I once heard a package tourist in Alaska ask, "Which is taller: Denali or McKinley?" What a dumb question. Everyone knows Denali is the taller one, just by a hair.
If you want the real beta on Alaska’s truly world-class climbing, pick up Alaska Climbing ($29.95 at REI) by Joe Puryear, 2006. It includes not just detailed route descriptions for the Central Alaska Range, but also his first-rate photography.
For state-wide routes grab Alaska: A Climbing Guide by Michael Wood and Colby Coombs, 2001 ($24.95 at REI), also an excellent tome. For Denali routes specifically, there’s Denali Climbing Guide by R.J. Secor, 1998 ($19.95 at REI), with more than 60 routes on The Great One. If you’re interested in joining the ant trail on Denali’s trade route, the standard is still Denali’s West Buttress, 1997, by Colby Coombs ($11.53 on Amazon).
Once in Alaska, there’s an REI if you already know what you need. If you don’t already know, or you want experienced advice and assistance in your purchase, do not pass go, go directly to Alaska Mountaineering and Hiking. They’ll hook you up; tell them GearFlogger sent you.