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New Evidence in 100-Year-Old Claim of Amateurs Accomplishing What Experts Couldn’t

Did four Average Guys who claimed to climb Denali really do it?

A couple years ago, I wrote about a story that has fascinated me since I first encountered it: The first team that climbed the tallest mountain in North America was a bunch of amateurs with no real climbing experience who went up on a bet. And when they came down, nobody believed them. To this day, more than 100 years later, some still doubt their story.

As I’ve been adapting this newsletter into a companion video series, I started writing the script for an episode about that climb. And in updating my research, I discovered that since I last wrote about it, new evidence has emerged that further supports their claim.

A researcher at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks uncovered some mislabeled photos that he was able to identify as being from the expedition. And it shows the climbers at elevations much higher than skeptics believed they had gone.

Check out the video above for the full story including an interview with the researcher and an update on where things stand today.

Bonus Commentary Track

I always liked watching a movie on DVD a second time with the behind-the-scenes commentary track. So I decided as a little experiment to make a commentary track for this video and see what happens.

Unfortunately, there’s no built-in way to do that on YouTube. They only allow one audio track (although they are slowly rolling out the ability to add additional language audio tracks) but they do allow multiple caption tracks.

So I decided to do a written commentary track and disguise it as another language.

I didn’t want the commentary track to show up as anybody’s default language based on their region, so I tried to pick a language that is unlikely to be anybody’s default. I chose Klingon.

So to find the commentary track, watch the video with Klingon captions turned on.

And that’s it for this newsletter, short and sweet. The video was a ton of work and I could use some encouragement to make more, so I’d love if you use the time you would have spent reading a longer newsletter and instead check out the video, and subscribe to the YouTube channel if you haven’t. And it would mean the world to me if you share it, too!

Thanks, and I’ll see you next time!


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