On June 11th, K2 Aviation took part in making history! At this moment, 15-year-old Romanian Crina Coco Popescu holds the record for being the youngest European climber to successfully climb Mt. McKinely (Denali), the largest peak in North America.
Climbing Mt. McKinley is part the Seven Summit Challenge where mountaineers and climbers scale the highest peaks in each of the seven continents. Climbing Mt. McKinley is the fifth peak in her Seven Summit Challenge; Miss Popescu has already completed Aconcagua, Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Elbrus, and Carstensz Pyramid.
Our K2 Aviation pilot, Jeff Babcock, flew Miss Popescu to the base of Mt. McKinley where she began to ascent its peak. She later describes her K2 Aviation flight to the base camp on her website.
“I saw amazing mountains, high and sharp increases…Everything green turned into white. Snow was flowing everywhere in the avalanches; crevasses opened and swallows everything above it,” she writes.
Mt. McKinley, with a summit elevation of 6,194 m above sea level, was completed by Miss Popescu in 10 days, even with hostile weather conditions at the beginning of the expedition. She scaled the mountain far much quicker than the 21 days recommended by the Denali National Park staff and medical advisors in their mountaineering booklet.
Miss Popescu thought the expedition on Mt. McKinley was new and different from what she has done before.
“It was great! I love how wild this place is!” she said. Luckily for Miss Popescu, the weather cleared on June 20th, their summit day.
“No clouds, no wind! I felt very good. I was so happy that we could go to the summit!” During her climb up Mt. McKinley, the summit seemed very long to her, but stated how beautiful Mt. McKinley was.
Climbing is Miss Popescu’s passion; she has been climbing since she was 6-years-old. She hopes to be the youngest female to complete the Seven Summit Challenge. To read more about her expedition summiting Mt. McKinley, visit her website .
Everyone here at K2 Aviation, we wish Miss Crina Coco Popescu the best of luck!
By Mandy Yan