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Denali Report for May 26th, 2017: Stepping up the game on Denali’s human waste

by Phillip Manning ~ May 25th, 2017

 

Climber Corneliu Turturica displaying his full pack out flag and demonstrating an unusual use for a clean mountain can.  Photo courtesy of Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station.

Climber Corneliu Turturica displaying his full pack out flag and demonstrating an unusual use for a clean mountain can. Photo courtesy of Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station.

This week on the Denali Report, the summit rate remains relatively low, and veteran mountaineering ranger Roger Robinson tells KTNA’s Phillip Manning about the plan to celebrate Denali National Park’s 100th birthday by not leaving it a certain kind of present.

 

This is the Denali Report for Friday, May 26th, 2017.

There are 1,023 climbers registered to climb Denali this year. Of those, 463 were on the mountain as of Thursday afternoon. Just over a hundred people have returned from their attempt, and twenty have reached the top, making the current summit rate twenty percent. Sixteen climbers are registered to attempt Mt. Foraker. Six people are currently on the mountain, and seven have returned. Nobody has reached the summit of Mt. Foraker thus far in 2017.

Earlier in the season I spoke with Roger Robinson about a special initiative Denali National Park rangers are encouraging climbers to participate in. Robinson has been a pioneer in keeping Denali clean, and was instrumental in introducing the “Clean Mountain Can” program to help keep some human waste off the mountain. This year, he and other mountaineering rangers are asking climbers to volunteer to pack out all of their human waste from their expeditions.

While progress has been made in the thirty years of Robinson’s tenure, especially in the realm of bringing trash off of Denali, he believes a full pack out of all waste from the mountain is feasible, and has completed such a climb himself.

Those that take part in this unique celebration of Denali National Park’s 100th birthday will

Artwork for the special flag that will be presented to climbers who complete a full pack out of human waste in 2017.  Photo courtesy of Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station

Artwork for the special flag that will be presented to climbers who complete a full pack out of human waste in 2017. Photo courtesy of Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station

receive a special party favor. A special flag bearing a “Sustainable Summits” banner over Denali, and ice ax, and a roll of toilet paper, has been commissioned in limited numbers for the climbers who complete the full pack out this season.

 

 

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