Field Report, June 8, 2018

June 08, 2018 Posted by: Maureen Gualtieri
 

TODAY'S STATS

    Denali    

Mt. Foraker

Registered Climbers

1,150

7

Climbers Currently On Mountain

516

0

Completed Climbs

381

7

Number of Summits

179

0

Summit Percentage

47%

0%

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.

 

Mountain Weather


Click here for today's National Weather Service Denali Climbing Forecast.  

And here for the Kahiltna webcam:  https://avcams.faa.gov/  

7,200 camp:  A few clouds in basecamp today, but all mountains visible.  Winds were calm, with intermittent gusts to 12 mph out of the east.  No new snow last night, but yesterday morning basecamp received 10 cm of rather heavy, wet snow.

In the last 12 hours:
Current temp (8 am): -1 C (30 F)
High temp:  0 C  (32 F)
Low temp: -4 C  (25 F)

 

14,200 camp:  After several days of snow or poor visibility, a clearing trend began last night, and 14K camp inhabitants woke up to beautiful clear skies this morning. Wind was 2 mph out of the northeast, picking up to 6 mph out of the northeast.  In light of the NWS forecast for the weekend, Dave reports a "palpable fear of wind" throughout camp. 

In the last 12 hours:
Current temp (8 am): -20 C (-4 F)
High temp: -18 C  (0 F)
Low temp: -21 C  (-6 F)
 

Ranger Update
 

NPS Denali (14K) Patrol #3:  (Rgr Erickson, Rgr Beren, VIP Bracher, VIP Mock, VIP Weaver) The masses have largely left high camp, and Chris and Jake and crew are now sharing camp (and probably the summit today) with around 30 or so climbers.  They plan to move down to 14K, then 7K, this weekend in advance of a Monday, June 11 fly-off day.

NPS Denali (14K) Patrol #5:  (Rgr Weber, VIP Treat, VIP Malone, VIP Scheele, VIP Byers, PJ Kirby)  Whether its a function of the large number of climbers moving up and down the upper mountain, or the personal magnetism of Patrol #5, they've been very busy with patients the last couple days and nights -- treating illnesses such as carbon monoxide poisoning, frostbite, and urinary tract infections.  
   
NPS Basecamp (7K) Patrols #4:  (Rgr Westman, VIP Weaver) In addition to assisting in SAR support and patient transfers the last couple days, Mark and Katie have gotten some rock climbing and glacier touring in. And some time in camp watching the snow fall.
  

Search and Rescue Activity
 

At around 9:00 pm Wednesday night (June 6), a climber was found unresponsive and seizing in his tent at 14,200 feet...the victim of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning as a result of cooking in an inadequately ventilated tent during a snowstorm. Luckily, the climber's teammate (and tentmate) had started feeling 'funny' or sick earlier that evening and decided to go outside and shovel snow for a while; when he opened his tent and found his seizing partner, he yelled for help.  Rangers put both climbers on high flow oxygen throughout the night, and the patient with the more severe CO poisoning also underwent treatments in the Gamow Bag, a portable hyperbaric chamber, to improve oxygenation.  Both climbers symptoms improved, and they were evacuated on Friday, June 8 when weather conditions allowed.

Had the one climber not gone outside for some fresh air, both climbers would likely have succumbed to CO poisoning. Climbers and backcountry users are cautioned to ensure proper ventilation whenever cooking indoors!    


Route Conditions
 

New snow on the upper mountain has improved ski conditions, and overall the upper elevations continue to be in fine shape.  On the lower mountain, Mark Westman at basecamp reports that glacier conditions might have turned the bend, morphing from 'early spring' to 'summer' conditions almost overnight.  The glacier is freezing hard at night, but growing quite mushy in the sunny afternoons.  The new snow that fell a couple days ago helped a bit, but it was wet and settled out pretty fast.  
 

Photo of the Day
 

Teh 14K ranger camp is demarcated by a snow sculpture sign reading 'NPS'
The wide view of the ranger camp at 14,200 feet.  Photo courtesy of VIP Jonathan Byers.   

Last updated: June 8, 2018

Contact the Park

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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