Field Report, May 17

May 17, 2016 Posted by: Maureen Gualtieri

TODAY'S STATS

    Denali    

Mt. Foraker

Registered Climbers

927

21

Climbers Currently On Mountain

307

14

Completed Climbs

30

2

Number of Summits

9

0

Summit Percentage

30%

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. 


Weather Report

7,200 feet -  Julie reports Basecamp was 'in the soup' this morning, with obscured skies and a steady snow falling. They had 3 cm accumulate as of 8am this morning.  Winds were calm, with occasional gusts to 7 mph from the southeast.

In the last 12 hours:
Current temp:  -1 C / 30 F
Low temp:  -3 C / 27 F
High temp:  0 C / 32 F

14,200 feet -  In contrast to 7K, skies were clear at 14,200 feet, with a lenticular over the summit. They woke up to 5 cm snow accumulation overnight. Morning windspeed was 2 mph from the south, gusting to 22 mph from the northwest. 

In the last 12 hours:
Current temp:  -18 C / 0 F
Low temp:  -15 C / 5 F
High temp:  -19 C / -2 F


FAA Kahiltna Glacier webcam 

National Weather Service forecast 


Ranger Update

NPS Denali Patrol #1 (Erickson, Coady, 2 GRTE rangers, 2 VIPs) The patrol is going to take advantage of good weather to climb the fixed lines today, inspecting and maintaining the lines as need be.  

NPS Denali Patrol #2 (McBrayer and 4 VIPs). Ranger Joey McBrayer and his four VIP's camped at 7,800 feet last night, with intentions to ascend to the 11,000-foot camp today

NPS Basecamp Patrol #1 (Reichert, 2 rangers, 1 VIP)  The patrol was generally stuck in camp this morning due to limited visibility and snow.


Route Conditions

Ranger Chris Erickson's report as of 5/17: He said their patrol witnessed 'near perfect travel conditions' on Friday around Windy Corner, with excellent crampon purchase in the mixed snow and ice.  He suspects the conditions are much snowier now.

They experienced a highly unique weather event at 14,200-feet -- an ice storm on Sunday. At 14,200-feet, they received 1/8" of ice coating everything in camp, followed by 8" of new snow. At slightly warmer elevations below 14,200', the ice and snow manifested as rain.

Higher on the mountain, i.e. above 14K, avalanche awareness is heightened. Erickson reported that the colder elevations above didn't necessarily see the ice, however warm snow 'stuck to the upper mountain' and more than 8" of new snow accumulated in the Rescue Gully, the Messner Couloir, and other steep slopes.

The NPS is getting mixed reports on the usability of the fixed lines, with most sections excavated. Patrol #1 is ascending the lines today and provide any necessary maintenance. 

More consistently, however, teams have reported that all the pickets and wands are still in place from last season on the Autobahn.  


Photo of the Day

Yellow rumped warbler in the snow
A yellow-rumped warbler takes a rest in the snow at 10,300 feet. NPS Photo/Kenneth Hill

Last updated: August 18, 2016

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.

Contact Us