Ptarmigan Tracks

The Newsletter of Camp Denali

Online Version 2022

Summer Roundup

The start of the 2022 season found much of the park still blanketed by heavy snow. In any other year we’d have anxiously followed the progress of the Park’s road clearing efforts, awaiting the okay to drive in staff, supplies, and guests by their appointed dates. In a year with no prospect of driving, we discovered, deep drifts on the road became merely a passing novelty.

In fact, our first on-the-ground road report came from naturalist guide, Ryan Marsh, who took the road closure as an opportunity to ski-traverse the Alaska Range, arriving at Camp Denali via Anderson Pass and the western 20 miles of road a day ahead of his coworkers that flew in.

Work projects largely consisted of adapting to our new remoteness. Anything we could convert to renewable energy, we did: from cabin lighting, to greenhouse watering, to chainsaws, to induction cookery. These things and more were powered throughout the season by Camp’s 90kW solar array. In total, the generator ran less than two days all summer and that was mainly just to exercise it.

Elsewhere, Camp staff stepped up to many of the tasks that were formerly provided for, like patching potholes and clearing beaver-obstructed culverts along the park road. Simon was officially anointed as a Volunteer-in-Park, authorized to tackle some of the bigger road maintenance using Camp’s loader and dump truck. We also installed our own FAA-style remote weather cameras, to help fill an important gap in aviation safety.

Back to Online Version 2022