Field Report, May 17, 2017

May 17, 2017 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.


Mountain Weather

Click here for today's National Weather Service Denali Climbing Forecast.  The FAA webcams on the Kahiltna and Ruth Glaciers have been installed for the season. Look for the two adjacent blue dots within Denali National Park boundaries. Note that the Kahiltna Glacier Advisory camera is currently down, though repairs are in the works. The Ruth Glacier Advisory camera is currently functioning properly.

7,200 feet - At 8:00 am, skies were obscured by clouds. A light snow was falling. Winds were calm, with a max gust to 13 mph out of the southeast.  They witnessed just a trace of new snow overnight.  Barometer 29.91 and rising.

In the last 12 hours:
Current temp  25 F  (-4 C)
Hi temp  27 F  (-3 C)
Low temp   21 F (-6 C)

14,200 feet - Clear skies above, with a solid cloud deck at 13,000 feet.  Winds were calm, with gusts to 15 mph out of the southeast.  There was no new snow in the past 24 hours.

In the last 12 hours:
Current temp  -4 F (-20 C)
Hi temp   0 F  (-18 C)
Low temp   -8 F (-22 C)

Ranger Update

NPS Denali (14K) Patrol #1 (Shain + 4 VIPs) Ranger Frank Preston flew out from 14 camp yesterday (Tuesday), and is currently back in Talkeetna for a couple weeks before he goes back up on a second upper mountain patrol in June. The rest of the patrol will remain at 14 camp for a couple more days and then might head up to high camp. In what has been a quiet and healthy start to the climbing season, they treated their first patient yesterday afternoon (possible cardiac issues), culminating with an efficient helo evacuation from 14 camp.

NPS Denali (14K) Patrol #2 (Corn + 5 VIPs) are at 11,000-foot camp today, with plans to ascend to 14 camp tomorrow.

NPS Basecamp (7K) Patrol #2 (Coady + 2 VIPs) swapped out with Basecamp Patrol #1 (Robinson, O'Connor, + 2 VIPs).

Route Conditions


> Both the Up line and the Down line are complete and usable on the Headwall.  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.

> Climbers are cautioned to use adequate flotation and be roped up at all times as they leave Basecamp.  A crevasse has opened up on the main trail about a 1/4 mile downhill from from camp. The crevasse is relatively small now, but will likely open up as the temperatures continue to rise.  


Photos of the Day

A volunteer gets ready to construct a tentWhen most climbers set up their tent on Denali, they only plan to stay put for a few days. However, special preparations (i.e. lots of shovelling) are needed before setting up the NPS Basecamp tent at 7,200 feet. The tent will need to stand for the next two months, during which time the glacier snowpack around the tent will gradually melt away. So, rangers and volunteers like VIP Lance Taysom dig at least 6 feet down, then lay a rigid platform base, then erect the tent itself. (NPS Photo/Roger Robinson.)

A ranger prepares a meal on a camp cookstoveNPS patrol member Jessica O'Connor enjoys a beautiful view of Denali out the tent window as she prepares dinner for the crew. (NPS Photo/Roger Robinson)


Last updated: May 17, 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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