Every winter there is an attempt by at least one person, if not several people, to summit Denali. This year will be no exception. A man from Grand Marais, Minn. will be in Talkeetna the last week of December bringing a film crew with him.
Lonnie Dupre wants to be the first person to summit Denali solo in January. Although people have managed to summit in other winter months, no one has done it alone, in January, according to official records. Artur Testov and Vladamir Ananich succeeded as a team in January 1998. The infamous Masatoshi Kuriaki has spent more winter days on the mountain than anyone, and much of that time in January, but he hasn’t summitted Denali in January.
Dupre, according to accounts, has skied to the North Pole twice. He has circumnavigated Greenland by kayak and dogsled. This past June, Dupre and 2 friends summitted Denali. That was Dupre’s only major climbing experience.
Dupre has stated he plans on carrying a ladder, and as with most mountaineers, will have a sled with him as well.
He is set to arrive in downtown Talkeetna next week. The Talkeetna Ranger Station confirms he is scheduled to check in sometime that week. His blog says that he hopes to summit by January 31st.
An expedition documentary is being filmed by KSTP Channel 5 in Minneapolis, so the film crew will be in Talkeetna.