Field Report, May 24-29

May 29, 2021 Posted by: Maureen Gualtieri
Though not our favorite option, this season we will be producing weekly Field Reports (as opposed to almost-daily) to provide updates from the Alaska Range.  Please tune in each week for conditions reports, statistics, images, and news from the mountains. 


TODAY'S STATS - 5/29/21


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

Saturday, May 29, 8 AM InReach reports:

Joe at 7K:  "4 inches new snow. Bright but obscured.  Cannot see across the Kahiltna yet. Calm still in tents.

Dave at 7,800:  "Currently snowing hard, low viz"

Chris at 14K:  "Lots of blowing snow after Thursday's 18-24". Winds 15 mph,  gusts 20-25 est.

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

Ranger Reports

West Buttress / Denali conditions

Multiple feet of new snow at 14K, and upper mountain is mostly all white and covered with new snow.  Fixed lines above 14 are in place.  Pickets are now in place on the Autobahn, spaced every 30 meters.

NPS rangers and volunteers at all elevations, particularly those at 14,200 foot camp, had a very busy week: 
  • NPS rangers and VIPs provided assistance to a two-person team who lost their tent and other gear while camping in high winds on the 16,200 ridge. They were evacuated to 7K with frostbite injuries;
  • The life of climber who took a long, un-roped fall from Denali Pass was saved thanks to rapid notification, response, evacuation, and quick transfer to advanced medical care (see news release)
  • On the heels of the Denali Pass fall, three climbers requested rescue assistance from 18,200 feet; after being advised the helicopter was unavailable, they descended to high camp on their own accord, where several guided parties provided food, shelter and other assistance.
  • A climber with symptoms of HAPE was evacuated from high camp;
  • A climber at 11,000-foot camp accidentally activated their InReach device, initiating an SOS call in the middle of the night; 
  • A sick climber contacted the NPS patrol at 3 AM Saturday morning with symptoms of HAPE following a rapid ascent to 14K.

NPS 14K Patrol #1 - (Beren and Bomba)  The team ended their patrol amidst a flurry of activity on Monday, May 24, assisting with the windblown pair of frostbite patients and the fall at Denali Pass. (NPS Ranger Jake Beren, NPS Ranger Chelsea Bomba, VIP Leilani Bruntz, VIP Nadav Oakes, VIP Luke DeMuth, and VIP Dr. Charlie Duke.)

NPS 14K Patrol #2 - (Erickson) The patrol has had their hands full (see above), but everyone is staying healthy and in good spirits. Looking forward to welcoming Dave Weber's patrol in a few days time, weather permitting.  (DENA Ranger Chris Erickson, GRTE Ranger Chris Bellino, GRTE Ranger Cody Evans, VIP Chris Berdoulay, VIP Jonah Olson.)  

NPS 14K Patrol #3 - (Weber)  The team flew in basecamp on Monday, May 24, swapping out with the Beren/Bomba patrol.  A hearty welcome back to seasoned veteran VIP Shane Treat, who returns for his sixth straight volunteer patrol, taking a break only in 2020 when the whole world took a break.  Dave and Shane are joined by Steve, Jon, and Eric -- first time Denali patrollers, long time rescue professionals. (DENA Ranger Dave Weber, BLCA Ranger Steve Kay, GRTE Ranger Jon Politis, VIP Shane Treat, VIP Eric Robbins) 

Five patrollers stand next to a waiting aircraftFrom left to right: Shane Treat, Steve Kay, Dave Weber, Eric Robbins, and Jon Politis (NPS Photo)

NPS 7K Patrol #3  (Joe and the Mock Weavers) Ranger Joe Reichert has now joined Steve Mock and the Weavers at Basecamp, just in time to help with all the shovelling and midnight callouts!

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! 

Photos of the Week

Windblown snow obscures a yellow tentA windy day at 14,200-foot camp (NPS Photo/Jonah Olson)

A ranger provides medical care to a prone patient in a tentAn early morning assessment in the medical tent requires some headlamp deployment, a rarity during the long bright spring/summer days of the Denali climbing season.  (NPS Photo/Chris Erickson) 

A dramatic sky over a tent at the 14,200 foot campMoonrise over 14,200-foot camp. Or is it sunrise? Pretty sure its moonrise. (NPS Photo/Jonah Olson)


Last updated: May 29, 2021

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

PO Box 9
Denali Park, AK 99755


907 683-9532
A ranger is available 9 am to 4 pm daily (except on major holidays). If you reach 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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