© Thomas Bubendorfer 2019

25 / 05 / 2023

Project Denali east face first ascent: Climate change set the limits.

The highest unclimbed mountain face on the US’s highest mountain has kept Thomas in its thralls for three years. On May 25, after four arduous days of approach with a 30-kg rucksack and seven icy river crossings, Thomas was confronted with the vast effects of climate change: since 1999, the Muldrow glacier, 39 miles long, has melted off by some 600 feet. Now it can only be accessed through steep gullies consisting of loose boulders, gravel and sand. The risk of descending through such terrain seemed incalculable to Thomas.


Disappointed, of course, but unfazed, Thomas takes a philosophical stance: “I have tried. I have given my best. I have nothing to regret. My heart is free and I can move on towards new goals.”.