Field Report, May 29

May 29, 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 - High, thin clouds over camp today.  Windspeed was 4 mph from the north at 8 am, gusting to 22 mph from the east.  No new snow yesterday.   

In the last 12 hours, 
Current temp:  17 F (-8 C)
Low temp: 12 F (-11 C) 
High temp: 17 F (-8 C) 

7,200 feet - Clear skies today, morning windspeed was 5 mph from the east, with gusts to 15 mph.  No new snow.  

In the last 12 hours:
Current temp: 30 (-1 C)
Low temp: 27
 F (-3 C)
High temp: 32 F (0 C)

National Weather Service forecast  

Ranger Update

NPS Denali Patrol #2 (Shain + 3 VIPs) will remain at high camp through the weekend.  Based on the number of teams at higher elevations on Denali, as well as a favorable weather forecast, they anticipate a lot of teams moving up to camp and/or making a summit push. This morning, the patrol managed the ground operations during the successful body recovery of deceased Argentine climber Javier Callupan. Callupan died of unknown causes sometime between May 6 and May 10, when his body was found at high camp. Consistently strong winds at high elevations for the past several weeks have prolonged the recovery effort until today. This morning, the park's A-Star B3e helicopter pilot Andy Hermansky flew an initial reconnaissance flight to high camp, then returned with a long-line and haul net.  The mission was flown without incident, and Callupan's remains will be flown down to Talkeetna and transferred to the State of Alaska Medical Examiner.

NPS Denali Patrol #3 (Weber, 2 PJ's, 2 VIPs) is stationed at the 14,200-foot camp, assisting with any medical issues that surface, doing day trips to high camp, and patrolling 14,200-foot camp. Today, the NPS camp received a helicopter re-supply, and they provided key operational assistance (communications, re-supply gear, weather reporting, +) for this morning's high altitude recovery flight.

NPS Denali Patrol #4 (Chenoweth, 4 VIPs)  Patrol #4 are moving up the West Buttress from the 7,800-foot camp, along with many other independent and guided parties.

NPS Basecamp Patrol #3 (Corn +1 VIP)  The patrol assisted with the high altitude flight mission today, including logistics, helo support, load transfer, etc. 

Route Conditions

The lower glacier is still in good shape for travel due to continued overnight freezes. Other route condition notes contained in recent Field Reports still stand.  

After a sluggish start to the climbing season, the first big waves of teams headed for the summit have begun to roll. If weather permits, we expect a busy weekend on the summit. NPS patrol #2 will also have the opportunity to climb higher and inspect/replace/re-space the pickets on the traverse to Denali Pass, as well as any other necessary trail or high camp maintenance.   

Finally, mountaineers and staff report consistent Verizon cell phone reception this year at higher elevations, and even service at certain pockets below 14,200-feet.  If any climbers have luck with another carrier, please pass that info along to the NPS and we'll spread the word.  

Photo of the Day

 NPS volunteers sitting around a heater eating muffins
 VIP patrol member Katie Weaver and fellow volunteers enjoy an easy breakfast huddled around the NPS Communications Tent heater on a cold morning at 14,200-feet.  (NPS Photo/VIP Benjamin Weaver)   

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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