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Posts from the 'Denali Report' category

Denali ranger describes patrol and memorable summit day

Thursday, July 2, 2015
Andrew Lattimer, doctor and mountain patrol volunteer, descending from Denali's North Summit.  Photo courtesy: Tucker Chenoweth - NPS

Mountain patrol volunteers descending from Denali’s North Summit. Photo courtesy: Tucker Chenoweth – NPS

By: Katie Writer – KTNA

Currently, there are 1,090 people registered to attempt Denali. Of those, 129 are currently on the mountain, and 945 have completed their climbs. As of Thursday, 533 climbers have reached the summit, making the summit rate fifty-six percent.

All fifteen climbers registered for Mt. Foraker have completed their climbs, with six making it to the summit.

This week on the Denali Report, KTNA’s Katie Writer speaks with Mountaineering Ranger Tucker Chenoweth, who is back after patrolling on Denali:


Good weather on Denali for the past three weeks has increased the summit rate from a dismal 0% in May to a soaring 56% in early July.

Mountaineering Ranger Tucker Chenoweth and a team of four volunteers patrolled the mountain from May 26th to June 20th, and saw the dash for the summit that took place when the weather cleared.

“At high camp, I believe, there was a group – call it, like, a “plug of climbers—that had been stuck at “Fourteen Camp.” So, the first window they had, they all went. (more…)

Denali Report: It’s Windy Up There!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

It’s Friday, which means it’s time for the Denali Report .

Currently, there are 929 people registered to attempt Denali.  Of those, 358 are currently on the mountain.  Twenty-six climbs have been completed, and there his still only been one summit thus far, which means the current summit rate for 2015 is 3%.  Eleven climbers have registered to climb Mt. Foraker, and three are currently on the mountain.  Four trips have been completed with four summits.

This year, the National Park Service launched a new blog to share statistics and updates about mountaineering in the Alaska Range. The new blog, titled “Denali Dispatches,” builds on the daily climbing and weather statistics that have been available online in previous years.

Thus far, the Denali climbing season has seen very little success.  There is only one recorded summit for 2015, and that was Lonnie Dupre, who reached the highest point in North America back in January.  Denali National Park spokeswoman Maureen Gualtieri says that there have been at least two more summits, but the climbers have not returned yet, so they aren’t part of the official record.

The Denali Dispatches blog provides some insight as to why the summit percentage is in the single digits, currently.  The short answer: Wind.  Thursday’s update described winds gusting to nearly fifty miles-per-hour at 14,000 feet, and descriptions from High Camp at 17,000 feet say that the wind “sounds like a freight train.”  According to the blog, about 100 climbers are camped at 14,000 feet waiting for the wind to die down.  With them are two patrol teams, who have been turned around multiple times by the gusty conditions when they tried to reach High Camp.  Until the winds die down, it’s unlikely that many people will complete the trip to the top of North America.

Denali Report: Avalanche Risk

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Currently, there are 888 people registered to climb Denali.  Of those, 208 are currently on the mountain.  Nine climbs have been completed with one successful summit.  That makes the current summit rate eleven percent.  Nine climbers are registered to attempt Mt. Foraker.  Nobody is currently on the mountain, and all four attempts thus far have been successful.

This week on the Denali Report, KTNA’s Phillip Manning talks with mountaineering ranger Dan Corn about avalanches.

Denali Report for 7/11/14

Thursday, July 10, 2014

It’s Friday, and that means it’s time for the Denali Report.  KTNA’s Phillip Manning has one last report as the climbing season winds down:


It’s July, which means that climbing season is nearing an end.  In total, 1,204 climbers registered to attempt Denali.  Sixty-one are still listed on the mountain.  1,142 climbs have been completed, and there have been 420 summits.  That makes the success rate thirty-seven percent.  On Mt. Foraker, twelve climbers registered, and half made it to the top. (more…)

Denali Report for 6/27/14

Friday, June 27, 2014

It hasn’t been a good year for climbers attempting to summit Denali.  Wind and snow have kept the summit rate at one-in-three.  The weather also means higher risk for injuries, especially frostbite, as Phillip Manning at member station KTNA explains.


Currently, there are 1205 climbers registered to attempt Denali.  Of those, 263 are on the mountain, and 896 have finished their climbs.  There have been 296 summits, making the current summit rate thirty-three percent.  Climbing on Mt. Foraker is already done for the year, with six of the twelve attempts ending in a successful summit.

This week, the tale of bad weather on North America’s highest peak continues.  On Thursday, about two dozen climbers were busy shoveling more than two feet of fresh snow at base camp.  High winds, snow, and narrow weather windows have been the story of climbing season, thus far.  One of the dangers that comes along with a windy season is frostbite, as mountaineering ranger Dave Weber explains. (more…)

Denali Report for June 6th, 2014

Thursday, June 5, 2014

As of Thursday evening, there are 1,120 people registered to climb Denali, and 599 are currently on the mountain.  To date, 242 climbers have finished their expeditions, and forty-six have summited, making the current summit rate a very low nineteen percent.  On Mt. Foraker, ten climbers are registered, and eight are currently on the mountain.  The two climbers who have completed their trek succeeded in reaching the summit. (more…)

Denali Report: Status of Team Butte America and and interview with a U.S. Army climbing team

Thursday, May 22, 2014


Currently, there are 1,057 climbers registered to climb Denali, and 388 are currently on the mountain.  Fifty climbers have returned to town, and twelve have summited, giving 2014 a summit rate of 24% thus far.

Team Butte America, who I spoke with last week prior to their departure from Talkeetna, last checked in with their GPS locator in the area of “Camp 2,” which is near 11,000 feet.  With more than two weeks of food remaining, the team still has plenty of time to wait for acclimatization and weather to make a bid for the summit.

On Thursday, I spoke via satellite phone with Captain Samuel Palmer, who is the team leader for the first of two U.S. Army Alaska teams that will be attempting Denali this year.  Captain Palmer says the team arrived in base camp on Wednesday, and planned to set out on skis Thursday evening. (more…)

Denali Report for Friday, May 9th, 2014

Friday, May 9, 2014


The mercury is rising, skies have been clear, and the drone of propellers has been increasing over the last week.  That can only mean one thing; climbing season is upon us.  This year, the Denali Report will be coming out on Friday’s.  KTNA’s Phillip Manning has this year’s first:

After a very successful and relatively safe 2013 climbing season, hopes are high for what 2014 has to bring.  The Talkeetna airport has been very busy for the last week, and all of the air services are reporting an increase in anticipated climber traffic over last year.   (more…)

Denali Report for 7/10/2013

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

There are 1152 climbers registered to climb Denali this year.  Of those, 995 have completed their climbs, and 156 are currently on the mountain.  705 climbers have summited, making the current summit percentage 71%.

For 2013’s final Denali Report, KTNA’s Melis Coady spoke with Denali base camp manager, Lisa Roderick, who recently arrived in Talkeetna.

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