Field Report, June 2

June 02, 2016 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. 

Weather Report

7,200 feet - 'In a ping pong ball'. Skies are obscured, with snow falling. They received 5 cm of new snow overnight. Wind is calm, with gusts up to 15 mph from the northwest. 

In the last 12 hours:
Current temp:  0 C / 32 F
Low temp:  -1 C / 30 F
High temp:  1 C / 34 F

14,200 feet -  It was lightly snowing at 8 am, and Dan reports 10 new cm of snow accumulation overnight. The sky was generally obscured by clouds this morning, but he could see a few clear patches above. Wind was calm, with gusts up to 5 mph out of the east.

In the last 12 hours:
Current temp:  -15 C / 5 F
Low temp:  -17 C / 1 F
High temp:  -15 C / 5 F

FAA Kahiltna Glacier webcam 

National Weather Service forecast  

Ranger Update

NPS Denali Patrol #2 (McBrayer and 3 VIPs) The patrol is now camped at 17,200 feet. Joey estimated about 30 other tents up at 17K. As the first NPS patrol of the season to spend some time at high camp, they are doing an inventory of the rescue cache supplies today.

NPS Denali Patrol #3 (Corn, 4 VIPs, 2 PJ's)  In the past 24 hours, the patrol has been keeping camp clean, talking to teams, and assisting a patient in the medical tent with some altitude-related issues (already released from care...) 

NPS Denali Patrol #4 (Shain, 4 VIPs)  Camped last night at 7,800 feet, and we haven't heard yet what their plans are for today, though its not unlikely they are sitting in a whiteout.

NPS Basecamp Patrol #3 (Preston, 1 VIP)  Frank and Alisa plan to do general patrol duties around basecamp today, but if visibility and conditions allow, they may go out for an afternoon ski rove.

Route Conditions  

Upper mountain: Got freshened up with some new snow this morning, though plenty of blue ice is visible on surrounding mountain faces and up high. 

Lower mountain: West Buttress trail is in excellent shape overall, particularly in the morning after freeze-up. 

Recent Mount Hunter observations:  

"Tried the route (Moonflower Buttress) 3 days ago. Lots of running water even at midnight. We think it might be done for the season" (left 5/30/16 by J. Henriquez and R. Slowinski).  

"West Ridge.....Made it part way up rock band -- difficult mixed climbing (soft sugar snow, loose rock) so turned around. Snow OK in the a.m., but goes soft in p.m. Ice after Cat Ears is good, protectable. NW Basin route looked too challenging and dangerous to attempt." (left 6/1/16 by Sarah Strattan and Matt Lemke)

Frostbite Information:  Though the upper mountain is currently experiencing a few mild days, the forecast indicates a shift later in the week with another powerful weather system moving in.  The high altitude, arctic temperatures and high winds characteristic of the Alaska Range greatly increase the incidence of frostbite. Eighteen percent of the patients treated on Denali between 1992 and 2011 suffered from this form of tissue trauma. The body parts furthest from the core, including fingers, toes, ears, nose and genitals, are most susceptible to cold injury. Early recognition and subsequent rewarming are essential to minimizing the extent of tissue damage caused by frostbite. 

The two patients evacuated on May 30 from the 14,200-foot camp on Denali suffered extensive frostbite injuries. One of the patients sustained deep frostbite on 6 of 10 toes while the second patient exhibited similar injuries to 8 out his 10 fingers. Prevention and awareness of the initial signs and symptoms of frostbite are critical to avoiding the tissue loss often associated with injuries of this severity. 

Stay tuned in the coming days for a blog post dedicated to the prevention, assessment and treatment of frostbite... (~Ranger and Paramedic Dave Weber)

Photo of the Day

 VIP Steve Mock prepares blueberry pancakes and sausage links
Yum. VIP Steve Mock cooks blueberry pancakes and sausage links for his fellow patrol members.  NPS Photo/Scott Guenther

Last updated: June 2, 2016

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PO Box 9
Denali Park , AK 99755


907 683-9532
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