Field Report, May 6

May 06, 2016 Posted by: Maureen Gualtieri and Laura Wright



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

7,200 feet -  Skies were obscured by clouds at 8:00 am. A light snow was falling this morning, with 5 inches of snow accumulation overnight. Winds were calm, with an occasional gust to 7 mph from the east. Barometer pressure was 29.67 and rising.

In the last 12 hours:
Current temp: -5 C / 23 F
Low temp:  -7 C / 19 F
High temp:  -5 C / 23 F

The FAA Kahiltna Glacier webcam is now operational. Look for the blue dot in the lower middle of Denali National Park, "Kahiltna Glacier Advisory WX na"

National Weather Service forecast 

Ranger Update

NPS AKR Patrol #3 (Shain, 1 VIP) Ranger Mik Shain and volunteer Sue Wolff are in the Ruth Gorge. Patrol objectives include climbing, contacting park visitors, assessing snow and route conditions, and cleaning up the glacier as needed. 

NPS Denali Patrol #1 (Erickson, Coady, 2 GRTE rangers, 2 VIPs) is camped at the Kahiltna Basecamp. The team will practice crevasse rescue and other skills today in camp, then head up the glacier tomorrow to 7,800 camp.  Cloud cover on Mount Crosson yesterday precluded the radio repeater installation.  As of blog presstime, the Colony High School jazz band had yet to fly into basecamp due to unflyable conditions, but fingers were crossed for a late afternoon concert.

Route Conditions

Lower Kahiltna glacier is in good shape. Some crevasses near Mount Frances and the East Fork turnoff, but otherwise easy to navigate. 

Photo(s) of the Day

Students surround a tent and two climbers at the Talkeetna Ranger Station
We managed to fit 90 3rd Graders into the Great Room at the Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station. In the annual Train Day, kids from Wasilla ride the rails to Talkeetna for the day. We’ve had Tanaina Elementary school students come up for several years.

After the kids watched a portion of the climbing film, Rangers Roger Robinson and Joey McBrayer entered the room. They were dressed to represent climbers from the past and present as they made their summit attempt. Roger Robinson wore all of his own clothing from the 1960s and 70s including his handmade bivy sack. Much of his gear has seen the slopes of Denali many times. Joey showed off the latest gear, including a light weight stove and tent.  Lucky they had their gear as bad weather forced them to bivy near the summit. They compared the gear used today versus yesterday. They dug in until bad weather allowed them to descend safely.

Ranger teaching kids about Leave No Trace practices
The kids then split into five groups and went to Ranger led stations set up around the building. Three stations involved mountaineering related themes with Ranger Mike Connolly teaching Leave No Trace… the kids really liked the CMCs! 

Blindfolded kids walk on a rope line
Ranger Joey with Ranger Tucker Chenoweth put the kids on rope teams and blindfolded all but the leader. They had to negotiate a ‘crevassed’ course using teamwork and communication. 

Ranger demonstrates a rope and pulley system
Ranger Roger used mechanical advantage to pit the kids against one another in a tug of war.

Ranger surrounded by schoolchildren
Ranger Jay focused on the small wonders beneath our feet: insects.

Ranger and children look at animal furs and skulls

Ranger Laura Wright displayed furs and skulls and had the kids identify the animals and what they might eat based on their teeth.

And if that were not enough education, Ranger Jay led the group to the river and Ranger Laura gave talks around the mountaineering model at the Talkeetna Historical Society. Ranger Laura also went to bed at 8:45 pm that night!

(Program and story put together by Laura Wright, NPS Photos)

Last updated: May 6, 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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