DULUTH, MN (KDAL) - Minnesota climber Lonnie Dupre, battling extreme cold temperatures and high winds during his ascent of Alaska's Mt. McKinley, was forced to turn back down the mountain as he neared the summit early this morning, according to a release on his website. The adventurer was trying to become the first person to scale the mountain alone in the month of January. Dupre, of Grand Marais, had reached "high camp" at 17,200 ft. following a 12-hour climb from a camp at 14,200 ft. According to the release, penned by his support team, Dupre's decision today was life-or-death: "Even if he had made the summit today, which would have meant a 12-hour or more travel day between 17,200 and the (20,328-ft.) summit and back, he knew he would not have had the energy or means to survive back at the 17,200 camp." The release said Monday's predicted 50 mph winds and cold air temperatures would mean a -50 degree-fahrenheit windchill. The mountain, also called Denali, is the highest in North America. "These storms on Denali can last a long time," said Dupre, "and a climber should never be caught with less than three days of food and eight days of fuel at any point."
The text of the release can be found here: http://www.oneworldendeavors.com/2013/01/27/difficult-choice/