Minnesota climber slowed in rare solo, winter ascent on Mt. McKinley

Author:
Updated:
Original:

No one has ever reached the summit of Mt. McKinley in a solo attempt in January, and Grand Marais adventurer Lonnie Dupre is once again discovering why.

“He’s had seven feet of snow in the past two days,” project coordinator Stevie Plummer told the Duluth News Tribune. “He’s been digging himself out.”

Dupre, 51, was dropped by plane at a base camp at 7,200 on McKinley on Jan. 8, and he was on the move through Saturday, reporting deep snow. But he hasn't moved since, camped at 8,800 feet on the 20,320-foot Alaskan mountain often called Denali.

This is Dupre's third attempt to climb North America's highest peak solo in winter. Only 16 have scaled the mountain to its top in the winter, but all as part of teams.

He's dragging a sled and carrying a backpack that weighs a total 225 pounds, and making snow caves for shelter, which provide more protection against the cold and wind than tents, according to his website. He's planting 250 flagged bamboo wands along his path to help him find his way back.

The climber's website offers more details about the ascent, and his previous two climbs: "In January 2011, he made a fast ascent to 17,200 feet only to be thwarted by bad weather just hours from the summit. Dupre huddled in his snow cave for 7 days but the window of stable weather he needed to continue to the summit never came. In 2012, he tried again. This time even worse weather trapped him lower on the mountain. Neither attempt discouraged him. Each time, Lonnie learned more about the equipment he needed and the weather he needed to be successful. He’s bringing all this knowledge to his 2013 journey."

Next Up

Kyle Rudolph

Rudolph sends farewell to Vikings fans in Players Tribune piece

"Every season I played here, every game I played here — you all believed."

Megan Ryan

Star Tribune's Megan Ryan named new Twins beat reporter

Ryan replaces LaVelle E. Neal who is now in a columnist role.

minnetonka MME

Minnetonka in spotlight after teacher threatened for discussing Black trans woman

Parents and community members are calling on the district to do better and will hold a march prior to the school board meeting on Thursday.

Richard Pitino

Talk grows that this season will be Pitino's last at Gophers

A report says Pitino's tenure could be "down to his final games."

Screen Shot 2021-03-02 at 1.40.17 PM

Two gas trucks collide in Stearns County, neither explodes

The unlikely collision happened Monday afternoon.

unnamed (1)

MSP Airport expecting spring break to be busiest period since pandemic began

Passenger numbers will still be about a third lower than a year ago, though.

Target store

After bumper earnings, Target will accelerate new store openings

The retailer has revealed its plans for the next few years, which includes an investment in Minneapolis.

starbucks wayzata

100% plant-based restaurant coming to Wayzata this spring

The restaurant has plans to add additional locations in Minnesota this summer and franchise nationwide.

Patric Richardson

'Laundry Evangelist' from St. Paul gets his own Discovery+ show

Patric Richardson has built a career around the appreciation and care of clothing.

Related

Grand Marais climber going for Mt. McKinley summit record

Lonnie Dupre, of Grand Marais, hopes to be successful with his second attempt to become the first solo climber to summit Alaska's Mount McKinley in January. According to the Duluth News Tribune, Dupre spent 22 days alone on North America's highest mountain when a storm kept him from reaching the top on his first try last year.

Update: Lonnie Dupre reaches 14,200 feet on Mt. McKinley

Lonnie Dupre is about 6,000 feet away from his record attempt on Mount McKinley. The Duluth News Tribune reports the Grand Marais climber reached 14,200 feet late Saturday. He planned to rest on New Year's Day at a place called Windy Corner. Dupre wants to be the first solo person in January to reach the highest peak in North America, known as Denali. He made it to 17,200 feet on his first attempt last year.