Field Report, June 24

June 24, 2015 Posted by: Maureen Gualtieri and Roger Robinson

TODAY'S STATS

Mt. McKinley

Mt. Foraker

Registered Climbers

1,084

15

Climbers Currently On Mountain

251

0

Completed Climbs

761

15

Number of Summits

402

6

Summit Percentage

53%

40%


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

14,200 feet - Last night 14 camp reported a thick fog and whiteout conditions, but this morning skies are clear again.  More specifically, there are clear skies at and above 14K, but hazy conditions below thanks to buildup from the many wildfires burning in Alaska.  Wind at 8 am was 5 mph from the northeast, picking up to 8 mph.  

In the last 12 hours:
Current temp:  10 F (-12 C)
Low temp:  9 F (-13 C)
High temp:   16 F (-9 C)   

7,200 feet - Basecamp also reports clear skies this morning, though the smoke haze is still present. Windspeed was 8 mph from the east, with gusts to 13 mph.  The steady breeze is really helping keep climbers and the glacier cool despite the fact they haven't had a hard freeze in a week or two.  

In the last 12 hours:
Current temp: 41 F (5 C)
Low temp: 37 F (3 C)
High temp: 46 F (8 C) 

National Weather Service forecast  


Ranger Update

NPS Denali Patrol #5 (McBrayer, 4 VIPs)  Joey McBrayer and two VIPs are descending to 14 camp today following an eventful stretch at high camp.  The last couple days they've spent maintaining/improving the Autobahn pickets and cleaning up trash at Denali Pass. They are currently scheduled to fly off the mountain on Friday.  

NPS Denali Patrol #6 is (Gentzel, Corn, 4 VIPs)  Dan Corn and 3 VIPs will ascend to high camp today, with Coley Gentzel and one VIP remaining at 14,200-foot camp to maintain radio communications, do camp chores, and continue with the camp pack-up effort. 

NPS Basecamp Patrol #6 (Weber + 1 VIP) Dave Weber and his VIP will ski to the base of Mount Foraker today to retrieve park sound monitoring equipment.  


Route Conditions

The upper mountain has been very mild, with groups ascending on their planned schedules.  Summit winds have been 10 mph or less for many days.  Daily fog has been keeping the temperatures cool at 14K and helping to reduce rockfall at Windy Corner. 

Smoke from wildfires can be observed and smelled up to 10,000 feet on Denali.  

The lower glaciers remain in surprisingly good condition for travel for this time of year, thanks to a deep snow base that fell in May and the strong daily breeze. Crevasses are opening, but more slowly compared to other years.

A report came in that ravens have left a mess at 7,800-feet, busting into some caches and garbage that were not buried deep enough. Rangers from either basecamp or on the descent from 14K will be attending to that mess in the next day or so. 

This news just in of a notable ascent: American climbers Chantel Astorga and Jewell Lund made the first female ascent of the Denali Diamond, one of Denali's most difficult routes. The pair made the ascent in 5 days after spending 2 weeks acclimatizing at 14K and higher on the West Buttress. They found more rock than usual for this difficult mixed route.


Photo of the Day
 

 Charlie Porter & Covington in Sheldon Hanger, 1976

Today's photo is a blast from the past contributed by Roger Robinson. The photo was taken in June 1976 in the original Don Sheldon hangar located on the Village Airstrip in downtown Talkeetna.  Charlie Porter (on left) was preparing for his famous solo ascent of the Cassin Ridge, while Michael Covington (on right) was preparing to guide a party on Denali.  Photo courtesy of Roger Robinson.

Last updated: July 21, 2015

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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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