Field Report, May 17, 2019

May 17, 2019 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.


Mountain Weather

Quick rundown:  The morning began with generally clear skies and calm winds at multiple camps - 7K, 14K, Upper Tok. By midday, winds are kicking up.

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. 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

Click here for the FAA webcam on the Kahiltna Glacier


Route Conditions

Early NPS reports from the fixed lines on the West Buttress headwall indicate snow conditions, not too icy.  Ranger Franks says the bergschrund's two steps are pretty straightforward to negotiate this year. His crew performed some maintenence on the 'up rope' yesterday, with reports that the 'down rope' was already in good useable condition.  More detailed West Buttress route information should be forthcoming by early next week once we have phone communications set up with 14 camp.  To date, lengthy communications with the rangers on the mountain have been difficult due to the delay in infrastructure set up.

See the recent posts for condition reports for Kahiltna peaks, Ruth peaks, Mount Hunter, and Little Switzerland.


Ranger Update

NPS 14K Patrol #1 (Preston)  Big work day ahead, as this morning about half (4 or 5) of the long anticipated slingloads of gear were delivered to 14K. Unpacking, sorting, digging, assembling.  But help is on its way...

NPS 14K Patrol #2  (Coady) ...because Melis and crew are ascending from 11K to 14K today, just in time to help Frank get camp fully up and running.

NPS 14K Patrol #3 - (Erickson/Baldwin) After spending the morning hooking up slingloads to the helicopter at basecamp, the patrol will start their ascent today, sharing the trail with many, many teams as the mountaineering season swiftly heads into full swing.

NPS 7K Patrol #3 - (Chenoweth)  Chenoweth, Loso, and Lajoie will fly onto the mountain this afternoon to both manage basecamp ranger operations and conduct weather station maintenence, including downloading data from the 7K and 10K, and maybe 14K, stations and general upkeep. 

AKR Patrol #3 - Rangers McBrayer and Beren flew out of the Upper Tokositna Glacier this morning after a climb of the Harvard Route on Mount Huntington. The team had to descend before reaching the summit due to foul weather, nevertheless, "a great time was had by all." Details and photos to follow next week.


Photo of the Day

A climber ascends a snow slope in a light blowing mist
One more from the Mount Russell collection.  (NPS Photo / Dave Weber)

Last updated: May 17, 2019

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Contact Info

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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