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J.D. Swed and Daryl Miller

J.D. Swed and Daryl Miller were interviewed on February 27, 1992 by Bill Brown in the unheated National Park Service Ranger Station in downtown Talkeetna, Alaska. At the time of the interview, J.D. Swed was the newly arrived South District Ranger and Darly Miller was an experienced mountaineering ranger having served in the position since 1989. In this interview, they discuss issues related to management of climbing on Denali and how best to serve the climbing community.

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Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 1993-02-07

Project: Denali Mountaineering
Date of Interview: Feb 27, 1992
Narrator(s): J.D. Swed , Daryl Miller
Interviewer(s): Bill Brown
Location of Interview:
Funding Partners:
National Park Service
Alternate Transcripts
There is no alternate transcript for this interview.

After clicking play, click on a section to navigate the audio or video clip.


1) Daryl Miller and J.D. Swed talk about their personal backgrounds.

2) J.D. Swed's association with the mountaineering aspect of the South District.

3) Daryl Miller talks about multiple experiences on the mountain.

4) J.D. Swed discusses freedom and responsibility on the mountain.

5) Daryl discusses climbers' reception of NPS orientations and cautions.

6) J.D. Swed talks about his Grand Teton rescue experiences.

7) The community of interest in McKinley mountaineering.

8) J.D. Swed's view of the evolved climbing system.

9) J.D. Swed on larger management concerns in the South District.

Click play, then use Sections or Transcript to navigate the interview.

After clicking play, click a section of the transcript to navigate the audio or video clip.


Section 1: Miller, Daryl -- background\ climbing -- experience\ Mount McKinley\ Colorado State expedition\ Genet guide\ National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS)\ Alaska Range\ South America\ Mexico -- volcanoes\ Lower 48\ Swed, J.D. -- background\ South District -- ranger\ Glen Canyon\ Yosemite\ Grand Tetons -- rescue\ Grand Canyon -- rescue\ Petrified Forest\ Yosemite -- backcountry rescue\ Park City, UT -- ski patrol|

Section 2: South District ranger -- roles\ Teton\ Tingey, Ralph\ South Side -- climbing|

Section 3: Wind River Mountain\ weather -- affinity\ Mount McKinley\ high altitude\ glacier travel\ mountain -- weather\ Muldrow Glacier\ South Summit\ weather -- big storm\ Eielson Visitor Center\ Okonek, Jim\ North Summit\ climbing party -- Colorado State\ Robinson, Roger\ garbage\ guide -- client safety\ guide -- roles\ NPS -- caretaker\ sanitation\ Aconcagua, Andes\ waste -- human, disposal of\ Washburn, Bradford|

Section 4: summit -- goal\ summit -- risk\ NPS -- rescue responsibility\ rescue -- decision\ rescue -- morality\ rescue -- risk|

Section 5: NPS -- orientation\ NPS -- education\ climbers -- education\ rescue -- Polish climber 1991\ clouds -- lenticular\ Seibert, Bob\ communication -- between rangers & climbers\ high altitude -- attrition\ gambles\ "quick dash"|

Section 6: Yellowstone\ climbers -- comparison\ high altitude\ weather -- adaption|

Section 7: climbing -- cooperation\ cooperation -- NPS, rangers, guides\ Hudson, Jay|

Section 8: Talkeetna\ basecamp\ medical camp\ sanitation\ access -- numbers\ sanitation -- carrying capacity\ Colorado River\ Grand Canyon\ reservation system\ user fees\ rescue fees\ waste -- human\ Grand Canyon Village\ Yosemite Valley\ Old Faithful|

Section 9: South Side\ South Side -- development\ snow machine trails\ jet boats\ Visitor Center -- debate\ Talkeetna\ road corridor\ rail corridor\ development -- local concerns\ South Side -- hiking\ Alder Creek\ hiking|