A Famous Explorer’s 1937 camera left in the Yukon is discovered 85 years later
Legendary mountaineers Bradford Washburn and Robert Bates had to abandon their equipment in order to immediately flee while they were exploring in Canada’s icy Yukon region in 1937. The equipment they left behind has been discovered over 85 years later, including Washburn’s camera.
Griffin Post, a seasoned mountaineer, claimed he first learned of the abandoned stash from the book “Escape from Lucania.” Where Washburn and Bates might have hidden the cache of equipment in the Kluane National Park and Reserve is discussed in a book by author David Roberts.
However, no one could say for sure, so Post stated, “I went on that doubt and that chance that it was still there.
Mountaineer, adventurer, surveyor, cartographer, and author Washburn is also well-known for the pictures he captured of the breathtaking vistas he explored. He has traveled to numerous wild places around the world, including far-flung Alaska and Mount Everest.
According to Post, Washburn and Bates left their gear behind when their pilot was unable to return to pick them up, so they made the decision to climb the mountain and trek into Canada. They had intended to return the subsequent winter, but they never did.
The post led a group to the isolated Walsh Glacier in search of the cache. With the help of University of Ottawa Glaciologist Dora Medrzycka, who visited with them, Post and Teton Gravity Research, which makes videos on skiing, snowboarding, and surfing, plotted out the glacier to estimate where the equipment would have moved over time. Remote assistance was provided by Dr. Luke Copland and a group from the University of Ottawa.
When you fly in for the first time, you realize how big the terrain is, how much ground you have to travel, and how many crevasses the cache might have fallen into years ago. Post described this as an emotional rollercoaster. “I don’t think there’s any way we can discover this,” is how it sounds. That much is astounding.
But, according to Post, finding the cache turned out to be enjoyable.
“I sometimes felt like a young child. You’re basically jumping across a crevasse while searching for wealth. I get to do this, like, which is amazing,” he remarked. In terms of adventure, we checked that box even if we don’t locate anything.
The group of seven searched over the course of a seven-day journey, covering around 60 miles per person on foot, skis, and snowboards, according to Post.
We discovered it on the morning of the seventh day He continued, It basically took every minute, and when the chopper was ready to come to pick us up again, that’s when we discovered the cache.
According to a press statement from Teton Gravity Research, the crew discovered a part of Washburn’s aerial camera, which is thought to be his first-ever aerial photography camera. Two additional cameras with film still loaded inside could also be retrieved.
A few weeks later, the crew went to the glacier with the assistance of archaeologists from Parks Canada, which manages the nation’s national parks, and carefully retrieved what they could before successfully removing the camera from the ice, according to a press statement.
In the upcoming weeks, they will be “examined and we’re cautiously confident that something may be recoverable,” Post added.
According to the team’s estimation, the camera had traveled around 12 kilometers since it began, Post said. Analysis of the movement of the cache since 1937 can help scientists better understand how the velocity and thickness of a glacier may have altered, as up until now, scientists had only data on glacier movement from the 1960s.
Finding the cache, according to Post, was not only important historically, but “the science was almost cooler.” The science community “didn’t have as far as how glaciers moved since we essentially backfilled three decades of data,” he continued.