Travel Blog

21 Oct

Blending Old With New, part 3 of 3: The First Ascent of Mount Diavolo

With the first snow in the valley we figured we’d give you one last blast of summer before we fully commit to the changing season. This week we’ve got the final episode of our Google Earth virtual tour of the 1923 Carter/Townsend mountaineering expedition, (see the previous installments here: Wedge MountainMount James Turner).

This video represents the second half of their two-week trip, and includes perhaps the most interesting scenery, as they actually  climb Whistler Mountain itself and we’ve included a few great photos of the ski area decades before any runs were cut or lifts were installed. It also portrays the most difficult climbing they encountered, Mount Diavolo (which they named due to their experience on the peak). When reading mountaineering accounts from this period you sometimes forget that they were written in a very understated manner (an inheritance from the British “stiff upper lip” school of mountain literature), so when Charles Townsend actually admits to some serious  challenges along the way it means that things got more than a little tense.

Recreating this Google Earth-based tour has been a lot of fun, and a great learning experience for us here at the museum. Now that we’ve figured out a few more technical tricks we’ll be looking put together more multimedia content  that blends historical photos with contemporary technology to give you a whole new take on our amazing natural surroundings.

For a contemporary take on the same terrain, check this video from a few years back featuring local ski-mountaineer J.D. Hare. This video is also a very useful if you’re simply looking to get excited for the fast-approaching shred season.

For more stories from Whistler’s rich past, visit the Whistler Museum’s blog.

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