White House announces Mt. McKinley to be officially renamed Denali

Alaska's Denali, North America's highest peak.

Alaska’s Denali, North America’s highest peak.

It was a move that was not only a long time in coming, but also somewhat of a no-brainer. On Sunday, the White House announced that Mt. McKinley, North America’s highest peak, would be renamed Denali, an Athabaskan word for “the High One.”

The Obama Administration says this is within the powers of the U.S. Department of the Interior, and that it was time to give the mountain’s name to the native people who knew the peak as Denali well before the United States was even a country.

I’m sure there will be some sort of political backlash. First, because President Barack Obama made it happen (one congressman is already calling it “constitutional overreach”). But second, because there is some historical resistance to officially giving the mountain its original name.

Ohio politicians have long fought the name-change. The mountain was named after William McKinley, a former U.S. president who is from the Buckeye State.

But Alaskans have been working on a change for some time now. Their contention is that most people in Alaska know the mountain as “Denali,” and that McKinley had no ties to Alaska or its highest mountain whatsoever.

The mountain is located in Denali National Park, and any federal employee associated with with the mountain calls it Denali. So do the mountaineers who climb it. And just about anyone else.

Aside from ruffling a few feathers in Ohio, the only inconvenience I see is having to change the name on new maps of Alaska, Denali National Park, and maps of the U.S. and North America.

We give a lot of respect and deference to our dead presidents. But in this case, it seems to desires of the living (as well as Alaskans from many generations back) deserve the name more.

So Denali it is. Finally.

— Bob Doucette

The Weekly Stoke: Exploring the Yukon, Mount Everest bypass, long run advice and getting paid for biking to work


Greetings to spring breakers and parents of spring breakers! May your week be filled with either sun-kissed beaches or fresh powder. For the rest of us, well, all of that sounds good to me! So let’s get on with the Weekly Stoke…

A woman pulled the ultimate “disappearing act,” then joined the search party that was, well, looking for her. All of this occurred accidentally, of course.

Authorities in Nepal are marketing other high peaks to ease congestion on Mount Everest.

Need some advice on how to tackle your long training runs? This blogger has some good ideas.

This is some good storytelling on exploring the Yukon River.

First of two from Outside Magazine: Some advice on how to balance family life, ultra training and cross training in your life.

And lastly: In some European countries, you can get paid by the kilometer for the mileage you rack up on the daily commute — as long as your commuter vehicle is a bike.

The Weekly Stoke: BASE jumping Mt. Everest, trail running tips, reality TV in Alaska and living simply and in style

Mount Everest. (Wikipedia Commons photo)

Mount Everest. (Wikipedia Commons photo)

Winter won’t let go, but that’s OK. No reason not to get out there and get after it. With that in mind, here are a few stories to get you in the mood for tackling the next big challenge. Let’s do the Weekly Stoke!

Joby Ogwyn has an audacious plan. Part of it involves climbing Mount Everest. The other part: jumping off the summit and flying to base camp in a wingsuit.

A new trend that marries travel and fitness is emerging in cities across the globe: Sight running.

One of two from the Adventure Journal today: A writer looks at the impact reality television is having in Alaska.

Thinking about running your first trail half marathon? Be warned, it ain’t anything like a road race. Here are some tips on how to prepare.

This writer looks at the life of a friend who hasn’t lost perspective on the fact that life should be enjoyed.

And finally, there’s this second offer from AJ: An essay on living simply, being interesting, and doing it in style.

The Weekly Stoke: Adventure in Afghanistan, Grand Canyon goals, Chris McCandless photos and uncommon courage on Mount Everest

The Grand Canyon. (wikipedia commons photo)

The Grand Canyon. (wikipedia commons photo)

Thanksgiving and a big race got in my way a bit lately. But the Weekly Stoke is back! And at a great time. Yesterday was this blog’s second anniversary. I’ll get into more of that at another time, but for now, let’s celebrate Proactiveoutside’s second birthday with some great links for you to read on this cold, snowy day.

There’s “adventure,” and then there’s real adventure. These guys went looking for it in the mountains of Afghanistan. Yes, they climbed some peaks. But they got a whole lot more than that.

Let’s talk challenge. This blogger and outdoor enthusiast has set quite a goal for a rim-to-rim-to-rim hike of the Grand Canyon.

After two decades, the family of Chris McCandless (of “Into the Wild” fame) has released a series of never-before seen photos of this man’s vagabond life in the West and his ultimate end in the Alaskan bush. A book with these photos is forthcoming.

This writer has a good list of things she wants her daughter to know about working out.

Long-distance running star Alberto Salazar has a list of his own, 10 Golden Rules of Running.

And finally, here’s a story about how this woman helped a violent situation on Mount Everest stop short of being deadly.

Enjoy your weekend!

The Weekly Stoke: Denali, body image, tragedy in Nevada and how to fake those fitness transformation photos

Alaska's Denali, North America's highest peak.

Alaska’s Denali, North America’s highest peak.

Feeling the drain of training? Or the weight of summer’s heat? Take a break, folks. And check out my latest offerings in this week’s Weekly Stoke…

This blogger has a pretty good list for race etiquette. Read it, learn it, live it.

Want to know what it’s like to climb Denali? Read this extensive trip report on the experience. It will be worth your time.

Women’s fitness fashion has this athlete questioning the imagery of empowerment.

A tragedy reminds us of the risks search and rescue personnel go through when duty calls. In this case, a Las Vegas police officer died during a high-risk rescue.

Ever see those dramatic before/after transformation photos? You know, the ones that come with certain exercise programs or fitness/diet fads? It’s pretty easy to fake it, photographically speaking. See how here.

And finally, this diagram from the Adventure Journal about risk and fun with all the things we do outside. Do you agree?


The Weekly Stoke: Don’t dump on Denali, violence at Nanga Parbat, surfing glacial waves and a time-lapse video on Everest

Alaska's Denali, North America's highest peak.

Alaska’s Denali, North America’s highest peak.

Well, I’m a slacker. No Weekly Stoke last week, as I was a little too busy being outside. My bad. But we’re back this week with some pretty interesting stories from the world of the outdoors and more. So, without further delay, here’s the latest:

John Krakauer is one of the most famous outdoors writers around (“Into the Wild,” “Into Thin Air”), and Conrad Anker is mountaineering royalty. But even these guys get in trouble when they decide to take a dump on Denali.

Could running 200 miles actually be easier than running 100 miles? This article makes that claim.

One surfer goes to extremes to find the perfect wave. As in the kinds of waves caused by glacial calving.

Gotta hand it to the Taliban. The same guys who have perfected the IED, tried to assassinate a school girl, throw acid on women’s faces and do everything in their power to use violence to lord over others have now lashed out at mountaineers and trekkers. Ten trekkers in Pakistan were murdered near Nanga Parbat, one of that country’s famed 8,000-meter peaks.

More adventure tourism woes: These tourists got stuck on an ice floe and were trapped on it after it broke free.

Here’s a list of six exercises where people often get hurt.

It seems there is some sort of stomach bug going around in Yellowstone.

Lastly, here’s a cool time-lapse video from Mount Everest. Enjoy your time outside!

The Weekly Stoke: An afro-centric ascent of Denali, deadly animal encounters and a couple’s dream goes awry

Dust-laden snowpack could mean serious water issues in the U.S. (USGS photo)

Dust-laden snowpack could mean serious water issues in the U.S. (USGS photo)

Just when I think it might be a light week in the world of the outdoors, stuff happens. A lot of stuff. In the mountains, in the jungles and elsewhere. Let’s get started:

Some more news on the environmental front that is not so good. Desert dust settling on the western snowpack is having some serious repercussions.

How’s this for a TV movie of the week: Rich man meets exotic gal. They trade in their high-living digs in the U.S. to build the ultimate mansion/nature preserve on a Costa Rican jungle mountaintop. And then they went nuts. Not everyone made it out OK. From Outside Magazine.

This group of Denali climbers is made up of all-black members. Here’s a story about why they think that’s important.

Here’s a list of ideas for first ascents. It’s kinda funny.

Here’s another list that lets you know if you’re an outdoorsy person.

Five people were killed climbing a volcano in the Philippines.

A climber was killed when he was attacked by a swarm of bees.

And then there’s this animal encounter: A hiker falls to her death in France, and within an hour, vultures kinda took over from there.

And then there’s this video of Courtney Sanders finding a way to train despite injury. She’s a little hard core.

The Weekly Stoke: The mess on Everest, man fights off a bear and one runner’s journey from Boston to Oklahoma City

Mount Everest. (Wikipedia Commons photo)

Mount Everest. (Wikipedia Commons photo)

This edition of the Weekly Stoke is going to have a pretty heavy emphasis on Mount Everest, but plenty of other goodies await. It’s been an interesting week in the outdoors.

First, I’m sure that most people have heard about the fight that happened at Camp 2 on Mount Everest. And there are many conflicting stories about how it went down. In short, three European climbers got in a conflict with Sherpas setting fixed lines on Everest, which led to a brawl in which the Europeans were assaulted by angry Sherpas. The Sherpas claimed the Europeans had ice kicked down on them while rope-setting work was being done.

One of the climbers, Simone Moro, tells the tale in this post.

And here, a second member of the European team, Ueli Steck, describes his version of the events. And it seems as if it was pretty scary. The parties did get together to forge a sort of truce, but many are saying that future incidents like this are not only possible, but likely. It seems the circus that is Everest just took a very dark turn.

A couple weeks after the Boston Marathon bombings, some of the runners who were prevented from finishing that race ran in the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. CNN’s John Sutter tells the story of one of those runners, and weaves in some other storylines we well.

Here’s a list of the kinds of dudes you don’t want to be.

And then there’s this list — the six most dangerous hiking trails in the U.S.

And finally, the story to end all stories: A man fights off an Alaskan brown bear with nothing more than a tripod and his bare hands. Try topping  that one at the office watercooler!

The Weekly Stoke: Tales from the road, an avalanche report, cycling in schools and aerial glacier footage

(denver.cbslocal.com image)

(denver.cbslocal.com image)

We’re on time with the Weekly Stoke this time! With sweet links to boot. All of them are good reads with food for thought and discussion. Here’s what I found this week that caught my interest:

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center released its official report on an avalanche that killed five people last weekend near Loveland Pass. The technical information is interesting and that narrative of the slide is as detailed as it is heartbreaking. Be careful out there, folks.

Outside Magazine thinks mountain biking might be the next big thing in high school sports.

Want to know what’s ahead of someone who decides to drive across the world? The Adventure Journal does an interview with a guy who, with his wife, is doing just that. Fascinating read.

Speaking of road warriors, this blogger writes about some of her not-so-pleasant encounters while out on the highways. Being a free-spirited, adventurer-driven traveler has its downsides. A good read with a good question from Gina Begin.

In India, bull surfing is a thing. The photos of this are awesome.

And finally, watch this video showing an aerial view of Alaskan glaciers. Simply gorgeous.

PAUSE 4 from PAUSE on Vimeo.

Lonnie Dupre abandons his solo Denali attempt


In what would have been one of the more impressive feats in arctic mountaineering, Lonnie Dupre has abandoned his January solo attempt to summit Alaska’s Denali, North America’s highest peak.

He’d been on the mountain for 19 days and was looking at enduring 50 mph winds and -50F temperatures. According to a post on his website, it was -35F inside the snow cave where he’d taken shelter.

Had he succeeded, Dupre would have been the first person to summit Denali solo in the month of January.

You can read more about this here.

Bob Doucette

On Twitter @RMHigh7088