Crofton MD Mountain Climber Attempts Denali Peak

Real Estate Agent with Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.

Crofton Maryland resident Art Huseonica is one of the Denali Ice Agers, a group of "senior" mountain climbers who will embark on the adventure of a life-time today when they arrive by air taxi at the southeast fork of the Kahiltna Glacier.  From base camp (at 7,200 ft.), they will travel 16 crevass-riddled miles via the West Buttress to reach the summit at 20,320 ft.  Along the way they will establish four more camps, and we will travel along via blog.


As an east-coast suburban gal, everything I "know" about mountain climbing I learned from Alison Levine, the mountain-climber and keynote speaker at the 2007 RE/MAX Convention,  Her presentation was both entertaining and inspiring, and it's the reason a google alert caught my eye a year later when this Crofton resident, training for an earlier Denali expedition, was mentioned. 

I contacted Art by phone and asked if I could blog about him, and since then we've become good cyber-friends.  Even though we live in the same community, we have yet to meet, but I couldn't be more proud to know him or more interested in his adventures if he were my next-door neighbor or brother-in-law. 



Denali National Park and Preserve is located in Interior Alaska and contains Denali, the highest mountain in North America. The word "Denali" means "the high one" in the native Athabaskan language and refers to the mountain itself.  The naming of this mountain after president William McKinley in 1897 by local prospector William A. Dickey has been subject to local criticism from the onset, since McKinley had no connection whatsoever to the region, and Alaska residents tend to use "Denali" when referring to the mountain and associate "Mt. McKinley" with the surrounding park. (Source:  Wikipedia)

According to, Denali is a place of superlatives. "Carrying the heaviest pack of your life in the thin air of altitude at such high latitudes can make the West Buttress a very physically challenging climb. Extreme winds, heavy snowfall and arctic cold all conspire to make it a serious undertaking. Aspiring West Buttress climbers need to be in top physical shape and prepared to suffer with a smile."  Denali is a massive mountain with a greater rise than Everest, yet the team made it to 17,000 ft. last year - just 3,120 ft. shy of the summit - turning back only because their guide became ill.


How does an east-coast suburban retired guy train for something like this? - That's what I wanted to know.  For my answer, I read Art's June 3 blog post titled The Art of Denali Training.  His strategy is very creative, and  includes working in a warehouse, where he gets plenty of heavy-lifting, and dragging a 42 pound utility truck tire across sand (to simulate Denali sled usage) while wearing snowshoes. 


Never under-estimate the power of a google-alert for your local area.  How else would I have developed this friendship with a local mountain-climber, and why would I have cared to learn all this?  Hopefully you, too, will learn a little about something new, as I share with my blog-readers a few updates about Art Huseonica's mountain-climbing adventure with the Denali Ice Agers.

Photos with permission from Art Huseonica



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This infoMargaret Wodarmation was provided to you by Margaret Woda, an Associate Broker with Long & Foster Real Estate in Crofton Maryland. Contact Margaret today for general real estate information or to learn how she can help you buy or sell a home in Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton, Davidsonville, Gambrills, and Odenton. 

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Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thanks for sharing. What a challenge!

 Blooming for Father's Day.

Jun 19, 2010 01:24 AM #1
Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Realty - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional


What a great idea for a blog series! I have always wanted to visit Denali, but I'll leave the climbing to the experts!

Featured in the Group "Whacked!!!

Jun 19, 2010 01:41 AM #2
Pippa Mac
Chevaux Group Realtor, The Woodlands and Spring - The Woodlands, TX
The Woodlands TX Real Estate

Margaret ..... aggh, sounds like so much effort and work ... oh, but anything worth having is work!!!

Jun 19, 2010 03:24 AM #3
Mary Kay Hopkins
Mary Kay Hopkins, LLC e-PRO, GRI, CRS, CRB - Lake Charles, LA

Margaret, I'm fascinated and a bit in awe of  those that take on this sort of challenge. this will be fun to follow.

Great use of the alert feature.

Jun 19, 2010 03:52 AM #4
Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation

Roy Kelley - Not bad for an old guy, is he?  How 'bout you... I never even considered anything like this for my retirement years.  LOL.

Richard - Thanks for featuring this in "Whacked" - I do think there has to be a little bit of that quality in anyone who climbs mountains for relaxation.

Pippa - If you didn't hear Alison at the 2007 RE/MAX Convention, try to find the CD of her presentation.  It was AMAZING!  I would go anywhere to hear her again.

Mary Kay - I have trouble dragging myself around the block for exercise, let alone dragging a sled full of supplies, back-back, etc. AND climbing a mountain at the same time.

Jun 19, 2010 04:35 AM #5
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Margaret, a day by day account of what they did on their summer vacation. Not for me however, I prefer the warm winds and green grass.

Jun 19, 2010 03:25 PM #6
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Margaret Woda

Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation
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