Field Report, May 15, 2017

May 15, 2017 Posted by: Maureen Gualtieri



Mt. Foraker

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Completed Climbs



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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

Click here for today's National Weather Service Denali Climbing Forecast.

FAA webcams on the Kahiltna and Ruth Glaciers have been installed for the season, click the link and find the two adjacent blue dots within Denali National Park boundaries (below the word Alaska, above the T in Talkeetna). Note that the Kahiltna Glacier Advisory camera is currently down, but should be fixed in the days to come. The Ruth Glacier Advisory camera is currently functioning properly.

7,200 feet - At 8:00 am, Roger reported clear skies with winds 8 mph out of the east. There was no new snow overnight. Barometer 29.94 and rising.

In the last 12 hours:
Current temp  19 F  (-7 C)
Hi temp  23 F  (-5 C)
Low temp   19 F (-7 C)

14,200 feet - Clear skies above, with clouds visible below 10,000 feet.  Winds were 3 mph out of the east, with gusts to 6 mph out of the northeast. No new snow in the past 24 hours.

In the last 12 hours:
Current temp  -6 F (-21 C)
Hi temp   -4 F  (-20 C)
Low temp   -9 F (-23 C)


Ranger Update

NPS Denali (14K) Patrol #1 (Shain/Preston + 4 VIPs) Ranger Mik Shain and most, if not all, of the VIPs are headed up to high camp on a daytrip to assess route conditions and acclimatize. Ranger Frank Preston will stay behind and mind the fort at 14 camp.  Over the weekend, the patrol worked on fixed lines maintenence. (See photo below)

NPS Basecamp (7K) Patrol #1 (Robinson, O'Connor, + 2 VIPs) will swap out tomorrow with Basecamp (7K) Patrol #2. This second patrol will be led by Ranger Melis Coady who is accompanied by returning VIP Steve Mock and first time VIP (but longtime Alaska Range guide) Dusty Eroh.
NPS Denali (14K) Patrol #2 (Corn + 5 VIPs) are moving to 9,800-foot camp today.


Route Conditions


> After a weekend of maintenence on the headwall fixed lines, both the Up line and the Down line are complete and usable.  The fixed line below Washburn's Thumb is repaired and complete.  

>  Based on reports from descending climbers, the pickets on the upper mountain (Autobahn) are all in good shape and are 'findable and usuable'. 

> Frank reported that the bergshrund at the base of the fixed lines is a little more challenging than usual due to general snow conditions, i.e. its bigger, more open. Climbers should expect some extra maneuvering to get over it. Also, the route gets pinched a bit, so expect a possible bottleneck in the vicinity if multiple teams are moving through.

> Roger warns everyone that a significant crevasse has opened up about a 1/4 mile downhill from Basecamp. The crevasse is right on the main trail, with little or no sagging or warning.  All climbers are cautioned to use adequate flotation and be roped up at all times.  

> Warmer than usual temperatures at basecamp are melting out the snow base at a rate of about a 1" loss per day, according to Roger.  

> Ravens abound, hungry for poorly buried caches. REMEMBER to bury caches at least 1 meter deep!


Photo of the Day

NPS rangers and volunteers repair the fixed rope lines on a steep headwallNPS 14K Patrol #1 at work repairing and replacing the fixed lines just above the bergshrund.  Photo courtesy of VIP Andrea Tupy.

Last updated: May 15, 2017

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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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