Chasing Denali: The Sourdoughs, Cheechakos and fraud behind the most unbelievable feat in mountaineering.
Chasing Denali: The Sourdoughs, Cheechakos and fraud behind the most unbelievable feat in mountaineering.
Chasing Denali: The Sourdoughs, Cheechakos and fraud behind the most unbelievable feat in mountaineering.
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Chasing Denali: The Sourdoughs, Cheechakos and fraud behind the most unbelievable feat in mountaineering.

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The history of mountaineering began on Denali with the legendary story of four gold miners (called “Sourdoughs” because they carried sourdough starter with them at all times) who claimed to have summited after climbing more than 8,000 feet of steep snow and ice, then descended—all in a single and incredibly dangerous day in 1910. Lugging a 25-pound, 14-foot flagpole to mark their success, they took on North America’s highest peak using sheet metal crampons, coal shovels, hatchets, and pike poles to balance their way up the mountain. Was the expedition a success or a hoax? Long inspired by these Sourdoughs, Denali expert Jon Waterman chases the truth during his one final climb of the mountain and a scholarly solving of a colorful mountaineering mystery.