Vail Syposium to bring mountaineer to discuss Denali mystery | VailDaily.com

Vail Syposium to bring mountaineer to discuss Denali mystery

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Waterman's book discusses his summits, as well as evidence of the fraud of the Sourdoughs, mountaineers that in 1910 claimed to climb Denali.
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What: “Chasing Denali: The Sourdoughs, Cheechakos and Frauds Behind the Most Unbelieveable Feat in Mountaineering.”

When: Monday, Dec. 10. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., program begins at 6 p.m.

Where: The Sebastian-Vail.

Cost: $25 prior to the day of, $35 at the door.

More information: www.vailsyposiumorg.

In 1910, four gold prospectors summited North America’s tallest mountain in a single day, using little more than rudimentary equipment. Their journey is the starting point for the history of mountaineering on Denali — but were they telling the truth? On Monday, Dec. 10, at The Sebastian-Vail, Denali expert and author Jonathan Waterman will unravel the mystery in a presentation about these unlikely climbers that blends adventure and history and brings the story to life.

“We’re thrilled to kick off our Unlimited Adventure series with this intriguing presentation from Jon Waterman,” said Kris Sabel, executive director for the Vail Symposium. “As a community of adventure seekers, I think that Jon’s story not only about this expedition, but about his many, many trips to Denali, will entertain and inspire the audience — which is what we always strive to do.”

Waterman, the world’s foremost Denali expert and author, will share his experience from North America’s highest mountain and how it inspired an adventure career, detailed through image and video highlights from his expeditions in the north. The evening will culminate with his most recent climb and how he set about solving the greatest mystery in climbing, detailed in his brand-new book, “Chasing Denali: The Sourdoughs, Cheechakos and Frauds Behind the Most Unbelievable Feat in Mountaineering.”

Waterman will share the fantastical exploit of four miners who claimed to carry a 25-pound, 14-foot flagpole up the roof of the continent while using sheet metal crampons, coal shovels, hatchets and pike poles. Was the expedition a success or a hoax? Long inspired by these so-called “Sourdoughs,” Waterman chases after both the truth and what the mountain has meant to his own life. A book signing will follow the presentation.