Fort Worth firefighters make it down from Denali

Firefighters climb Denali

Credit: Courtesy

A summer snowstorm stymied six Fort Worth firefighters in their attempt to reach the summit of Alaska's Mount McKinley in July 2014.

Print
Email
|

by MEAGAN HARRIS

WFAA

Posted on July 14, 2014 at 4:08 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 14 at 7:57 PM

After 15 days on Mount McKinley battling Alaska's brutally cold temperatures and hurricane-force winds, the team of six Fort Worth firefighters is back in civilization.

The group was forced to abandon high camp at 17,000 feet on Saturday after spending five days there waiting for a clear weather window to make it to the summit at 22,320ft.

Firefighter Matt Magoffin called the decision "disappointing" when he checked in by satellite phone Saturday afternoon, but added that the "avalanche danger continued to get worse and worse."

The group descended from the mountain at a much faster pace, making it to the glacier where they started on Sunday. An air taxi took them from there to Talkeetna, Alaska where — for the first time in 15 days — they warmed up, ate and showered.

The firefighters' effort has brought awareness to the non-profit Sons of the Flag Foundation for Burn Survivors. They hoped to raise $10,000 for the non-profit that helps burn victims get needed services.

Print
Email
|