Mt. Brooks Denali Wilderness Expedition – Antarctica Training Expedition



August 2-20, 2015


Mt. Brooks Denali Wilderness, Alaska


CWVC expects to field a group of 9 Challenge Warriors, plus 3 guides, to participate in the Antarctica Train-up via a hike in the Denali Wilderness across the McKinley River, climbing Mt. Brooks and returning along the same route.

Mt. Brooks and Route Description

Mount Brooks is a mountain peak in the central Alaska Range in Denali National Park and Preserve. The 11,890-foot (3,620 m) mountain is part of a ridge extending northeastward from the main Mount McKinley massif, which includes Pyramid Peak and Mount Silverthrone. The ridge lies between Brooks Glacier and Traleika Glacier, overlooking Muldrow Glacier to the north. The summit is partly covered by ice.

Wonder Lake and Wonder Lake Campground is at mile 85 on the Denali Park Road. It offers 28 sites, which are all tent-only. It is the closest campground to Mt. McKinley. Though separated by nearly 26 miles, the sheer size of the mountain makes it loom impressively over Wonder Lake Campground. Cloudy skies can obscure views, and mosquitoes can be fierce, but Wonder Lake on a clear day offers views that will last a lifetime. There is no electricity, but potable water is available in the campground. Campers must use the food storage facilities in the campground for all food and scented items (e.g., toothpaste). Fires are not permitted at Wonder Lake.

Wonder Lake is in a very wet part of the park, and mosquitoes plague the area for much of the summer. A head-net is very useful. A one mile trail leads from the campground to the McKinley River. Hiking off-trail in the area is permitted, though it can be boggy.

Waterfowl can often be seen, either on Wonder Lake or the many ponds and small lakes in the area. Beavers, or evidence of them, can be found as well. Larger animals, like moose and grizzly bears, occasionally pass through the area.


During the Challenge, the group will take part in an evidenced-based medical case study designed to further the study of Orthotics and Prosthetics, and Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI).


Wounded and injured veterans have an opportunity to trek through Alaska with other experienced vets as a member of the Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge (CWVC) while taking part in collecting data to help improve their own situation as well as the lives of others.

The Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge improves the lives of wounded and injured veterans through rehabilitative high-adventure and therapeutic outdoor challenges while furthering the physiological, biomedical and pathological sciences associated with their injuries.