Cold Hunter One: Hunter Journals - Part 2

Ooooh Hunter! There is an aggressive 1,200 foot massive icefall that guards access to the south side of the mountain leading to the Ramen route. Huge crevasses and stacked blocks of ice the size of houses. However every other year, depending on glacier movement and snowfall, the south flank of the icefall becomes just passable. The glacier movement slows down and heavy snows fill the voids. We flew to Kahiltna basecamp which brought us directly over the icefall on the south side of Mt. Hunter. It appeared intimidating and impossible as everyone in the plane scanned for a possible route through. With four experienced mountaineers in the plane counting our pilots, all agreed the route was a

Cold Hunter One: Hunter Journals - Part 1

Ooooh Hunter! Yesterday, I realized it was the 4 year anniversary of my solo winter ascent of Denali. It seems like so long ago. Since that time, the ice, snow and rock has been moving under feet with climbs in Nepal of Kyajo Ri at 20,295 feet and another of Ama Dablam up to camp 2 – both led by team member Elías de Andrés Martos. Photo right: Summit of Kyajo Ri - Nepal 2015 In 2018 Pascale Marceau, Vern Stice and I made the first ascent of Jeannette Peak 10,135 feet in British Columbia. I then went on to solo Mt Quincy Adams, the second highest peak in British Columbia at 13,650 feet. As a fledgling mountaineer those climbs really helped me prepare for Mt Hunter. My polar exploration bac

Cold Hunter One: Pondering Avalanche Risk

Lonnie has now ferried supplies partway up this slope towards the ridge. With over 70ft of snowfall in the Alaska Range so far this winter - there is A LOT of snow. This slope is loaded and with 46" of snow in the forecast over the next 6 days... he's weighing his options from a safety and supplies point of view. Listen in to Dupre's latest call-in from this Globalstar sat phone. Mountain Forecast for Mt. Hunter

Cold Hunter One: Change of Plan

Prior to landing on the glacier, the plane did a few fly overs of the projected Ramen route. Then, after sleeping on it and while skiing from basecamp toward Mt. Hunter, Dupre digested what he had observed and made the decision to change his plan; the icefall is simply too heavily broken up for unroped travel. It's a tough call when you spend a year mentally visualizing and planning for a route to then change it on the fly - but such is mountaineering. Dupre leaving basecamp. Photo courtesy of John Thain He is now tackling the northwest basin variation of the west ridge, the same route he tried in previous attempts. This time, snow conditions allowed him to make it through the cr

Cold Hunter One: Arrival at Basecamp

Safely landed yesterday, skiing out to the base of Mt. Hunter today! Dupre left Talkeetna yesterday afternoon, flying into the Alaska Range to the base of Mount Hunter (14,573ft) to attempt its first winter solo ascent. Hunter is the steepest and most technical of the three great peaks in Denali National Park. “The approach up and through a tricky icefall followed by sustained technical climbing with a heavy pack will put me at the edge of my capabilities”. - Dupre Landing on the Kahiltna glacier in winter’s low light and unstable weather is no easy task. In order to land, it has to be calm and clear to take advantage of the small window of sun needed to provide depth of field on the surfa

Cold Hunter One: Talkeetna

Dupre’s homebase for several winter expeditions now has been the Talkeetna Roadhouse. This town feels like a second home to him. Comfort food, cozy fireplaces, and great like-minded people – it’s a miracle he ever heads out for the mountains really? Dupre is just finalizing his last minute tasks like topping up electronics, taping wands, filling fuel bottles and EATING all that yummy food before he heads out.

Cold Hunter One: Carbon Offsets

As Dupre heads for Alaska today, it has become part of all his expeditions to offset his carbon footprint. With – it’s easy peasy and the money goes to some really interesting projects that help build a renewable Earth. The carbon fund gives you several options to help offset your carbon. Lonnie chose the option of planting 50 trees to offset his Mt. Hunter climb.

Cold Hunter One: The Comfy Cocoon

On multi-week winter expeditions, getting a solid night’s sleep is key to success. The trick on these prolonged outings is to ensure your sleep system stays dry, light and preserves its warming properties. Check out how Lonnie ensures his sleep system doesn’t ice up. Dupre uses a PrimaLoft synthetic bag as part of his sleep system for its outstanding warmth, even when damp.

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