FORT GREELY, Alaska -- More than 100 people gathered Saturday, June 21 to celebrate the longest day of the year and climb Donnelly Dome during the Third Annual 49th Missile Defense Battalion Summer Solstice Climb.
At 64 degrees latitude, Fort Greely gets a total of 21 hours and two minutes of sunlight on Summer Solstice. While the sun does go down for three hours, darkness never falls.
Located just 20 miles north of the Alaska Mountain Range, Donnelly Dome sits 3900 ft above sea level, making it a great adventure anytime. While most often the weather at the summit is breezy at best, the weather proved better than that of any climb thus far.
Children have always been welcome on the climb; and typically make it to the top well before the adults. This year more than twenty children from the Delta Junction and Fort Greely communities participated in the event.
Once at the top, the photography frenzy began with picture snapping and calls to loved ones celebrating the wonderful accomplishment and sharing the view at the top.
Without fail, a group photograph is taken to hold in history the growing popularity of this favored motivational climb. Once at the top, Chaplain Vince Cepeda, Fort Greely Chaplain, led the group in prayer and wished everyone a safe descent into the setting sun.