Grand Marais adventurer to attempt solo Denali climb for 4th time


Arctic adventurer Lonnie Dupre will make his fourth attempt at becoming the first person to reach the summit of Alaska's Mount McKinley (also called Denali) on a solo climb in the month of January.

Climbing the mountain isn't easy – only a team of two Russians has reached the 20,320-foot mountain's summit in the month of January, the Duluth News Tribune reports. In all, 16 climbers from nine expeditions have reached the summit in the winter – six climbers died on those expeditions, according to Dupre's website,

The mountain, which is the tallest in North America, is known to have unpredictable weather and vast crevasse fields, making it difficult to climb even in the summer. In the winter, wind speeds can exceed 100 miles per hour and with only six hours of daylight, temperatures often plummet to below -50 degrees, his website says.

For the last three years the Grand Marais adventurer has attempted to climb to McKinley's summit in January, but bad weather thwarted his attempts, according to his website. Now, the 53-year-old will give it another go starting Dec. 15.

Dupre is changing a few things from his previous attempts. The Duluth News Tribune says he's starting earlier than in the past hoping he'll get better weather conditions. He's also using a tent instead of digging snow caves and he'll climb his 200 pounds of supplies up the mountain, but climb lower to sleep.

“That will allow me to acclimate better,” he told the Duluth News Tribune. “You end up climbing the mountain twice, but overall it’s easier.”

Dupre plans to update his blog throughout the climb and will use his expedition to draw attention to climate change, his website says.

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Grand Marais climber calls it quits

Lonnie Dupre has called off his attempt to reach Mt. McKinley’s peak. The Duluth News Tribune says that after hurricane-force winds pinned down Dupre, the climber decided to abandon the effort. The 50-year-old was attempting to be the first solo person in January to reach the highest peak in North America — a 20,320 foot summit.

Update: Grand Marais climber still at 14,200 feet

Lonnie Dupre is still at 14,200 feet on Mt. McKinley. The Duluth News Tribune reports hurricane-force winds are keeping Dupre from moving further up the mountain. The 50-year-old is attempting to be the first solo person in January to reach the highest peak in North America -- a 20,320 foot summit. Dupre tried the same record last winter, but only reached 17,200 feet because of bad weather.