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Ken Kehrer
Ken Kehrer

Ken Kehrer was interviewed on March 5, 1992 by Bill Brown at National Park Service Headquarters at Denali National Park and Preserve in Denali Park, Alaska. In this interview, Ken talks about his work as a ranger at Denali, including his duties overseeing mountaineering, rescue operations, and management of the climbing program. He also discusses dealing with the climbers, the various philosphies of climbing that different people have, and airplanes landing on the glaciers.

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 93-02-01

Project: Denali Mountaineering
Date of Interview: Mar 5, 1992
Narrator(s): Ken Kehrer
Interviewer(s): Bill Brown
Funding Partners:
National Park Service
Alternate Transcripts
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1) Personal background

2) Mountaineering, safety, and rescue operations in South District

3) Talkeetna's concerns that the South District gets neglected

4) Resource management on South Side

5) National Park Service involvement in mountaineering

6) Safety problems at high altitude camps

7) Inexperienced and unconditioned climbers are encouraged to access Kahiltna Strip by air

8) Mountaineering ethics and approach to mountaineering

9) Glacier pilots and rescues

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Section 1: Denali -- arrival\ work experience\ Chief Ranger\ lifestyle -- adjustment\ management -- regime\ naturalist\ Yosemite National Park\ Capitol Reef National Park|

Section 2: Talkeetna, AK\ management -- historical\ South District -- creation \ Swed, J.D.\ management -- delegation\ communication -- Chief Ranger & South District Ranger|

Section 3: Talkeetna\ South District\ tourism\ NPS\ management -- concentration\ development -- concentration\ personnel -- concentration\ ANILCA\ South Side -- development\ South Side -- access\ Petersville Road|

Section 4: South Side -- resource management\ Talkeetna\ NPS\ Talkeetna -- views of management\ management -- inequality\ mountaineering -- contact station\ South Side -- employees|

Section 5: NPS -- mountaineering\ sanitation\ aviation -- airstrips\ medical camp\ rescues -- high altitude\ rescues -- military assist\ climbers -- limits\ education -- pre-climb\ education -- briefings\ mountaineering -- American ethics\ mountaineering -- safety\ mountaineering -- sanitation\ mountaineering -- equipment\ mountaineering -- conditioning\ mountaineering -- weather|

Section 6: safety\ high altitude\ turf battles\ camp -- crowding|

Section 7: climbers -- inexperienced\ Kahiltna Strip\ access -- air\ carelessness\ Big Brother\ prevention -- legislation\ earthquake\ disasters -- prevention|

Section 8):mountaineering -- ethic\ Europeans -- comparison\ Alps -- comparison\ high altitude -- sickness\ Asian climbers -- comparison\ South American climbers -- comparison\ rescue -- Polish climber, 1981\ snow hole|

Section 9: Glaciers\ pilots -- glacier\ rescues -- glacier\ rescue -- collaboration\ Kahiltna Glacier\ air taxi -- operators\ Thomas, Lowell Jr.|