Field Report, April 21

April 21, 2016 Posted by: M. Gualtieri and R. Robinson



Mt. Foraker

Registered Climbers



Climbers Currently On Mountain



Completed Climbs



Number of Summits



Summit Percentage



The Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station also maintains a daily automated statistics phone line, so if this blog is lagging behind and you need up-to-date registration numbers, call (907) 733-9127.

Ranger Update

Life is busy here in Talkeetna, and here's a short but sweet lowdown of the week's activities:

Denali mountaineering rangers are still fully embroiled in pre-season training, with the focus this week on helicopter operations, including short-haul and STEP training. Starting this weekend, rangers will partner up with the U.S. Army Sugar Bears from Ft. Wainwright to begin hauling camp gear to the Kahiltna Glacier. Once those gear loads have been off-loaded at the Kahiltna, our A-Star B3e high altitude helicopter pilot(s) will commence hauling smaller net loads to the 14,200 foot camp. 

The first NPS ranger team of the season flies into Basecamp on May 5 to start their upper mountain patrol. The patrol will be led by Denali mountaineering rangers Chris Erickson and Melis Coady, the latter of whom recently joined the NPS team! Chris and Melis will be joined by two climbing rangers on detail assignment from Grand Teton National Park and two mountaineering Volunteers-in-Parks (VIPs). 

Route Conditions

As expeditions are only just beginning on the high peaks like Denali and Foraker, climbing season is in full swing in other parts of the Alaska Range.  Here are a few firsthand observations provided by climbers who recently returned from the Ruth and Tokositna Glaciers:

Mooses Tooth (Ruth Glacier)

 (April 19) Ham and Eggs: "Good ice in cruxes and decent neve in couloir…good to go!"

 (April 19) Shaken Not Stirred: "Variable in lower cruxes on slab, good ice above, including narrows. Anchor failure-pitch 10-12! Check your fixed gear"

Thunder Mountain (SW Fork Tokositna Glacier)

 (April 20) "Climbed to 10,700' level where rotten snow sat on rock, skied back down 40-50 degrees" Also skied other minor couloirs on south aspect.

We'll report more condition reports as they come in...

And stay tuned for National Weather Service mountain weather forecasts, they are expected to begin again on Monday, April 25. Basecamp manager Lisa Roderick will be reporting weather observations to us from 7,200-feet as soon as she sets up her camp, which is currently scheduled for Wednesday April 27, weather permitting.

Photo of the Day

Eldridge Glacier Avalanche Training

Denali mountaineering rangers were joined by two climbing rangers from Yosemite National Park for pre-season avalanche training off the park's Eldridge Glacier the week of April 4 - 8. The snowpack at higher elevations was considered normal for early April, with less-than-normal snowpack at lower elevations. (NPS Photo/Coley Gentzel)

Last updated: August 18, 2016

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 9
Denali Park , AK 99755


907 683-9532
A ranger is available 9 am—4 pm daily (except on major holidays). If you get to the voicemail, please leave a message and we'll call you back as soon as we finish with the previous caller.

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