Ask the Expert
In June of 2000, the NOVA Denali climbing team—rangers, doctors, guides, and even an astronaut—answered questions about safety at high altitudes sent in to this website. The team is no longer
taking questions, but you can read the questions and their responses below.
Read other kids' questions with answers from our experts.
Set #4: Posted June 12, 2000
Set #3: Posted June 11, 2000
Set #2: Posted June 8, 2000
Set #1: Posted June 7, 2000
Here's the team:
||Pete Athans—mountain rescue
Pete is one of the world's leading mountaineers. He has been to the summit of Everest 6 times, more than any other Westerner. This summer, he is a volunteer patrol member for Denali National Park Service and will rescue climbers in need of help.
||Colby Coombs—expedition leader
Colby has been a guide on Denali for many years. He is the author of the acclaimed book Denali's West Buttress: A Climber's Guide to Mount McKinley's Classic Route. Colby is the expedition leader of the NOVA Denali Filming Expedition.
||Howard Donner—medical doctor
Howard is a high-altitude physician who is volunteering for the National Park Service to help climbers who need immediate medical attention at 14,000 feet.
||John Grunsfeld—astronaut and mountain climber
John helped assemble the Mir spacecraft, repair the Hubble space telescope, and has spent more than 38 days in space. On Earth, he has never been above 17,750 feet and has never been to the summit of Denali.
||Peter Hackett—medical doctor
Peter is world authority on high altitude medicine and physiology. In 1982, he established the medical camp at 14,200 feet on Denali to study and assist climbers suffering from cold and altitude related illnesses.
||Caitlin Palmer—expedition coordinator
Caitlan is a veteran Denali guide. With Colby, she helps run the Alaska Mountaineering School out of Talkeetna, and is the expedition coordinator for our trip.
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