Field Report, May 25

May 25, 2015 Posted by: M. Gualtieri


Mt. McKinley

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. 

Weather Report

14,200 feet - Teams camped at 14,200-feet spent the weekend in a blizzardy whiteout, with heavy drifting and blowing snow.  The weather observations log for Saturday and Sunday indicated wind gusts peaking at 52 mph at 14K camp, with a storm total of 33 cm of new snow.  As of this morning (Monday), the snowfall had stopped, visibility was good, and winds at 14K had subsided, though it still appeared windy higher on the mountain.  

In the last 12 hours, 
Current temp:  1 F (-17 C)
Low temp: -2 F (-19 C) 
High temp: 5 F (-15 C) 

7,200 feet - Basecamp also experienced considerable winds this past weekend, with peak gusts of 36 mph from the northeast.  They accumulated a total of 2 to 3 cm of wet snow.  This morning, skies were overcast and light snow was falling.  Visbility was limited. 

In the last 12 hours at 7,200-feet:
Current temp: 30 (-1 C)
Low temp: 27
 F (-3 C)
High temp: 30 F (-1 C)

National Weather Service forecast  

Ranger Update

NPS Denali Patrol #1 (Erickson, Westman, 2 PJ's, 4 VIPs) are packing to descend the mountain today, and fly out tomorrow.       

NPS Denali Patrol #2 (Shain + 3 VIPs) are at 14,200-foot camp.  Ranger Shain and VIP Sue Wolff will attempt to make a day trip to high camp today if winds higher on the ridge cooperate.  An estimated 100 to 150 climbers spent the stormy weekend at 14,200-feet.  The couple of teams that tried to go higher, all returned to camp due to high winds or snow.  Many teams were expected to head down the mountain today. 

NPS Denali Patrol #3 (Weber, 2 PJ's, 2 VIPs) camped at 11,000 feet last night, and were planning to ascend past Windy Corner up to the 14,200-foot camp today.

NPS Basecamp Patrol #2 (Reichert + 2 VIPs) will fly out tomorrow, swapping positions with ranger Dan Corn and one VIP.

The recovery mission for deceased climber Javier Callupan remains on hold until both ground and helicopter crews can safely work at 17,200-feet.

Route Conditions

> A portion of the trail was re-routed at Windy Corner. Climbers are advised to follow the wanded lower trail. This more direct route has fewer crevasses and avoids more of the rockfall zone. Nevertheless, climbers are cautioned there still are many crevasses in the vicinity of Windy Corner this season.

> The fixed lines on the Headwall are in good shape, and a few pickets were reportedly in place on the traverse to Denali Pass, although very few teams have made it that high this season.

Photo of the Day

 Cardboard circle with an arrow pointing to various weather forecasts
Forecasting weather on Mt. McKinley has always been a very difficult task, as indicated by this high-tech weather station found at 14,200-foot camp several years ago.  This season, the forecast has been consistently set to "Wind, followed by increasing wind".  (Photo courtesy of Menno Boermans.)

5 Comments Comments icon

  1. May 29, 2015 at 07:00

    Richard, all the statistics in the grid (except the %) represent individuals, not teams. And Completed Climbs counts only those individuals that have flown off the mountain and walked into the ranger station to check out with us. Same goes for the Number of Summits -- those individuals would have physically checked back with us in Talkeetna. So you may have been aware of climbers that had summitted, but if they haven't come down and told us that yet, then their numbers haven't appeared yet. The final factor that may affect your calculation vs. our calculation, is that we take the statistical snapshot every evening, so any new information we capture during the day doesn't appear until the following post. We hope that helps clear up some confusion!

  2. May 29, 2015 at 06:19

    1st For some reason I can not post a comment on today's report. In fact in the last 4 days there is no way to post anything. So this is my attempt to post my question that belong to May 29th rather than May 25th. The real question: 2nd Can someone explain the definitions of each of your labels when you calculate the % of people successfully has climb the hill for me please? For example: Number of Summits/Completed Climbs = % of success... But Number of Summits means # of teams or climbers? because I think it should be # of climbers, but the units of successfully Completed Climbs its not matching and reflect reality like it should with the others units above. I know this, because I know that more than 2 teams and more than 2 climbers, have already summit but the calculations do not reflect that properly. Thanks you guys for this great tool that is available to the public. Cheers.

  3. May 27, 2015 at 02:05

    Gustavo, as we mentioned in today's report (Field Report, May 27), later today we should have a ground crew in place at 17,200-feet, however we must wait for a calmer day for the helicopter to either land or hover at that high elevation. The winds are still too gusty for a safe mission. The recovery of your friend is very high priority for us, and we will let Javier's family and friends know as soon as the mission has been safely completed.

  4. May 27, 2015 at 01:51

    Good afternoon : Please , could bring us up to date rescue mountaineer Javier Callupan information? We are many waiting for news... thank you very much

  5. May 27, 2015 at 09:17

    Wow! I thought Philly was the only place they used a random spinner for weather forecasting. Guess they are universal now!

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Last updated: July 21, 2015

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