Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program

Brian Okonek

Brian Okonek Brian is the son of the famed K-2 Aviation pilot,Jim Okonek,a fact that gave Brian special opportunities to explore the rugged Alaska Range. Brian went on to become one the area's most expert climbers and guides. Brian exudes great warmth and has a contagious love for Denali, qualities that help him provide a challenging but reasonably safe climbing opportunity for his clients. Having grown up with the Alaska Range as his backyard, Brian tempers his enthusiasm for the mountains with a somber respect for the inherent dangers of alpine environments. In this interview, Brian describes his experiences as a climber and guide, giving a step by step account of a guided climb up Denali's popular West Buttress route.
Brian Okonek appears in the following new Jukebox projects: