Home > Mountain

Italians Climb Classic Slovak Direct on Denali

The first all-Italian ascent of Slovak Direct on Denali was recently accomplished by David Bacci and Luca Moroni over five days.

This was likely the eighth ascent of the route that was first climbed in 1984 by Blažej Adam, Tono Križo and František Korl.

In the 1985 American Alpine Journal, Adam wrote, “From May 13 to 23 we climbed a new route on the south face of Mount McKinley to the right of the Cassin Ridge… We had very good weather for the first five days but it was rather bad after that. Bivouac sites caused us great problems.

“Only on three nights, 5, 6 and 9, could we pitch our tent; on all other nights we had to hack out bivouac shelves. The climbing on the face was UIAA IV to V + on rock and 60° to 90° on ice. We placed 150 rock pitons and 40 ice pitons. We wore out new crampons and ice axes.”

The second ascent wasn’t until 2000 by Kevin Mahoney and Ben Gilmore. The third ascent came shortly after by Steve House, Scott Backes and Mark Twight in less than three days.

The fourth had to wait until 2008 and was done by the Giri Giri boys, the fifth in 2010 by Jesse Huey and Mark Westman (video below), the sixth in 2013 by Nick Bullock and Andy Houseman and the seventh in 2013 by Rémi Sfilio and Helias Millerioux.

The Slovak Direct is 2,700 metres long and was described by Twight in his book Kiss Or Kill: Confessions of a Serial Climber as one of the “most powerful experiences of our lives.”