Denali, aka Mount McKinley, in Alaska, is North America’s highest mountain. At 20,320 feet above sea level, Denali’s high latitude (bordering the Arctic), along with its unpredictable weather and vast crevasse fields, makes it a challenging climb — even by Himalayan standards. However, during winter, calling it a challenge is a massive understatement! Winds often exceed 100 mph, temperatures plummet below -60º F, and daylight is a meager 6 hours.
Only 9 expeditions (with a total of 16 climbers) have ever reached the summit of Denali in winter. Six deaths resulted from those climbs. Only one team (3 Russian climbers) has ever made the summit in January…the dead of winter. Of those 9 original expeditions, four were solo, but none of the solos were in January, the darkest and coldest time on the mountain.
Planning is well underway for the projected one-month winter climb, which will start January 2, 2013. In June 2010, Lonnie climbed Denali, reaching the summit in 13 days. Using that summer climb as a barometer, Lonnie decided that his 20 years of polar expedition experience along with careful planning could result in a successful solo climb to the summit in January.
HIs 2013 climb will be his third. In January 2011, he made a fast ascent to 17,200 feet only to be thwarted by bad weather just hours from the summit. Dupre huddled in his snow cave for 7 days but the window of stable weather he needed to continue to the summit never came. In 2012, he tried again. This time even worse weather trapped him lower on the mountain. Neither attempt discouraged him. Each time, Lonnie learned more about the equipment he needed and the weather he needed to be successful. He’s bringing all this knowledge to his 2013 journey.
Lonnie will travel with only a 5-foot sled and a backpack (with a combined weight of 225 pounds). He’ll pull the sled attached to him with 14-foot aluminum poles that will allow him to span a crevasse should he slip into one. Up to 11,200 feet, he will also use extra-long skis for bridging hidden crevasses. At 14,000 feet, to continue on the steeper parts of the mountain, he will switch exclusively to crampons and backpacking supplies. He will stave off the cold and frostbite with a daily 5000-calorie intake. Except for soups and drinks, all the food can be eaten without cooking. This conserves both weight and fuel.
From start to summit Lonnie will carry 250 flagged bamboo wands to mark his route and camps, as well as dangerous crevasse crossings. This will help ensure a safe return during low visibility, as most accidents occur on the way down the mountain. He will build snow caves as he goes along because they are more reliable against Denaliʼs extreme 100 mph wind and -60F cold than any tent could be.
To train for the climb, Lonnie hikes and skis in Alaska, while pulling tires and carrying a 50-pound pack. He is also honing his climbing skills and acclimating for the Denali altitude by training sessions in Colorado.
The main goal of this climb is to create a platform to bring attention to Alaska’s vanishing glaciers. He will do this by:
- summiting Denali before the end of January 2013
- submitting daily blog entries, photographs and audio posts from the trail (on One World Endeavors website and social network venues) to give people immediate and up-close information about the expedition.
- producing the documentary Cold Love that tells the story of the world’s love and need for snow and ice.
Telling the Story/Sponsorpship
Cold Love reveals the dramatic beauty and life-giving forces of our earth’s frozen places, as well as the fragile state of its health.
This documentary video provides a unique opportunity to engage the imaginations of people throughout the world through Lonnie’s personal adventures in the lands of snow and ice. Presenting this world requires sophisticated communication equipment and networks to track Lonnie’s daily progress.
The expedition will work with public relations and marketing experts to maximize visibility for expedition and Cold Love sponsors.
- 4 million hits for the website in a 6-month period
- Pre- and post-expedition speaking engagements
- a documentary film Cold Love
- a book about the Denali climbs
- expedition contacts and media database
- social networking posting — Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, etc.
Opportunities for sponsors:
- naming rights (logos on clothing and gear)
- logo and link on expedition’s website and Facebook pages
- rights to use expedition photos and video
- keynote presentations
- flight to start and finish of the expedition
Holly Aderhold, Mark Connolly, Hig & Erin, Daryl Kaberle, Sharon Mansfield, Sam Sweetser, Josh Temes, Carri Thurman, Holly Brennan, Sam Kirstein, Ann Dee Hafner, Malcolm Hansman, Tyler Olsen, Sage Tauber, Joshua, Christel Hennet, Jabrila Via, Joel Vos, Paul Beberg, Mitchell Rossman, Denny Fitzpatrick, Pendar Ardalan, Kate Cartier, Glenna Plummer, Rick Howell, Bob Marshall, Steven DeVries, John Bailey, Nina Hesby, George Mclean, Elias and Bridget Martos, Meghan Driscoll, Chris Chandler, Janette Strathy, Patricia Holman, Theresa Bowman, Melissa Aho, Hayley Norris, Kenneth Adams, Melanie Ryan, Jerome Nitzberg, Dan Klopstein, Steve Apps, Heidi Marie, Janie Dupre-Deluce, France Rivet, Teresa A. Garland, Knud Erik Huus, Thomas W. Lane, Gregg Robertson, Robert Schense, Marilyn Barry, Jeff & Pat Dam, Raymond Redford, Dan Pacifico, Victoria Fraser, Mary Reoh, Christopher Peters, Paul Sammut, Lyn Schultze, Rachelbea, Angie Griner, Jack B. Wills, Wayne Dupre, David Gee, Craig Westgate, Alex Christie, Brianna Bryngelson, Valerie Miller, Christian Costanza, Harriet Olafsdóttir Av Gørðum, Sanna Nolsøe Djurhuus, Suzanne Zeller, Nancy Novak, Cynthia Earnshaw, Chase W. Norton, Rick Hughes, Wes Brooks, Dean Peterson and Allen Koehler, Catbee, Becky Falch, Alex Lockard, Beth Kegelmeyer, Dennis Waite, John Zasada, Heinz Brummel, Bob, Gail & Lawrence Gresser-Pitsch, Kurt Buetow, Ken Dornfeld, Mike O’Grady, Gregory Meisner, Eric Schafer, Mike Dronen, Walt & Caren Whittier, Ann Coffey, Anne Mckinsey, Kate & Frank Nicoletti, Robert & Brenda Gordon, Jacques Batroot, Fred Ross, Brian Bergeron, Juan Carlos Carles Herrero, Kirk Gudmunsen, Paul Kinneberg, Tom & Diane West, Matt Miller, Melissa Hongo Farrell, Deborah, George Desort, Mary Dupre, Jeff Noonan, Cynthia Little, Paul David Shurke, James Waugh, Frank Moe, J Warren, Steve Ober, John L. Brown, Janet Johnson, Greta Ratliff, Michael McMillan, Mio Ishida, George Wilkes, Cook County Local Energy Project, Tetyana Mokvyts, Krislyn Wessel, Jack Thorson and Jonathan Shultz.
Our Kickstarter campaign has come to an end. We are humbled and thankful for the outpouring of generosity! Even though we’ve met our goal for the documentary Cold Love, it was a bare-bones budget. Your donation now will help us get such things as professional film editing and software, and digital conversion of Greenland footage that will make this video a crucial teaching tool about climate change.
2011-2012 Polar Climb 1
For two consecutive years, Lonnie Dupre attempted the first solo January ascent of Denali (Koyukon Athabaskan for “The High One” and also known as Mount McKinley) in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain at 20,320 feet. He made fast ascents to17,200 (2011) and 15,400 feet (2012), only to be thwarted both years by bad weather waiting to go to the summit. That day never came. He is going back for another try through project “Cold Love” in January of 2013.
2010 Arrowhead Expedition
Lonnie Dupre, with a team of three others climbed Denali (20,320 feet in Alaska) and summited unguided in 13 days.
2009 Peary Centennial North Pole Expedition
Lonnie Dupre a freelance guide for PolarExplorers, a Chicago based adventure company led adventurers Stuart Smith and Max Chaya on a 2-month, 650-mile journey pulling sleds to the North Pole. The team endured -56º F temperatures.
2006 One World Expedition
Lonnie Dupre and Eric Larsen pulled and paddled modified canoes over 600 miles of shifting sea ice from Canada to the North Pole. This journey was the first to get to the North Pole over sea ice in the summer, and created 68 million worldwide impressions on issues of global warming.
1997-2001 Greenland Expedition- Circumnavigation of Greenland
Lonnie Dupre and John Hoelscher of Australia were the first to successfully round the island. They accomplished this by all nonmotorized means, dog-sledding and kayaking the perimeter of this island, covering 6517 miles in three visits (3442 miles by dogsled and 3075 miles by kayak).
1995 Banks Island Expedition
Lonnie and Kelly Dupre along with four huskies with dog packs, hiked the 250-mile length of Banks Island, home of 75,000 muskoxen during Canada’s High-Arctic summer.
1994 Winter Olympics
Lonnie Dupre, along with an international team, dog-sledded the 1000-mile leg from Lillehammer, Norway, to Murmansk, Russia. They carried an environmental message from the closing ceremonies of the XVII Winter Olympics at Lillehammer that eventually reached Nagano, Japan, site of the 1998 Winter Olympics.
1991-92 Northwest Passage Expedition
Lonnie Dupre and Malcolm Vance traveled 3000 miles by dogsled from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, to Churchill, Manitoba, along the Arctic Ocean and northern Canada. This was the first west-to-east crossing of Canada’s famed Northwest Passage in winter.
1989 Bering Bridge Expedition
Lonnie Dupre, along with polar explorer Paul Schurke of Ely, MN, and a team of Russians and Americans, dog sledded and skied 1000 miles along the Siberian and Alaskan coasts to promote peace between the USA and USSR.
1985-86 Brooks Range Expedition
At the age of 24, Lonnie Dupre had his first taste of Arctic life. He and fellow Minnesotan John Pedersen were dropped off by plane 50 miles south of Bettles, AK. In this remote region, they built a primitive log cabin and spent the winter living off the land.