Arctic Explorer Visits Zoo to Train for Mt. McKinley Climb

CONTACT: Kyle Shepherd
Direct: 502-238-5331  |  Media Only: 502-744-5639

Dupre Climbs to Raise Awareness for Polar Bears

Arctic Explorer Lonnie Dupre will visit the Louisville Zoo Dec. 3, at 2 p.m. Guests will have a chance to meet Dupre and learn about his upcoming solo climb of Mount McKinley (also known as Denali), North America’s highest mountain, and then at 3 p.m. see some of the elements of his physical training regimen. Equipment he will use includes a truck tire, weighted sleds and a snorkel which will simulate altitude and restricted breathing. The Zoo is hosting Dupre in conjunction with Hear in America.

Dupre is an exploration veteran of more than 25 years who uses his passion for bringing awareness to climate change and the plight of the polar bears as a driving force for his adventures. He will be heading to Alaska next week to prepare for another attempt to climb Mount McKinley in January – solo – a feat that has never been accomplished. If all goes well, this climb will last about four weeks in some of the most extreme weather on this planet. Only nine people have ever attempted such a climb.

Dupre has also circumnavigated Greenland entirely by kayak and dogsled, and crossed the North Pole in summer (still cold but more difficult because of melting). He is featured in the upcoming film Cold Love.

He can’t afford to lose training time so he will be opening his physical training session to the public on Wednesday.  Guests will have a chance to talk with Dupre about what it takes to make these solo climbs and why he keeps returning to the earth’s coldest places.

Louisville Zoo director John Walczak and representatives from Hear in America will join Dupre in his training session.

The day’s lineup includes:

2 p.m. — Meet and Greet with Dupre in Glacier Run classroom

2:30 p.m.— Bear training at Glacier Run

3 p.m. — Physical training with Dupre near Glacier Run

Guests can also enjoy half off admission to see Dupre with a canned food item for Dare to Care during the Kroger Wild Winter Days.


The Louisville Zoo, a non-profit organization and state zoo of Kentucky, is dedicated to bettering the bond between people and our planet by providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for visitors, and leadership in scientific research and conservation education. The Zoo is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) and by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

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