Field Report, May 16

May 16, 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. 

We hear rumors that several teams have reached the summit of Denali in the past couple days, but we will not report them here in the statistics until the climbing teams check back in with us in those numbers should start appearing in the days to come.

Weather Report

7,200 feet -  Unvailable at the moment, but we will update this section before the end of the day...

In the last 12 hours:
Current temp:   C /  F
Low temp:   C /  F
High temp:   C /  F

FAA Kahiltna Glacier webcam 

National Weather Service forecast 

Ranger Update

NPS Denali Patrol #1 (Erickson, Coady, 2 GRTE rangers, 2 VIPs) The patrol reached 14,200-foot camp on Friday, May 13. Since then, they've been busy unpacking and setting up camp infrastructure, including communications and medical tents. They excavated and marked a crevasse at 14K for bio-bagged human waste disposal, just as they had at 7,800 feet and 11,000 feet. Today, among other things, they are setting up the 14K weather monitoring station, so we should have weather observations from that elevation starting tomorrow. 

NPS Denali Patrol #2 (McBrayer and 4 VIPs). Ranger Joey McBrayer and his four VIP's Amrit Ale, Nick Weinberg, Wes Burgess, and Christopher Martin, flew to Basecamp on Saturday, May 14. They remained in camp for a couple days of crevasse rescue training and headed down the glacier today for their mountain ascent. 

NPS Basecamp Patrol #1 (Reichert, 2 rangers, 1 VIP) Ranger Joe Reichert, VIP Kakiko Ramos, Denali NP Chief Ranger Erika Jostad and LE Ranger Nick Beheler also flew into Basecamp on Saturday, May 14 to begin constructing that camp.

NPS AKR Patrol #4 (Corn, Preston, Jackson) flew out of the Range on 5/13.

Route Conditions

Ranger Chris Erickson had plenty to report this morning. He said their patrol witnessed 'near perfect travel conditions' on Friday around Windy Corner, with excellent crampon purchase in the mixed snow and ice.  He suspects the conditions are much snowier now.

Yesterday, they experienced a highly unique weather event at 14,200-feet -- an ice storm. At 14,200-feet, they received 1/8" of ice coating everything in camp, followed by 8" of new snow. 

Avalanche awareness is heightened, particularly at elevations above 14K. Erickson reported that the colder elevations above didn't necessarily see the ice, however warm snow 'stuck to the upper mountain' and more than 8" of new snow accumulated in the Rescue Gully, the Messner Couloir, and other steep slopes.

Although patrol members have not yet climbed above camp yet, reports are that the fixed lines are now usable. An independent team did much of the work excavating the fixed lines. NPS Patrol #1 anticipates members of their team will ascend the lines tomorrow and continue any necessary maintenance. 

Several teams have reported that all the pickets and wands are still in place from last season on the Autobahn.  

Photo of the Day

 7K and 14K patrol members before flying up to Basecamp
Rangers and volunteers enjoy a bon voyage barbecue in Talkeetna before heading up to the Kahiltna Basecamp. From left to right: NPS 7K Patrol #1: Ranger Joe Reichert, Ranger Nick Beheler, Chief Ranger Erika Jostad, VIP Kakiko Ramos; and NPS 14K Patrol #2: VIP Wes Burgess, Ranger Joey McBrayer, VIP Amrit Ale, VIP Chris Martin, and VIP Dr. Nick Weinberg. Venus, in the foreground stepping on Joe's foot, is not going to Basecamp but she was grateful to be invited to the barbecue.  (NPS Photo/Gualtieri)

Last updated: August 18, 2016

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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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