Ptarmigan Tracks

The Newsletter of Camp Denali

Online Version 2018


Reflecting on the Summer, All the Way Back to Our Beginnings 

The 2018 season is a wrap, and, amazingly, half the winter seems already to have flown by. As we set about the introspective pause that the writing of Ptarmigan Tracks affords us, we are prone to reflect on the past summer- the highs, the lows, the firsts and the familiar. On balance, 2018 was a season of hard work, close friendships, engaging guests and memorable Denali experiences. However, this year in particular afforded us a poignant reason to reflect further back than we sometimes do, all the way to our beginnings.

This past August, Camp Denali cofounder Morton Wood died in his Seattle home, surrounded by loved ones, at age 94. We, and many of you, fondly know him as Woody. Woody was the last surviving of Camp Denali’s three founders. While Camp Denali (and North Face Lodge) continue to thrive 68 years later, the living connection to our roots has receded a step further into history.

Thoughts turn to the vision and aspirations that inspired Woody and Ginny and Celia then, and what we endeavor to be, and to provide, today. We have witnessed many external changes since Camp Denali was homesteaded in 1951: Alaskan statehood, the first outside road to reach the Park, and the tripling of the Park’s land area, to name a few. While Camp Denali has seen its own refinements along the way, we are grateful that Woody and Ginny and Celia imparted most of the keys to success in that original recipe of hard work, friendship and natural experiences that await engaged travelers. Perhaps, the more things change externally, the more we can offer simply by carrying on their pioneering vision.

2018 Summer Roundup

Photo credit: Ralph Clevenger

Denali Planning Proceeds Under New Paradigm

Photo credit: Linda Sparks

Special Sightings

© Sam Wilson

The Smew

2019 Special Emphasis Series

Photo credit: Murray Cohen

Woody in Memoriam

Camp Denali & North Face Lodge Staff