On 99th Anniversary of Summit, Murkowski Requests Hearing on Bill to Name Ranger Station for Athabascan Climber

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today commemorated the anniversary of the first man to summit the highest peak in North America by requesting a hearing on legislation to name the National Park Service Talkeetna Ranger Station for the late Walter Harper.

“It’s only fitting that we honor the memory of Alaska Native Walter Harper by forever linking his name with the Talkeetna ranger station,” Murkowski said. “This bill is a small gesture but one that means a great deal to many Alaskans. Alaskans are proud of the historical accomplishments of their fellow Alaskans. Harper was one such Alaskan, and his feat is one that will always be remembered.”

Today marks the 99th anniversary of Harper’s ascent of Denali. Harper was a member of the team that included Hudson Stuck, Harry Karstens and Robert Tatum, which was the first to reach the 20,320-foot south summit of the mountain. Murkowski introduced legislation, S.2273, to honor Harper, an Athabascan Indian, at the end of March.

The Talkeetna Ranger Station is home to Denali National Park’s mountaineering rangers and a mandatory stop for anyone planning to climb Denali.

“Naming the Talkeetna station – the very building where anyone planning to climb Denali today is required to stop first – for Walter Harper is a fitting tribute to the man himself, as well as to his place in our state’s history books,” Murkowski said.

Murkowski, the ranking Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, has requested a hearing on the bill before the National Parks Subcommittee for later this month. The text of the bill is attached.