Category Archives: Press Release
This June, a determined Ottawa adventurer will re-trace his famous ancestor’s footsteps by climbing the precarious slopes of “Denali” (Alaska’s Mount McKinley) to promote child nutrition and youth empowerment in Canada.
Pledging to scale the highest peak in North America (20,320 ft), self-styled climbing enthusiast Dan Hopkins hopes to raise awareness about the challenges that young people face in achieving their highest aspirations. Hopkins has partnered with a number of charitable organizations across the Yukon, NWT and Nunavut to raise funds for child nutrition programs across Canada’s north.
The climb is more than just a personal pursuit for Ottawa’s home-grown mountaineer. Hopkins plans to re-trace the ascent route pursued by his great-uncle, Hudson Stuck – the man who led the first successful expedition to the summit of Denali in 1913. Arguably the coldest mountain in the world, and rising four vertical miles from its base of frozen tundra, “The High One” is the coveted prize among hundreds of mountaineers each year.
The first documented ascent to the true summit of Mount McKinley was made in June 1913 by the Rev. Hudson Stuck, Episcopal archdeacon of the Yukon, accompanied by Walter Harper, Harry Karstens and Robert Tatum. The story of their achievement was colorfully recorded in Stuck’s book, The Ascent of Denali. Out of respect for the traditions of the Native people among whom he lived and worked, Stuck refused to refer to the mountain as McKinley, and devoted the latter part of his life to helping northern Aboriginal communities preserve their language and culture through education and public support.
Ninety-five years later, Hopkins will attempt a new ascent up Denali in an effort to preserve his great-uncle’s legacy of empowering Canada’s northern peoples. “Our children need to be provided with the support to succeed” says Hopkins about his efforts to promote child nutrition in schools. “This includes making sure that kids are fed and ready to learn when they enter the classroom each day.”
Statistics Canada reports that over a million children are living below the health line in Canada, and that tens of thousands of them are sent to school each day without any breakfast or lunch. “Every child deserves the opportunity to attend school and be ready to learn, without having to feel hungry”.