Alpine Club of Canada

Gazette, Spring 2018

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 8 of 31

Image of the Athabasca Glacier was taken from below Wilcox Peak in 1917 by Arthur Wheeler as part of the Interprovincial Boundary Survey between BC and Alberta. | L'image du glacier Athabasca d'Arthur Wheeler (1917) prise sous le mont Wilcox pour la Commission de la frontière internationale entre l'Alberta et la Colombie-Britannique. Mountain Legacy Project repeat photo of Athabasca Glacier in Jasper National Park, Alberta, was taken in 2011. | L'image du glacier Athabasca d'Arthur Wheeler (1917) prise sous le mont Wilcox pour la Commission de la frontière internationale entre l'Alberta et la Colombie-Britannique. e images, captured on six‑ by four‑ inch glass plates, would be paired with field measurements and used to create topographic maps. For this technique to work, it was essential that the features to be mapped could be seen in at least two images taken from stations some distance apart. is method proved very successful and was used for much of Canadian mapping in mountainous terrain from 1887 until 1958. Early ACC heavyweights involved In 1887, surveyor James McArthur (called "the first Canadian mountaineer" by Chic Scott in his book Pushing the Limits: e Story of Canadian Mountaineering) was one of the first to use phototopograhy while mapping mountains around Banff. McArthur was one of many surveyors whose names are synonymous with the early days of Canadian mountaineering: Arthur Wheeler (Alpine Club of Canada co‑founder), Edward Oliver Wheeler (ori‑ ginal member of the ACC and Surveyor General of India), Octavius Wilkie (original member of the ACC), Morrison Bridgland (first Chief Mountaineer for the ACC), to name a few. eir maps, along with field notes, early survey reports, and thousands of amazingly detailed historic photographic plates provide both spec‑ tacular views and deep insights into the mountains of western Canada. The legacy project begins Fast forward to 1996 and the beginnings of what would become the Mountain Legacy Project. Dr. Eric Higgs (MLP lead researcher and ACC member, then with the University of Alberta, now at UVic) and Dr. Jeanine Rhemtulla (then a grad student at U of A, now faculty at the University of British Columbia) were researching mountain landscape change in the Athabasca Valley around Jasper. Discovering Morrison Bridgland's 1915 Jasper Park survey images of the area led them to retake the shots and compare the modern photos with the 1915 ones. ey had to determine exactly where Bridgland stood, make their way to the same spot, and, in order to get close to the same resolution afforded by the glass plates, use professional medium format camera equipment to make the modern retakes. e Mountain Legacy Project grew from these early days with more and more glass plates located and repeated. As of 2017, MLP teams have repeated more than 7,000 historic photographs. ese image pairs, along with several thousand as yet unrepeated historic photos are published at Over the years, MLP researchers have developed and improved techniques for shooting the modern retakes, curating and analyzing the image pairs, and publishing the results. e MLP image pairs continue to be used by those who wish to under‑ stand past landscape patterns, ecological and human legacies, changes in mountain landscapes, and cultural processes over time. Explore our mountains through the MLP e Mountain Legacy Project invites everyone with an interest in moun‑ tains to explore and use the collection. All MLP images are available under a Creative Commons license, and can be downloaded, printed and shared for non‑commercial interests. Take a few minutes to climb, hike and scramble back in time — come exploring with MLP and the mountaineering surveyors of the past who mapped the heights in the Canadian mountain west. Vancouver Island Section member Mary Sanseverino is a long-time researcher with the Mountain Legacy Project. Summer Leadership Course for ACC Volunteers Twice a year, ACC sec ons from across the country send their leaders to The North Face – ACC Leadership Course 2018 Loca on: Hallam Glacier Date: GMC Week 5, August 4-11, 2018 Price: $995 Deadline for applica ons: April 27 Photo: Amber McMinn Le Club Alpin du Canada Gazette printemps 2018 9

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

view archives of Alpine Club of Canada - Gazette, Spring 2018