Climber Soloing Denali Hits 11,500-Foot Mark

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

Minnesota adventurer Lonnie Dupre reports making it to the 11,500 foot level of Denali, and starting up the steep pitch known as Motorcycle Hill on the mountain’s West Buttress route this morning.  In an audio blog posted Wednesday, Dupre sounded optimistic about his climb.

Dupre is trying to become the first person to solo climb Denali in the month of January.  He’s sleeping in snow caves to hide from the wind and cold, and walking with an aluminum ladder to protect him in a crevasse fall. The 49-year-old has extensive polar experience but minimal high altitude climbing time. He scaled Denali for the first time last summer.  His website says only one other expedition, comprised of three Russians, has summitted Denali in January.

Download Audio (MP3)