Jeweler to Attempt to Scale Mount McKinley

The thrills and challenges of the jewelry industry aren’t enough to tame the adventurous spirit of Paul Elwell. So the chief financial officers of Pearlman’s Jewelers will take the Battle Creek, Mich., company’s flag to new heights as he attempts to climb Mount McKinley, the highest mountain in North America.

“Mount McKinley is a severe challenge even to the most experienced and able climbers,” says the 26-year-old Elwell. “I look forward to conquering that challenge, and I’m thrilled that Pearlman’s Jewelers is supporting my expedition.”

Mount McKinley’s native Alaskan name is Denali, or “The High One,” and it is well-given; the mountain is all of 20,320 feet tall. Around 1,000 people try to scale the peak each year, and less than half succeed. Temperatures range from -20 F to 80 F, and climbers can encounter falling rock, icefalls, avalanches, and perhaps even sunburn and frostbite on the same day.

Further, the low pressure near the Arctic Circle makes 14,000 feet on Denali feel like 17,000 feet in southern mountains, so climbers have difficulty processing oxygen. The first ascent was made in 1913, while the first through the West Buttress route was made in 1951.

Elwell’s expedition, which will also follow the West Buttress route, begins on May 10, stretching until June 5. He is an experienced climber, having gone mountaineering extensively in the Cascades in Colorado and in the ranges of Alaska. His goal is to scale the seven summits—the highest peaks on each of the seven continents. Elwell will post real-time updates and photos on his own web site, http://www.paulelwell.net, as well as on the Pearlman’s Jewelers web site.

Pearlman’s Jewelers is a 78-year-old jewelry retailer specializes in designer jewelry and claims to have the world’s largest luxury designer Web site. A family-run business, it was started by Aaron Pearlman in 1930 and passed along to Bill Pearlman in the 1970s.