UKH

Denali climbed solo in January

Arctic explorer Lonnie Dupre from Minnesota has become the first person to solo-summit Denali (AKA Mt McKinley) in January. Dupre arrived at basecamp on the Kahiltna Glacier on 18th December and reached the summit on 11th January after spending nearly a month in extremely harsh winter conditions on the mountain.

Lonnie Dupre makes the first solo ascent of Denali in January, 65 kb
Lonnie Dupre makes the first solo ascent of Denali in January
© Lonnie Dupre

With winds exceeding 100mph, temperatures plummeting below -50ºC (-60ºF) and only 6 hours of sunlight per day, only nine previous expeditions totalling 16 climbers have reached the summit in winter, incurring six deaths. January is the coldest and darkest of the winter months on Denali, with only one group of three Russian climbers having reached the summit in January previously.

Dupre had spent a total of 60 days over the last three winters attempting to summit Denali, but retreated after reaching a height of 5,000m twice due to bad weather.

Lonnie Dupre complete with spruce pole to prevent falling into crevasses, 102 kb
Lonnie Dupre complete with spruce pole to prevent falling into crevasses
© John Walter Whittier

The first solo winter ascent of Denali was in 1988 by Vern Tejas. For a list of notable Denali ascents, see this list.

More information on Dupre's website.

 

 



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