Extreme cold thwarted Arctic explorer Lonnie Dupre's third attempt to become the first person to summit Alaska's Mount McKinley solo in the dead of winter.
51-year-old Dupre told his support crew that he made his decision to abort his climb while it was 35 below zero in a snow cave he had built at the 17,200-foot level of the 20,320-foot mountain, North America's tallest peak.
Dupre is now in Homer, Alaska recuperating from the climb where snow depths reached his chest. Early on in his journey Dupre says he suffered from hypothermia for at least 48 hours.
Dupre, of Grand Marais, Minn., also failed in his winter attempts to summit McKinley last year and in 2011.
Only two people have completed a McKinley summit in the dead of winter, December or January, but no one has done it alone.
Photo: Looking south from Kahiltna Glacier basecamp. Dmitri von Klein/MONOVITA via One World Endeavors
From the Daily Circuit: Mountain climber and arctic explorer Lonnie Dupre has a new book out called "Life on Ice," which chronicles 25 years of Dupre's polar exploration. Fellow Minnesotan and polar explorer Ann Bancroft is getting ready for another expedition in November 2012.
We thought it would be fun to have both of them in the studio to discuss pushing the limits of polar exploration.
In 1991/92, Lonnie and Malcohm Vance completed the first west to east, 3000 mile winter crossing of Canada’s famed Northwest Passage by dog team. Between 1997 and 2001, Lonnie along with John Hoelscher achieved the first circumnavigation of Greenland, a 6500 mile, all non-motorized journey by kayak and dog team. Lonnie has pulled sleds on skis from Canada to the North Pole twice. The first time was in 2006 under the One World Expedition achieving 68 million impressions worldwide on issues surrounding climate change. The second time was in 2009 where the team endured -56F temperatures on the 650-mile journey.