by Sue Deyoe ~ January 13th, 2011
Lonnie Dupre, the polar explorer who is trying to become the first person to summit Denali ALONE in January, is making his way up the mountain. He was dropped on the Kahiltna Glacier by Talkeetna Air Taxi last Friday.
He is making progress and is at approximately 11,500 — That’s below Windy Corner, a place that is well-named.
Local climbers have varying opinions of the polar explorer who doesn’t have much mountain climbing experience but is well versed in bitter cold and weather extremes and snow. Some climbers say if Dupre gets a long stretch of good weather he can easily make it to the summit. Just as in summer, climbers say it’s weather dependent.
Paul Roderick, owner of TAT, says he will most likely do a check or two on Dupre next week. He says high winds are forecast for the next several days and Windy Corner will probably not be travel-able.
According to Dupree’s blog posts on the internet, the ambient temperatures have not been too cold. Temperatures have ranged between twenty below and zero. However, winds up to 70 miles an hour and above, at times, have made climbing difficult. Dupre has just a little more than two weeks to make his goal. Even if he summits the first of February, he will still only be one of 17 people who have ever reached the summit in winter.