Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program

Roger Robinson

Roger Robinson

Originally from Oregon, Roger Robinson developed a love for the outdoors and climbing as a Boy Scout. He received a degree in Resource Recreation Management from Oregon State University and climbed in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest. By the late 1970s, Roger was climbing in Alaska, including on Mount McKinley (now Denali), and in 1979 moved to a remote property on the south side of Denali National Park. In 1980, he was hired as a climbing ranger at Denali National Park based out of Talkeetna, Alaska. He has almost three decades of experience as a climber at Denali and in the surrounding mountains, and has a number of first ascents in the Alaska Range, including many new routes in "Little Switzerland" off the Kahiltna Glacier. As a mountaineering ranger, Roger has run climbing patrols, maintained High Camp at 14,200 feet, and worked on dozens of search and rescue missions. Roger has also been involved in working to protect Denali from the pollution impacts of an ever-growing number of climbers. In a sense, he has served as the environmental conscience of Denali National Park and the denizens of mountaineers who come to this ferocious, yet fragile landscape. He has developed methods of clean climbing and "Leave No Trace" mountaineering and improved waste disposal. He developed the Clean Mountain Can (CMC), a receptacle to collect human waste, and since its inception in the early 2000's the mountain has become cleaner. He has received special commendations for his efforts, including the Oregon Chapter American Alpine Club's "Washburn Award." In addition to being a calming and informative presence on and off the mountain, Roger is an exceptional photographer who has assembled an astonishing library of mountaineering photos. Many of Roger's images are found the Denali Mountaineering Project Jukebox. Roger continues as Denali's chief mountaineering ranger.

Roger Robinson appears in the following new Jukebox projects: