Field Report, June 14, 2022

June 14, 2022 Posted by: Maureen Gualtieri
 

TODAY'S STATS - 6/14/22

    Denali    

Mt. Foraker

Registered Climbers

1,123

13

Climbers Currently On Mountain

306

8

Completed Climbs

697

5

Number of Summits

493

0

Summit Percentage

71%

0%

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



Additionally, there are 21 registered backcountry users in the Alaska Range as of today.


Mountain Weather


Lisa at basecamp reported broken skies at 7K this morning, temp 30 F, no wind, and it was flyable at around 7:30 am. However, by 9:00 am, weather at the basecamp strip had shut down.

Weather station telemetry data from 7K and 14K are transmitted hourly to the MesoWest website, including temperatures, wind speed, wind direction, snowfall, and solar radiation.  MountainWeather.com compiles a Denali Weather page, complete with links to the MesoWest data, the NWS Denali Climbing Forecasts, as well as links to FAA webcams. 

Click here for the National Weather Service Denali Climbing Forecast

The FAA webcam on the Kahiltna Glacier is fully operational as of this past weekend. Look for the green dot labelled Kahiltna Glacier.


Conditions Reports


Multiple teams checking back the last couple days have reported that conditions on the upper mountain remain good, though on the lower glacier, Ski Hill (between 7,800 and 9,000 feet) has multiple crevasses opening up.      


Search and Rescue 
 

It was a lively weekend on the upper mountain! Late Friday afternoon, this blog reported that a team of two had triggered their InReach that morning, requesting help to descend from Denali Pass to high camp after an exhausting 24-hour summit push.  Since the NPS patrol led by Chelsea Bomba had just started their ascent to 17K after evacuating a HAPE/COVID patient from 14K that morning, and weather conditions did not allow for a helicopter evacuation, a team of guides camped at 17K lent a professional hand.  Stephen Williams, Matthew Weich, and Cameron Peterson from Alpine Ascents Denali, along with Jacob Schmitz and Kyle Hornor of Mountain Trip, assisted the exhausted team down to high camp. Once in camp, the newly arrived NPS patrol took over care and logistics for the struggling team. 

Meanwhile, late Saturday night, a skier on a three-person team reportedly fell just below the summit at ~20,000 feet and sustained injuries.  His two partners stayed with him on scene until he was able to descend further. Still impaired from his earlier fall and from the prolonged period at high elevation, the same injured individual fell once again while descending from Denali Pass to high camp on Sunday, sustaining further serious injuries.  With assistance from an Air National Guard C-130 crew who provided weather observations in mixed conditions, TEMSCO helicopter pilot Erik Ridington was able to fly to high camp in the NPS helicopter and evacuate the injured mountaineer Sunday evening.  NPS volunteer paramedic Rick Black flew on board as a medical attendant.  The patient was transferred to a LifeMed air ambulance in Talkeetna.

Then on Monday, June 13, the NPS patrol members at high camp, in consultation with rangers at 14K and in Talkeetna, determined that the four remaining individuals involved in the two incidents described above – namely the two-person team who made the SOS call Friday night, and the two partners of the fallen skier from Sunday – needed an evacuation from high camp due to various degrees of frostbite sustained during the incidents.  In relatively calm conditions, the four climbers were shuttled down to the Kahiltna Basecamp in two flights.  Two flew out to Talkeetna in the NPS helicopter, and two flew with their air taxi operator.


Ranger Reports
 

NPS 14K Patrol #4 (Bomba) There was no rest for Chelsea, Matt, Brooke, Rain, and JJ at high camp over the weekend – see Search and Rescue report for more details. Today, Tuesday, high winds on the summit are enabling a restful day at high camp; if weather conditions allow, the patrol hopes to take a look at the summit tomorrow, then descend the mountain on Thursday.

NPS 14K Patrol #5 (Weber)  Made it to the 14,200 foot camp in time to assist Chelsea's patrol with the medical evacuation on Friday morning.  Then while Chelsea's patrol headed up to high camp, Dave’s patrol shifted gears and orchestrated the guide response to the SOS from Denali Pass via radio.  Then late Saturday and Sunday, the team helped support the rescue of the fallen climber, both with weather observations and a medical attendant (VIP Rick Black). 

NPS 14K Patrol #6 (Beren)  Jake and his fellow patrol members have worked their way up to the 11,000 foot camp.  They are feeling good and on target to make it to 14,200-foot camp by Thursday.

NPS 7K Patrol #5 (Oken)  Chrissie and Chad were well situated at basecamp to help support the helicopter operations over the weekend.  


 

Denali Rescue Volunteers




A table of smiling people at dine on an outdoor deckTalkeetna Ranger Station staff celebrate the endless contributions of Steve Mock -- friend, volunteer, and DRV President -- during his last night in Talkeetna.  (Steve is the one fourth back on the right) (NPS Photo courtesy of Geoff Pfeiffer)

 

DRV logo 

Learn more about Denali Rescue Volunteers, an organization that helps make Denali National Park and Preserve's mountaineering operations whole! Thank you for all that you do each season, from helping equipping our volunteers, housing them before and after patrols, and supporting our recruitment process! 
 
 

Photo of the Day



Silhouettes of four mountaineers contrasted in the snowy face of Mount Francis
A team departs the 7,800-foot camp, Mount Francis in the backdrop.  (NPS Photo/Dave Weber)

Last updated: June 14, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

PO Box 9
Denali Park , AK 99755

Phone:

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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