Field Report, June 21, 2016

June 21, 2016 Posted by: Maureen Gualtieri



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. 

Weather Report

7,200 feet -  Following a snowy weekend, the mountain finally got a reprieve from the wet heavy snow. Basecamp accumulated a total of 27 cm of snow since Saturday, but there was no new precipitation recorded this morning. Skies had scattered clouds this morning, with a current windspeed of 5 mph from the east, gusting to 13 mph. 

In the last 12 hours:
Current temp:  0 C / 32 F
Low temp:  -4 C / 25 F
High temp:  0 C / 32 F

14,200 feet -  Clear skies this morning, though a thick layer of clouds is visible below 14,200 feet. Wind was 6 mph out of the southeast, with gusts to 10 mph. Rangers recorded a total storm history of 40 new cm of snow at 14 camp since Saturday. This past weekend also saw some heavy winds up high. The max wind gusts at 14 camp  reached 58 mph on Saturday night, and estimates from high camp and higher were in the 80 to 100 mph range.

In the last 12 hours:
Current temp:  -15 C / 5 F
Low temp:  -16 C / 3 F
High temp:  -11 C / 12 F


FAA Kahiltna Glacier webcam 

National Weather Service forecast

Ranger Update

NPS Denali Patrol #4 (Shain, 4 VIPs)  Mike, Sue, and Dahr stayed at high camp since last Thursday, facing a harrowing weekend of snow and wind up high. No reports as yet of any accidents or illnesses, just lost tents. VIPs Brian and Liam had gone down to 14 camp for a couple days, but moved back up to high camp today.

NPS Denali Patrol #5 (Gentzel, 3 VIPs)  Coley and crew endured the weekend storm from 14 camp, and are enjoying the beautiful conditions today. A-Star B3e helicopter pilot Andy Hermansky headed to 14 camp today for a quick re-supply and to do some higher altitude short-haul training with Coley while the weather was cooperating.

NPS Denali Patrol #6 (Weber, Preston, 4 VIPs)  Dave and Frank and their mountain volunteers are at 11,200 feet this morning.  Sounds like the trail is in good shape, though there has been plenty of trail-breaking this weekend in wet, heavy snow.

NPS Basecamp Patrol #5 (Erickson, 2 VIPs) Chris and his volunteers Ben and Katie Weaver were camped adjacent to Avalanche Spire last night on the Kahiltna Glacier. Today they were going to continue onward to the Pika Glacier, a.k.a. Little Switzerland, for a little clean-up and a little climbing.

Route Conditions

Lots of snow coupled with cooler temperatures translates to good travel conditions on the lower glacier. The upper basecamp landing strip is established, but not being used regularly now that conditions have improved.

Video of the Day

Today’s video and submission comes from Joshua Jespersen, Team Leader of Mission Memorial Day:

“A minute long video and 4 summit pictures, that's the fruit of two years of our labor, two years of commitment, two years of trying to take back Memorial Day, and it's all we could have asked for. The idea of Mission Memorial Day came out of both Brian McPherson's (last year's team member) want to climb North America's pinnacle, and a constant drive to never let the memories of our dead friends fade away. Josh (expedition leader) said he could take him but he wanted to do it with Nick ( last years team member) and Margaux (team member). The timing of the summit was right with Memorial Day, which we had lamented what it has become and what we all thought it should be, and so Mission Memorial Day was hatched. We wanted to bring back the true meaning of Memorial Day from the mattress sales, and spring fashion shows it has become. We wanted to honor the fallen in a way that would be epic and make people pay attention. So we asked people for names of their family members who had been killed in any conflict.  From the beginning we have received names from WWII to Afghanistan, and unbelievable stories of courage and admiration to accompany them.  We wrote the names down on American flags and proudly carried them with us every step to the top of Denali.  Our attempt last year ended for the same reasons as so many other expeditions, but this year the mountain [weather] lifted ... and gave us the weather you could dream of.  Our bodies held up, and during a ten hour summit day, we stood on top with four flags strung together and adorned with almost five hundred names.  Five hundred lost souls, that for a moment, presided over the whole continent, and had their memories carried with the wind over the land they died protecting.

The Mission is special to each one of the climbers because like the names inscribed on our flags, we have all served. Josh was a Navy SEAL and knew more than 10 men on the flags we carried. Margaux was a Military Police and knew 5 of the soldiers on the flags. Brian was a Marine, and Nick was an Army Medic, both knowing men on the flags. So these flags were a burden close to our hearts that we bestowed on ourselves, and lifting that weight almost brought us to our knees on summit day.  It was an indescribable feeling.  What made the mission harder was that all of us are injured, but with the selfless service ideology ingrained in us from the military, we all wanted to push past our injuries to get the names to the top to honor the fallen, and to quell the fears of family members who are afraid their loved ones will be forgotten.  Mission Memorial Day is going to ensure that they are not.”


Last updated: August 18, 2016

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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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