Climber Attempts January McKinley Summit
Hoping his third try will find success
TALKEETNA - It was only a little more than a year ago that the extreme mountain climber and arctic explorer Lonnie Dupre was packing up the plane and heading to Mount McKinley.
“I'm feeling excited. There's always a little bit of butterflies before you go. That's a good thing because those butterflies keep you alive,” said Dupre, as he flew out for his second attempt to be the first person to solo summit Denali in January.
Like his first attempt, the weather hindered him from making it to the top.
Now he’s back in Talkeetna preparing for trip number three.
“I've got to be patient, and hopefully good weather is coming around the bend,” said Dupre.
He plans to haul nearly 200 pounds of gear up the mountain, including a month’s worth of food that can be stretched to 45 days if needed.
“There's a raw food energy bar in there, there's some really high energy chocolate, macaroni and cheese. I’ve got pemmican which is made with bacon, cranberries, lentils and rendered duck fat,” said Dupre.
No one has made it to Mt. McKinley’s summit on a solo trip in January before. With his 52nd birthday around the corner, Dupre says if he doesn’t reach the top, he’s not sure if he’ll be back next year.
“I don't know if I'll have the energy to build snow caves much longer and sleep in those. But I feel good about it this year.”
High winds delayed his departure Sunday and Monday. Whenever he’s able to make it out, McKinley will be waiting.