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Lonnie landed on the Kahiltna glacier at Denali BC and buried a cache of supplies.
courtesy Lonnie Dupre, SOURCE
Ready to make headway up the glacier in good light.
courtesy Lonnie Dupre, SOURCE

Lonnie Dupre's winter Denali kicks off

Posted: Jan 09, 2013 08:11 pm EST
(Newsdesk) Lonnie has safely landed at Northern America's highest mountain Denali (McKinley) base camp on the Kahiltna glacier. He's already making headway on the glacier with good light, reported his home team on Facebook.

His blog earlier reads, "By 1:30pm we had landed on Kahiltna Glacier where Lonnie buried a cache of supplies at Base Camp (7200ft). About half an hour later Lonnie finished getting ready and began making his way towards the mountain."

Press release by Dupre's team:
January 8, 2013, Talkeetna, Alaska


Arctic explorer and climber Lonnie Dupre is attempting to become the first person to ever solo summit Alaska's Denali (aka Mount McKinley) in January. With winter winds regularly exceeding 100 miles per hour, temperatures dropping below -60º F, and just six hours of sunlight each day, January is a formidable time on Denali, whose elevation of 20,320 feet makes it North America's highest mountain. Dupre flew to the Kahiltna Glacier at the base of Denali on Tuesday, January 8, 2013, carrying 34 days worth of supplies. From there, he will begin his climb as soon as weather allows. Major sponsors of Dupre's Denali expedition are Hear in America, Marmot and Granite Gear.

Only nine expeditions, totaling 16 people, have ever reached the Denali summit in winter, and six deaths occurred during those climbs. Of these previous winter expeditions, four were solo, but none was in January, the darkest and coldest time of the year on the mountain. Only one team of three Russian climbers has ever successfully summited Denali in January.

Dupre attempted a solo Denali summit the last two winters and made it to 17,200 feet. However, he was forced to descend when bad weather trapped him in a snow cave for several days. Dupre, a resident of Grand Marais, MN, brings 25 years of Arctic exploration to his most recent endeavor. His accomplishments include being the first to circumnavigate Greenland by non-motorized transport, and reaching the North Pole in two separate expeditions.

He feels even more prepared than ever this year. “The experience you gain from each expedition and climb,” Dupre said, “significantly reduces the risk because you understand the route more intimately and can fine tune your equipment accordingly. So, this year I'm more confident because I'm traveling lighter and more efficiently. Now it's up to the weather!”

Dupre has also worked to bring even more worldwide attention to his climb than previously. “I spent a lot of time this past year trying to figure out how to inspire folks about our need to do something about climate change,” said Dupre. “So in conjunction with the climb, we are making a documentary film called Cold Love, which is about the world's need — and people's need — for snow and ice. Snow and ice are important in our polar regions because they help reflect the sun's energy back into space.

Basically, the planet's polar regions act as a thermostat to keep our planet cool.” The documentary will be funded by donations through the website kickstarter.com. Everything Dupre does is aimed at bringing attention to the environment. Recently, he decided to donate profits from the sale of his book, Life on Ice: 25 Years of Arctic Exploration, published by Keen Editions, to The Nature Conservancy's campaign “Plant a Billion Trees.” Each Life on Ice sale will enable the planting of 11 trees. END

Related/Previous:

2013 kickstart: Pakistan and Alaska winter climbs on their marks, Antarctica highlights

Denali/McKinley: Lonnie Dupre back for a winter solo climb

North Pole by ski and canoe/kayak: Lonnie Dupre and Eric Larsen recall

Lonnie Dupre website


#Mountaineering #topstory