1867 for $7,200,072. The official handover took place on October 18 that year. Since then, every year on that date, Alaska has been celebrated as Alaska Day. It later turned out that the amount America paid for the state was a pittance. Alaska is home to resources such as gold, coal and oil and was therefore well worth its money. Several historians believe that the Cold War would have been very different if Russia had still owned Alaska at that time, because that country would have had a strategic bridgehead in North America.

Alaska Flag

Eskimos

It is known that about 12,000 years ago Alaska was inhabited by Eskimo peoples such as the Yupik and the Inuit. Several Indian tribes also settled in the area. Europeans are known to first set foot on Alaska in 1741. The Danish-Russian explorer Vitus Bering. During this expedition, Bering set foot on Kayak Island, an island off the coast of Alaska. The explorer died during this expedition on another Alaskan island that was subsequently named after him: Bering Island. The sea between Russia and Alaska, the Bering Strait, was also later named after him.

Mount McKinley Ice Queen

In the north of the North American continent, in the Alaskan Mountains, lies a huge mountain massif, Mount McKinley, formed by snow. At 6,194 meters above sea level, it is the highest peak in North America and attracts climbers from all over the world.

Mount McKinley is located in Alaska’s Denali National Park, which covers an incredible 25,000 square miles. The massif dominates the horizon of South Cook Bay, which is about 322 km away. The mountain itself is increasingly called by its original native name Denali, which means “Great” in the language of the Athabaskan Indian tribe. The distinctive Mount McKinley peak dominates among other Alaskan peaks, which reach altitudes of “only” 3600 to 5300 meters.

The Denali massif consists of five huge glaciers Peters Glacier, Muldrow Glacier, Traleika Glacier, Ruth Glacier and Kahiltna Glacier, as well as huge ridges and countless waterfalls. Nevertheless, the ascent to the top does not involve any difficult technical climbing. However, it is necessary to beware of unpredictable changes in the weather, which have ruined many human lives.

There are some of the worst climatic conditions on earth, in winter the temperature drops calmly to -35 ° C and the famous storms reach speeds of over 240 km / h. The mountain is also considered the coldest peak on the planet, located “only” 288 km from the Arctic Circle. During the climbing season, ie in May and June, when there is never a real darkness on Denali, around a thousand climbers are trying to conquer the summit. However, the vast majority of them will not be able to reach the top due to insufficient acclimatization or unfavorable weather.

Climbers usually spend 3 weeks trying to climb the mountains. Of course, they also bring equipment and food with them, so their backpacks can weigh up to 60 kg. The most frequently chosen route is the ascent through Kahiltna Pass at an altitude of 3146 meters above sea level. From May to July, a ranger station is available for climbers in the base camp, where they can turn for help if necessary. However, as more and more tourists who do not have experience with alpine tourism and overestimate their strength go to the mountains, a helicopter must be used more and more during rescue operations. Perhaps the most tragic way in the history of the Mount McKinley ascents was 1992, when 11 people died there.

The first documented ascent was taken care of in 1910 by a group of Alaskan gold diggers from Fairbanks. The idea of climbing Mount McKinley was born in their heads, other than in a pub, when they were slightly drunk. They made bets, and the four daredevils set out on an expedition that went down in the mountain’s history as the Sourdough Party. They climbed the mountain from its northern side, which seemed closest to them, but they did not know that everything was different.

The expedition eventually lasted several months, but had a happy ending. A 12-meter spruce log with a flag was erected at the northern peak. But what was the disappointment of the gold diggers when they returned to Fairbanks and found that the log was not visible at all. In addition, a little higher is the southern peak of the mountain, where another climbing expedition stood on June 7, 1913. At least she confirmed that there was really a flagpole at the northern tip.

The mountain was renamed Mount McKinley after the 25th President of the United States, William McKinley, in 1897. In 1917, the area around the mountain was declared Mount McKinley National Park. Charles Shelton from New York, who was literally enchanted by the local landscape, was largely responsible for creating the park. And no wonder, this northern nature is very diverse, a large amount of game is concentrated here and we also find a unique flora. Although Shelton sought to have the area renamed Denali, it failed. It was not until 1980 that, thanks to the Alaska National Interest Act and the preservation of the country, the reservation increased and the original Indian name Denali National Park and Preserve was restored.

Once the park was opened to the public, the first nature-hungry visitors had to make their way through the wilderness either on foot or on horseback. In 1923, the Seward-Anchorage-Fairbanks Railway was put into operation. The park did not experience a tourist boom in the true sense of the word until the 1970s, when the George Parks Highway was completed, making it easier to travel through the park between cities. Today, around half a million visitors come here every season and they are still growing.