S.C. climbing team to ascend Alaska’s famed Denali

June 7, 2016

Mountaineering experts and Green Berets begin climbing this week

CAMDEN, S.C. – Environmental attorney and S.C. State Guard Maj. Gen. Tom Mullikin will join a team of four climbers – including his son, Thomas Jr., and two retired U.S. Army Green Berets – to the summit of Denali (Mt. McKinley), Alaska, beginning this week. The expedition, dubbed Mullikin’s Marauders, will launch from their base near Talkeetna early Wednesday.

The team includes Craig Connor, who recently retired from U.S. Army Special Forces after multiple deployments with the Third Special Forces Group in which his primary focus was mountain search-and-rescue. Connor – who served in a variety of assignments – was also a cadre-member with the U.S. Army Special Operations Command’s Mountaineering Course. He now serves as team leader for the S.C. State Guard’s Mountain Search-and-Rescue Company (Mullikin commands the all-volunteer State Guard).

The second Green Beret member of the Denali expedition is Mike Adkins, who retired from the Seventh Special Forces Group where he served as a Master Mountaineer and a special-operations warrant officer logging three combat-tours in Operation Enduring Freedom.

Thomas Mullikin, Jr. (Mullikin’s son) is also a key member of the expedition; a veteran climber and Master Naturalist, who has reached the peaks of the highest summits on three continents – South America, Europe and Australia.

“This year Denali has proven to be very unforgiving,” said the senior Mullikin from Anchorage on Monday. “Only 18 percent of the climbers have made the summit, and one unfortunate climber fell to his death. From base to summit, Denali rises nearly 18,000 feet, the largest elevation gain of any mountain on earth. It is also the most northerly of any mountain over 20,000 feet; with a northern latitude of 63 degrees.”

Mullikin adds, “At this point it appears that it will be approximately minus 10-degrees Fahrenheit at altitude with a wind chill of around minus 25-degrees.”

Mullikin is dedicating the Denali expedition to:

1. Coast II Coast – a cross-country motorcycle fundraising effort aimed at raise money and awareness for fallen special operators and their families (Please visit http://www.coastxcoast.org).
2. Mullikin’s new granddaughter, Anna Gibbs. “May she and all of my family enjoy the beautiful environment that the Lord has provided us and learn to stretch her imagination and talents to climb many mountains in her life,” he says.

Follow the Denali expedition on their website: http://mullikinsmarauders.wix.com/mysite.