As a precursor to the summer’s activity, Simon, Jenna, and Danika joined Amanda Smith (’07,’08) and Drew McCarthy (’07-’09) on an outing to the Ruth Glacier on the southeast side of Denali. They flew with Paul Roderick of Talkeetna Air Taxi for four days of telemark skiing, glacier touring, and snowshoeing, which Danika (age 2) demonstrates at right. Nights were spent in the cozy shelter of the Don Sheldon Mountain House, a hexagonal hut perched on a nunatak in the Ruth Amphitheater.
By now, many National Park aficionados have seen Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan’s most recent PBS collaboration, which aired in late September. The series was much anticipated for its stunning filmography and for enlivening the human story behind the creation of our park lands. We also looked forward to the debut, as Burns and Duncan stayed at Camp Denali while filming in Denali, and Wally and Jerryne Cole served as Program Advisors to the project. Award-winning author and documentary filmmaker Dayton Duncan will join us as a resource leader in our 2010 Special Emphasis Series.
Before guests arrived this June, the opening crew completed renovations to rooms 2-7 at North Face Lodge. They installed new showers, linoleum, toilets, and wallpaper, bringing all guest bathrooms more up to date. In September, the crew replaced the tile in the North Face Lodge kitchen, leveled the subfloor, and upgraded old plumbing.
Exceptionally warm and dry weather helped to sustain over 500 wildfires, which burned approximately 3 million acres statewide. Several fires were close enough to Kantishna that their effects were often noticeable. The Bearpaw and Bear Creek fires, both ignited by lightning, burned 16,000 and 50,000 acres, respectively, and could be seen from the top of Camp Ridge.
John Lautner, a guest at Camp Denali, describes one of the first sights of the landslide: “On Friday, June 12th, we were guests at Camp Denali and were taken from the park entrance by their bus. As we were driving, we noticed something we didn't understand in the landscape. Our driver/naturalist was astounded; she had not seen it on her drive out... It was a landslide!” A block landslide had occurred about a quarter mile from the Park Road near Sable Pass, at approximately mile 40. Phil Breeze, the park geologist, estimated that about a tenth of an acre slumped downhill along a subsurface slip plane, attributable to either water saturation or erosion. The feature continued to move over the course of the summer as the lower permafrost sections melted. Eventually the area is expected to become hummocky tundra.
The Hamms welcomed a new member to their family this autumn. Silas Tucker Hamm was born October 22. Welcome Silas!
A new Bluebird bus, Pipit, arrived in late June, thanks to friends Larry Dingee and Dale Lawrence, who drove it cross-country from New Hampshire. Special thanks for installing a custom coffee holder for the driver, Larry and Dale!
We hope that our new website, launched in April 2009, will serve as a resource to past and future guests. Visitors to the site can find out what to expect during their stay, how to prepare beforehand, and read about current happenings in Denali through the site’s web log. Visit www.campdenali.com.
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.