Thousands of people have climbed Mount McKinley, aka Denali, in solo expeditions during the summer. Not one has made it to the top of North America's highest peak alone in the brutal weather of January—until now. Lonnie Dupre, a 53-year-old Minnesota adventurer, became the first to do so last Sunday, reports Alaska Dispatch News. It was his fourth attempt in recent years, and this one took him 25 days, reports Outside magazine, which explains why this bit of "mountaineering history" is such a big deal: "On a mountain that has become increasingly modernized with route markers and safety infrastructure, his journey was more akin to the first attempts on Denali that occurred more than a century ago," writes Shelby Carpenter.
Dupre tells the AP that once he reached the 20,000-foot-plus Alaskan peak, he relayed his GPS coordinates to confirm his location, and took three turns to take in the view. "The whole skyline opened up before me and I could see the entire length of the Alaskan range," he recalls. "I could see the shadow of Denali that was nicely painted to the north of me. I was thinking I was standing at the top of the shadow. Was it ever nice!" (Two free climbers also made history this month, in Yosemite.)