MEET LONNIE DUPRE
In our opinion, the best summation of 53-year-old professional mountaineer and Granite Gear athlete Lonnie Dupre's badassness comes courtesy of this Outside magazine headline: "Lonnie Dupre Just Solo Summited Denali. That's a Huge Deal." What more can you say, really? After accomplishments including circumnavigating Greenland via dogsled and kayak and a 3,000-mile Arctic dogsled expedition, in January 2015 Dupre bagged his largest one yet: the first successful solo January summit of a.k.a. Denali, Alaska's most (in)famous peak. And he got it on his fourth attempt: proof that perseverance really does pay off.
The 20,320-foot Mt. McKinley--a.k.a. Denali--in Alaska is North America's highest peak and a popular summertime project for ambitious mountain climbers, although only one-third of those who attempt it actually summit. However, winter attempts are few and far between due to extremely harsh conditions--100mph winds, -60º F temperatures, very little sunlight--and January is by far the darkest and coldest month on the mountain.
Even for an accomplished mountaineer like Dupre, tackling this solo expedition was far from easy. He hiked with a 10' foot pole strapped to his body just in case he fell into a crevasse, and at one point he found himself trapped in his tent for four days in a complete whiteout, contemplating calling in a rescue on his satellite phone. But Dupre pushed on and found himself at the top on January 11, 2015. For 2015-16, he's shifted his focus to the Vertical Nepal expedition, teaming up with other mountaineers to eschew Everest in favor of the region's several unclimbed 7,000+ meter peaks, all while providing humanitarian aid to villages affected by the devastating April 2015 earthquakes.
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