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(July 27, 2003) Walter Norton Jr., President and COO of Norton Electric Wholesale, (NEW) successfully reached Mount McKinley’s summit after a twenty-one day ascent. Mt. McKinley, Alaska, also known by its indigenous name “Denali,” is North America’s highest mountain peak at 20,320 feet. (6,194 meters)

Family members and employees had virtually no news of the progress during the climb and only bits of information regarding the arrangements and preparations for the expedition. However, a report by the Los Angeles Times; Jul 15, of a “Freak Summer Storm” with winds averaging 100 mph and satellite phone warnings to all Mt. McKinley climbers, created quite a stir at the NEW offices.
On July 25 employees received word that Norton Jr. had arrived back home after successfully reaching the summit.

Norton Jr. describes the accomplishment:

“The climb is something that I’ve always wanted to try but never got around to. I started climbing in 1974 and almost made an attempt in 1978. Twenty-five years later I realized at age 48 I’d better try it while I still could. After five months of extra training, six of us embarked on June 29.
High altitude climbing in an artic environment requires a lot of gear. Each climber hauled loads of up to 125 pounds. Our schedule was very flexible with plenty of time allowed for acclimatization and bad weather. We had a tent shredded by the winds at 11,000 feet but made it to 14,000 feet in nine days. Word of an approaching storm reached us by radio and we hunkered down for ten more days. My only cause for concern was sinking into a snow bank to my shoulders and thinking I might disappear. A brief break in the weather allowed us to move to 17,000 feet and then to the summit the next day.
It was twenty days of work for twenty minutes on top but the view alone was worth it. Gravity made for an expedient three day descent and the entire team arrived home in one piece. It’s great to be back with family, friends and my team here at Norton Electric.”


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