Moving target – team of researchers discovers old cameras left behind in remote glacier by explorers in 1937

Research and innovation

By Isabelle Mailloux Pulkinghorn

Media Relations + Science Communication, uOttawa

A DeVry “Lunchbox” camera model left behind by Yukon explorers in 1937
Credit: Leslie Hittmeier/Teton Gravity Research

On a recent expedition to a glacier in Canada's Kluane National Park, a team of researchers uncovered equipment abandoned by two legendary climbers in 1937.

Using innovative glacial mapping techniques, University of Ottawa post-doctoral fellow Dorota (Dora) Medrzycka was able to determine the location of the cache.

Dora Medrzycka was assisted in her search by professional explorer Griffin Post, a team of experts from Parks Canada, and by Luke Copland, University of Ottawa Research Chair in Glaciology at the Faculty of Arts, who had studied this specific area of Kluane Park in the past.

The project was no small feat as the cache had travelled about 20 km over the years with the glacier’s movement.

The cache of photographic and mountaineering equipment was abandoned by famed climbers Bradford Washburn and Robert Bates who were forced to flee the glacier in a hurry as their lives were at stake.

The historic equipment is now in the hands of Parks Canada. Full story.