I was asked to do five illustrations for Denali National Park as informational stickers to go on Clean Mountain Cans, which make it possible for climbers to remove all their own solid waste. More information is available here.
Here's what I wrote about my experience as a volunteer at Denali Basecamp and what illustrating these stickers meant to me:
My strongest feeling from Denali Basecamp is freedom, the knowledge that the world was sparkly and enormous. This is odd because I wasn’t allowed to leave the little cluster of tents without literally being tied to another human with a rope.
The danger of being unroped was that someone would fall into a hidden crevasse and get stuck. So, tethered to the rangers, Roger and Pat, or to the other volunteer, Katherine, we toured miles to attempt to rescue injured climbers (the helicopter got there first), repair a weather camera (success!), and summit little peaks around the base camp (on our days off).
That was May of 2018, when I tagged along with the Denali Mountain Rangers through the @denalirescuevolunteers program to help patrol basecamp. I think my main duty was keeping Katherine, the one other volunteer, company. Katherine, who been to base camp several times, took charge of all the important volunteer duties. Katherine and I had so much fun that decided not return to Talkeetna on the day we’d scheduled. Instead, we extended our tour a few more days. We probably would have camped out until July, but another group of volunteers took our place and needed to sleep in our tents.
Three years later, I’ve been reminiscing while drawing a series of stickers to go on the Clean Mountain Can. The illustrations explain the use of cans to international climbers who don’t speak English. I’ve never been so excited to draw poop, but I’m fortunate to continue to be involved in a magical place, an amazing program, and really cool people through these illustrations.