After 85 years of abandonment, researchers discover a historic cache of legendary photographer’s equipment!

In 1937, photographer and cartographer Bradford Washburn abandoned his camera, surveying equipment, and supplies when he encountered bad weather while exploring Canada’s frozen Yukon region.

And in August, 85 years later, a team of scientists and professional mountain explorers unearthed a long-lost cache of equipment buried in the ice of the distant Walsh Glacier.

Eight decades ago, Washburn and fellow explorer Robert Bates were attempting to climb Mount Lucania in the St. Elias Mountains when bad weather forced them to abandon their heavy photography equipment.

At the end of April 2022, professional skier Griffin Post, along with other adventurers and scientists, went on a three-week expedition to the glacier located in the Kluan National Park and Preserve in Canada, along with other adventurers and scientists to find places. cameras.

Post said in statement Journalist: “I was an optimist, but I knew it was like finding the proverbial needle in a haystack. A lot can happen on a glacier in 85 years.”

Dora Magica, a glaciologist at the University of Ottawa, was invited to go to the site and map the glacier to determine where the mechanism might shift over time.

“They basically needed help figuring out how the glacier was moving and how best to find the hiding place,” Magica told Insider.

A group of glaciologists from the University of Ottawa assisted the expedition remotely.

Upon arrival in the area, the group searched on foot, skiing and snowboarding.

“We had an idea where to start looking, but nothing was very accurate,” Medjika said. “We traveled many kilometers up and down the glacier. It was difficult for us to find it – we didn’t see it anywhere.”

To try to determine the original site of the camp, the team looked at photographs of the bunker’s location that had survived from the Washburn expedition.

The team only discovered the cameras during a second, shorter trip to the glacier in August.

“We were on the verge of giving up because all of our efforts came to nothing,” Medjica said.

On the penultimate day of the journey, Medjika put forward a new version of the whereabouts of the artifacts.

She said glaciers usually move at a constant rate year after year, but the Walsh River is a rare “growing” glacier, meaning it moves faster for a year or two every few decades.

I noticed piles of debris along the entire length of the glacier, which I thought were caused by a sudden burst of current. This prompted her to find out how and when the glacier flowed in the past.

The observation allowed her to make a new estimate of where the elements were, which was three or four miles down the valley and about 14 miles from where Washburn had left him.

Her intuition eventually led the team to the missing gear. “It was such a great feeling and I was relieved that I couldn’t find the stash,” Medjika said. “It was an epic moment for everyone.”

A few weeks later, scientists from Parks Canada returned to the glacier with an expedition team to remove the camera from the ice. The team recovered most of Washburn’s Fairchild F-8 aerial camera, as well as two movie cameras with film loaded inside, tents, and other survival gear.

According to Magica, the team knew Washburn had photographed the landscape before discarding his equipment. Now they plan to develop the old film, hoping to salvage the images.

“What’s really important here is that this is new data that we couldn’t get without finding this cache,” Medjika said. “We were able to trace the path that the cache has taken since 1937.”

She said the results could help scientists better understand how glaciers move, adding that “if we now combine this information with satellite data, we can try to see if the flow of this particular glacier has changed in the past and how.”

Source: Science Alert.