(Two Harbors, MN)— Solo climbing Denali (aka Mt McKinley) in the Summer is a serious challenge – even by Himalayan standards—but soloing Denali in the Winter is a whole different story. This season, Granite Gear will sponsor expert polar explorer and climber, Lonnie Dupre, in his challenge to be the 5th person to ever successfully solo summit Denali in winter, and the first to do so in January, the coldest and darkest month of the year. Dupre will battle Denali’s winter conditions of winds over 100 mph and temperatures below 50 º F with a mere 6 hour-average of sunlight in an effort to summit North America’s highest mountain at 20,320 ft.
Starting on December 21, 2013, Dupre will pull a 5-foot sled with 165 pounds of supplies on the mountain’s lower elevations, then switch to backpacking supplies up the steeper portions. Increasing his chances for a safe return, he will also carry 175 bamboo wands to mark his route, the dangerous crevasses and his camps.
“After three previous attempts, I’ve learned to significantly reduce my risk because I understand the route more intimately and have fine-tuned my equipment to make myself lighter and more efficient,” says Lonnie Dupre.
Throughout his 25 years of arctic exploration, Lonnie has been outfitted with Granite Gear backpacks and accessories. Often with his 70-liter Nimbus Meridian pack on his back, Lonnie has traversed over 15,000 miles through the high arctic and polar regions, and developed a deep appreciation of the area from the local Inuit. Dupre’s passion combined with the extreme physical, mental and logistical hurdles he has overcome stand as a testament to his ability to succeed.
“This is an enormous endeavor, and we’re thrilled with Lonnie’s admiration and trust in Granite Gear’s products to accompany him on his adventure,” said Rob Coughlin, VP of Sales at Granite Gear.
On this expedition, Lonnie is using his lightweight, high-volume 70-liter Nimbus Meridian Granite Gear backpack. The Nimbus Meridian protects his valuables against the elements and allows him to carry a heavy load that keeps him in balance on steep terrain. The pack also works to pull his sled via the durable webbing loops on the waist belt. Other gear includes Granite Gear’s Block Solid Compression sacks, Air Cell Blocks, and Air Cooler – as well as a Hilleberg Tent, Rab Expedition wear, Icebreaker base layers, and PrimaLoft sleeping bags and parka.
Through daily blog posts, photographs, and audio posts to his website: OneWorldEndeavors.com and social media outlets, Dupre is using the expedition to draw attention to climate change, particularly the impact that coal has on our planet. Coal is the highest polluting fossil fuel and the largest single source of pollution in the world.
About Granite Gear
For 27 independent years, Granite Gear has brought cutting-edge products to the outdoor marketplace. Their award-winning backpacks, extensive variety of storage sacks, lifestyle accessories, dog products and canoe gear offer excellence in design and construction. Granite Gear’s desire is for all outdoor enthusiasts and travelers to experience the incredible durability and comfort of their products. Located in Northern Minnesota, just minutes from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and the Superior Hiking Trail, they have a rugged and beautiful testing ground for their products.