Sunny days were in abundance this summer, and though we didn’t hear many complaints, some days were downright hot! The warm, dry weather had certain perks—lingering in Nugget Pond, for instance—and disadvantages. Smoke from nearby wildfires briefly blocked our mountain views in late July. Staff took advantage of the warm weather with ambitious hiking (more on those adventures here), as well as swimming, canoe water polo, and inner-tubing forays down Moose Creek.
Lest we remember summer 2009 for only its mild, cloudless days, a snow storm rolled through on September 21, wrapping up summer and reminding us that weather can change on a dime here in the Alaska Range. The closing crew will remember the storm particularly well, as they had to use chains to drive through the snow it dumped on the road in order to get out of the park!
5/13 Red Fox delivered a freshly caught Ptarmigan to two kits at Polychrome Pass.
5/24 White Wolf seen across the road from North Face Lodge.
6/17 Near East Fork Cabin, two Grizzly cubs climbed five feet up a small willow and then climbed down, dropping the last two feet to solid ground.
6/21 An American Dipper, “dipping” near the weeping wall on Moose Creek, disappeared into a nest cavity in the moss.
6/23 Hikers stumbled upon a dead Dall lamb in a steep and narrow pass between Polychrome and the West Fork of the Toklat River. The lamb, only 15” from nape to tail, was in otherwise unharmed condition and appeared to have died in a fall.
6/23 Sow Grizzly and three cubs attempted a minor river crossing of Big Stony. The cubs barked and whined as the sow persistently nudged them into crossing. Giving up, she grabbed each by the scruff of the neck and carried them individually.
6/25 Two Short Eared Owl hatchlings, quiet and fuzzy, seen in a tundra nest in Highway Pass.
7/8 Lynx slinked up the driveway to midcamp and then sprinted down the path to Nunatak cabin.
7/23 Four Surfbirds near Pika Hut on Camp Ridge.
8/28 Belted Kingfisher chased by a Merlin at Wonder Lake.
8/29 Noctilucent clouds in southern sky at 10:30 PM.
9/2 Wolves howling at moonrise from the Moose Creek terrace heard from the front steps of Potlatch.
9/7 Many V’s of Sandhill Cranes, totaling more than 500, flew over the lodges throughout the day.
9/7 Wolverine on Mt. Thorofare.
9/10 Bull Moose in Nugget Pond entertained onlookers for several minutes as he grunted and rocked his antlers. Steamy exhalations rose from his nostrils in the cool autumn air.
The collective knowledge, talent, and warm hospitality of our staff are what make our guest experience so memorable.
General staff positions are also available for the 2015 season.
Registered Nurses and EMTs are encouraged to apply for any of our positions.
If you know of someone who would be a good fit in our community, encourage him or her to view the employment pages of our website.
Our summer season ended with deep sadness when staff member KC Boehly died in a backcountry drowning accident on August 27. KC was a cook at Camp Denali and North Face Lodge for five summers and studied business at the University of Washington in the off-season. A calm, confident presence in the kitchen, KC also delivered wicked wit with affection. One friend observed, “No one’s eyes twinkled like KC’s.” She was a ringleader in our intimate community, finding any reason to celebrate and play hostess extraordinaire. It is hard to remember her with anything but her megawatt smile. KC was beloved by all, welcoming everyone into her company.