Mount Healy from Bison Gulch
ElevationAscent: 4,058' 1,237 m
Descent: -4,061' -1,238 m
High: 5,577' 1,700 m
Low: 1,701' 519 m
GradeAvg Grade: 22% (13°)
Max Grade: 71% (35°)
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“Summit Mt. Healy from the Bison Gulch trailhead”— Bryan Brown
The trail levels out briefly and gives your legs a little break before it kicks back and you begin to tackle the steep ridge line. From this point to the summit, the transparency of the trail will vary substantially, but as long as you continue up the ridge, you can't really deviate too far. This is also the point during which the wind will start to pick up. During my push, I was slammed with consistently strong winds from here to the summit, with occasional gusts strong enough to cause me to lose my footing. Be very cautious along the ridge line, as there are sections with nary more than a meter on either side of the trail before the decline become precipitous.
As you continue up the ridge line, you'll pass the occasional exposed cliff to offer a shield from the elements. Keep pushing up toward the summit as it comes into view, and you'll be rewarded with breathtaking views in every direction. The summit itself is a large rocky outcrop that can be surmounted without technical equipment. From our approach, the easiest path up the block is around the southern side, but I would urge extreme caution when evaluating the conditions (wind, ice, snow). Though not technical, the final push requires attentive route finding and careful footing; a slip here could have drastic consequences. Be judicious when considering these factors and enjoy the final romp up to the summit! You're rewarded with indescribable views and complete solitude.
Follow the same trail back down for your descent and prepare your knees for 3.5 miles of downhill fun!
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Land Manager: National Park Service - Denali National Park