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.
Illustrations by William D. Berry and Amanda P. Devine
P.O. Box 67
Denali National Park, AK 99755
The enthusiasm of our staff is often what makes the guest experience so memorable. 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, www.campdenali.com. General staff positions are available for the 2013 season, as well as the following professional seasonal positions:
**Registered Nurses are encouraged to apply for any of our positions.
Denali is what America was; it’s the old and new, the real and ideal, the wild earth working itself into us on days stormy and calm, brutal and beautiful, unforgiving and blessed. It’s where we came from, long before agriculture, television and designer coffee, before our goofball ideas of having dominion over all living things, before our modern, paradoxical definitions of progress and prosperity, and too much stuff; it’s the lean, mean, primal place buried in our bones no matter how much we might deny it, no matter how fancy our homes, how busy our routines, how cherished our myths. Denali resides in each of us as the deep quiet, the profound moment, the childhood lost and found again, the open space and rare chance to be observant, truly alive.