Minnesota climber postpones Denali summit attempt

Posted: Sunday, January 23, 2011

DULUTH, Minn. — A Minnesota climber has postponed his attempt to reach North America’s highest peak because of high winds and whiteout conditions.

Lonnie Dupre, of Grand Marais, is camped at 17,200 feet and had hoped to reach the summit of Denali in Alaska on Saturday. He’s trying to become the first person to climb the summit, also called Mount McKinley, alone in January.

Only nine expeditions totaling 16 people have reached the 20,320-foot summit in winter. Six people have died.

Of those climbs, four were by solo climbers, but none were in January when temperatures can reach 50 below zero and winds can reach 100 mph.

Expedition manager Tom Suprenant tells the Duluth News Tribune the 49-year-old Dupre will attempt the summit on Sunday if conditions are good.

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