Online Version 2009

2009 Season Highlights

April Getaway to the Ruth

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.

Debut of The National Parks: America’s Best Idea

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.

North Face Lodge Remodel

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.

Wildfires Across Alaska

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.

Landslide at Sable Pass

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.

Welcome Silas!

The Hamms welcomed a new member to their family this autumn. Silas Tucker Hamm was born October 22. Welcome Silas!

Pipit Joins the Fleet

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!

Redesigned Website

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


Back to Online Version 2009

The Newsletter of
Camp Denali,
North Face Lodge,
& Parkside Guest House

November 2013

Edited by Jan Tomsen

Illustrations by William D. Berry 

P.O. Box 67
Denali National Park, AK 99755
(907) 683-2290

The enthusiasm of our staff is what makes our guest experience so memorable! 

General staff positions are available for the 2014 season, as well as the following professional seasonal positions: Dinner Cooks, Skilled Maintenance Workers, and Naturalist Guides.

Registered Nurses are encouraged to apply for any of our positions.

If you know of someone who would be a good fit for our organization, encourage him or her to view the employment pages of our website.

If What They Say Is True...

that life

begins at forty

I was premature

My second life -

not second childhood -

no- a whole, real life

began at thirty-eight

when I came here -

here to Alaska -

alien milieu

of wilderness,

strange life-styles,

different ways.

Turned forty-five,

I formalized my adaptation

in a rite-of-passage -

acquisition of

some twenty acres,

strewn with gold.

My summers there,

apprenticeship and mastery,

in part were spent

upon my knees

with chisel, dandelion pick,

trowel and spoons,

in part calf-deep

in icy water,

waders, rubber gloves.

My eyes

turned eagle-sharp to spot

one pin-point fleck

of treasure

to increase my hoard

or, more often, to assist

slow-learner tourists

to a “real” experience...

no salted dirt,

no tall, convenient trough

to stand at comfortably;

success not guaranteed,

but always found.

My forties, fifties, sixties,

early seventies

that second life flowed on.

Three decades plus

wrought changes

in the creek,

the tourists,


All things must end,

(another saying, that),

and so -

I’m on my third life now,

excepting memories.

© Louise Gallop

Used by permission of

Louise Gallop Estate

Pair your stay with one of our Special Emphasis Series

We have a very exciting lineup for 2015!