High Winds Strand Minn. Climber On Mt. McKinley

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(credit: Mike Powell/Getty Images)

(credit: Mike Powell/Getty Images)

GRAND MARAIS, Minn. (AP) — Brutal weather conditions have hampered the efforts of a Minnesota man who’s trying to become the first solo climber to reach the summit of Alaska’s Mount McKinley in January.

Lonnie Dupre of Grand Marais was stuck at about 17,000 feet on the highest mountain in North America. He spent six nights in a tiny snow trench to escape the battering 100-mph winds.

Dupre’s expedition manager says Dupre is taking advantage of a break in the weather to begin descending the mountain Tuesday. Dupre plans to descend to his camp at about 14,000 feet to regroup.

The Duluth News Tribune reports Dupre is also dealing with a 5.4 magnitude earthquake that may have changed the mountain’s landscape. McKinley’s peak is 20,320 feet.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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