First Annual Walter Harper Day
On June 7, 2020, Alaska celebrated the first annual Walter Harper Day in recognition of the Athabascan-Irish man who, on June 7, 1913 became the first person to stand atop Denali – North America’s tallest mountain. Harper was 21 when he reached the summit.
The journey to the summit was much different than the attempts that take place in modern day. On the first day of the 1913 Denali expedition, the party hiked 30 miles along the Tanana River valley with sleds pulled by fourteen dogs. The expedition would see many challenges but with Harper’s lead it was a monumental success.
“This young man, Walter Harper, was the first to reach the top of the summit and I think I can safely say that his stamina, his fortitude, his knowledge and his survival skills living in the interior of Alaska, that were passed down from his Koyukon ancestors, greatly contributed to the success of this climb. Walter Harper is not only a role model to the Alaska native youth, but a role model to us all.” Senator Click Bishop, sponsor of Senate Bill 144.
Learn more about Walter Harper Day and Senate Bill 144: https://www.alaskasenate.org/…/news/bishop-day-on-sunday,-j…
Photo: (Walter Harper, far right)