Lonnie Dupre Aborts Mount Hunter Solo

Heavy snow has led Lonnie Dupre to quit his fourth attempt to solo Mount Hunter in winter. Over 20 metres of snow have plastered the Alaska Range, with more to come.

Flying onto the glacier at the foot of the mountain on January 8, he recce’d his route by air, then began skiing across the glacier that hugs the mountain’s lower slopes. This did not look safe, as the icefall was too heavily broken for solo travel. He then tried the northwest basin variation of the west ridge, the same route that rebuffed him in 2017 and 18. He made some progress, and by January 10 he was able to deposit nine days of food at a camp midway up an icefall on the west ridge.

The red line shows the icefall Dupre navigated, to cache food higher up. He intended to follow the obvious ridgeline after exiting the icefall Photo: Lonnie Dupre


However, on January 11, seracs and avalanche risk again prompted him to reassess. On January 13, he called for a pickup and is now back in Talkeetna.

Hunter remains unclimbed solo and in winter. If Dupre keeps at it, as seems to be his strategy, he should eventually hit a good year, as he did on his fourth try at winter Denali.

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