MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- A Minnesota explorer hopes to become the first person to scale Mount McKinley on a solo expedition in January.

Lonnie Dupre knows that other explorers have died trying to reach the Alaska mountain's summit. Others have made it, but not alone during one of the coldest months of the year.

The 49-year-old Grand Marais man says he'll be prepared to turn back if conditions aren't just right.

Dupre left the Twin Cities on Monday, prepared for harsh conditions.

Temperatures at Mount McKinley can reach minus-50 this time of year, in part because the area gets four hours of sunlight per day.

Dupre says he hopes to begin his hike Jan. 30 or 31, depending on when the weather is good enough to take a plane to the mountain.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)