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Lonnie Dupre calls off Winter Denali

Posted: Jan 09, 2012 02:15 pm EST

(Newsdesk) After 16 days on North America’s tallest mountain Lonnie Dupre on Friday abandoned his effort to winter-solo Denali.

Lonnie spent 7 days and 6 nights in a 4×4 snow trench in up to 97mph winds. No break in the weather forecast finally forced him down.

"There may be a possible break in the winds for a day, but then picking up after a series of low pressure systems blow over to the South," Dupre's home team reported. "This would possibly allow Lonnie to climb to 17,200ft (high camp), but would then pick up again and not diminish in the foreseeable future. To be stuck at high camp with only 8 days worth of supplies is too big of a gamble without having at least a three days of probable weather."

“Due to poor weather, low visibility and extreme winds, I was forced to make the decision to descend after receiving word that there was another week of the daunting weather around the corner," Lonnie said. "You just can’t climb being blown off your feet!”

Lonnie has since been descending in hard winds. Today, he is continuing down to BC at 7,200ft.

Born in 1961 Lonnie Dupre was raised on a Minnesota country farm. Shortly after high school, he loaded up his rundown pickup truck and left for Alaska on what was intended to be a three-week adventure.

He wound up staying three years, making a living as a commercial salmon fisherman and carpenter. During that time, he and a companion flew into the remote reaches of the Brooks Range, planning to winter there. In the end, they had to snowshoe back to civilization with little more than the clothes on their backs. But by then, Dupre was hooked on the Arctic.

In 1991 he organized and led the Northwest Passage Expedition, making a 3,000-mile first winter, west-to-east, transit of the Canadian Arctic route by dog sledge.

In 2001, Dupre and his teammate John Hoelscher of Australia became the first to circumnavigate Greenland. They traveled the 6,500 miles of rugged island coastline by dog team and kayak.

In 2006, Dupre and Eric Larsen made their second attempt to cross the Arctic Ocean via the North Pole. They started on May 2 from Ward Hunt Island, Canada, and had to resupply at 87 degrees north. They reached the North Pole on July 1. Originally, they planned to continue from the North Pole until they reached Greenland, but called off the attempt two days after reaching the North Pole. Being a "summer" trip, the team carried their loads on canoe-sleds, which they used to paddle across frequent open water leads.
Check out ExWeb's interview with Lonnie Dupre about the expedition..

In 2009, Dupre guided Stuart Smith (USA) and Max Chaya (Lebanon) to the North Pole from Cape Discovery, Canada, in 53 days. “I still sleep with my stove pumps,” Lonnie told ExWeb in an interview back then.

During an Arctic career spanning 25 years, Lonnie Dupre has traveled over 15,000 miles throughout the high Arctic and polar regions by dog team, ski and kayak. In total, he has organized or participated in seven major Arctic expeditions.

#Mountaineering #topstory

Major Denali cap cloud.
courtesy Lonnie Dupre, SOURCE
Lonnie Dupre and Tom Surprenant on Windy Corner during the 2010 summer summit of Denali.
Image by Buck Benson courtesy Lonnie Dupre, SOURCE