Field Report, May 18

May 18, 2015 Posted by: M. Gualtieri


Mt. McKinley

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. 

Weather Report

14,200 feet- As of 8:00 am this morning at 14K, rangers report clear skies, cold temps, and generally calm winds, with gusts to 13 mph in the past 12 hours.  The weekend saw no new snow, but winds were fierce. We don't have estimates on how strong the wind was blowing at 17K or the summit as no climbers were up there during the storm, nor is there wind measurement equipment up that high.  But at 14K camp, Saturday's 8:00 am windspeed was 27 mph, with gusts kicking up to 63 mph; Sunday was milder, with general wind speed of 9 mph, with gusts up to 24 mph.  

In the last 12 hours, 
Current temp:  5 F (-15 C)
Low temp: 3 F (-16 C) 
High temp: 9 F (-13 C) 

7,200 feet - There are a few clouds at Basecamp this morning, with winds of 3 mph gusting to a max of 7 mph from the northeast.  No precipitation was recorded at Basecamp over the weekend.  

In the last 12 hours at 7,200-feet:
Current temp: 25 (-4 C)
Low temp: 21 F (-6 C) 
High temp: 34 F (1 C)

National Weather Service forecast  

Ranger Update

NPS Denali Patrol #1 (Erickson, Westman, 2 PJ's, 4 VIPs) have the 14,200-foot camp infrastructure all in place.  Westman and a couple VIPs went up the fixed lines on Sunday, excavating any ice-encrusted ropes and extending the lines where needed.  Today, Ranger Erickson and a couple VIPs will make an acclimatization trip to 17,200-foot camp for the day. 

NPS Denali Patrol #2 (Shain + 3 VIPs) are moving up from 11K camp to 14,200-foot camp today.  It'll be a high traffic day at Windy Corner, as an estimated 82 climbers will be either moving up to 14K camp, or making a carry around the corner, i.e. caching gear at 13,200-feet and returning to 11K camp.  

NPS Denali Patrol #3 (Weber, 2 PJ's, 2 VIPs) flies into Basecamp this afternoon to begin their ascent.  

Tomorrow, NPS Basecamp Patrol #1 (Robinson + 4 VIPs) will swap out with the second BC patrol of the season, consisting of Ranger Joe Reichert and two volunteers.

Six Denali expeditions are scheduled to check-in today at the Talkeetna Ranger Station.

A total of 105 registered backcountry climbers are currently in the Alaska Range this morning, spread throughout areas such as Mount Hunter, the Upper and Lower Kahiltna Glacier, the Ruth Glacier, the Eldridge Glacier, and Little Switzerland.  

Route Conditions

> High winds over the weekend have scoured areas of the mountain, with more blue ice appearing below Windy Corner and on the Headwall.

> The fixed lines on the Headwall have been excavated and are now considered in good shape; 

> Lots of crevasses at and above Windy Corner;

> The trail this year goes high into the rockfall area between Windy Corner and 14,200-feet; and 

> As always, climbers should be aware of avalanche potential throughout the Alaska Range, particularly in light of recent and pending snow and wind.  See past Field Reports for more info.

Photo of the Day

 Nets and gear and tents on a glacier

Although we don't have photos yet from this season, above is what pre-camp set-up looked like last season at 14,200-feet.  The empty cargo nets in the foreground had held all the action packers, solar panels, duffels, tents, etc.  (NPS Photo/Coley Gentzel)

Last updated: July 21, 2015

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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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