Field Report, May 28

May 28, 2015 Posted by: Maureen 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 - Rangers at 14K reported 'broken' skies this morning (which means about half the sky is covered in clouds). Lenticular clouds were building over the summit, visible from camp as well as from Talkeetna.  Wind was 3 mph steady at 8 am, gusting to 30 mph, and getting windier by the hour.  No new snow yesterday.    

In the last 12 hours, 
Current temp:  12 F (-11 C)
Low temp: 10 F (-12 C) 
High temp: 14 F (-10 C) 

7,200 feet - Basecamp has a clear view of the lenticulars building over the summit, as well as broken cirrus clouds.  Morning windspeed was 4 mph from the east, with gusts to 12 mph.  No new snow.  

In the last 12 hours at 7,200-feet:
Current temp: 34 (1 C)
Low temp: 32
 F (0 C)
High temp: 39 F (4 C)

National Weather Service forecast  

Ranger Update

NPS Denali Patrol #2 (Shain + 3 VIPs)  The full patrol is now camped at 17,200-feet as of last evening.  This morning, windy conditions exceed the safety threshold for a helicopter mission, but as soon as they report flyable conditions, the high altitude helicopter will deliver camp supplies and perform the body recovery mission.

NPS Denali Patrol #3 (Weber, 2 PJ's, 2 VIPs) is stationed at the 14,200-foot camp, with most of the patrol doing a day trip up the fixed lines yesterday.  The team completed a crown profile for the recent slide below the Rescue Gully. They measured the wind slab as 60 cm thick, including a 40 cm wind slab on top of a sun crust, with an additional 20 cm wind slab below that.

NPS Denali Patrol #4 (Chenoweth, 4 VIPs)  Patrol #4 was still at Basecamp this morning, but plan on leaving later today for their ascent up the West Buttress.

NPS Basecamp Patrol #3 (Corn +1 VIP)  Travel has reportedly been great on the lower glacier, with good crusts developing overnight and most groups travelling in the early morning.

Route Conditions

As mentioned above, the lower glacier is still in good shape  for travel due to recent overnight freezes, particularly in the early morning hours.  Otherwise, route condition notes contained in recent Field Reports still stand.  

An estimated 40+ individuals went for the summit yesterday, and hopefully the early season's dismal summit percentage will start to inch up soon.

After several years of spotty or non-existent cell service at 14,200-foot and higher, ranger staff report consistent cell phone reception this year, at least with Verizon.  Even certain stretches below 14,200 have shown service.  If climbers have luck with another carrier, please pass that info along to the NPS and we'll spread the word.  

Photo of the Day

 Snowy, windswept camp with bundled up climbers

Bundled up against the wind and cold, climbers at the 14,200-foot camp reinforce their protective snow walls. The first upper mountain NPS patrol of the season has just begun downloading their photos, so we expect more to come soon.  Thanks to NPS VIP Benjamin Weaver for this image.  

Last updated: July 21, 2015

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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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