A few days ago, American mountaineer and skier Chantel Astorga climbed the Cassin ridge in Denali at high speed!
In July 1961, an Italian expedition led by Ricardo Cassin opened a new route on the Denali. The highest peak in North America, located in Alaska, and formerly known as Mount McKinley. Since that time, this route has been known as the Cassin Ridge. A route that the pioneers had climbed and come down in just 4 weeks. It was not until 6 years later that the second ascent was made, by the Japanese. On this occasion, the Japanese expedition offers a variation of the original route by swapping the rocky part of the start for a corridor of snow and ice now known as the Japanese Couloir. The rest of the ascent rejoins the route initially taken by Cassin and his group.
Chantel Astorga solo on the Denali
On June 14, Chantel Astorga tackled this path, alone. Skis on her back, she did not only manage this climb on her own. She also achieved a very respectable time with a rise of 14h39min! She then went down on skis via another route.
Astorga knows Denali well, having made several climbs there. We especially remember the first female of the Slovak Direct, a particularly difficult route.
Illustration © DR