Cameras left by famous Yukon explorers have been found after 85 years with fascinating photos

Callum Jones

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Cameras left by famous Yukon explorers have been found after 85 years with fascinating photos

Featured Image Credit: Teton Gravity Research/Leslie Hittmeier

A team of explorers were ecstatic after they discovered cameras left by Yukon explorers 85 years ago.

Media company Teton Gravity Research recently teamed up with professional mountain explorer Griffin Post and a group of willing mountaineers to try and find the lost cameras in Kluane National Park, Canada.

While they were looking for first descents, the real prize was to try and find a piece of history in explorer's Bradford Washburn and Robert Bates lost camera gear.

According to ABC News, the pair had to ditch their camera equipment while they were climbing Mount Lucania in the Saint Elias Mountains when bad weather hit.

The cameras were finally discovered after 85 years. Credit: tetongravity/ Instagram
The cameras were finally discovered after 85 years. Credit: tetongravity/ Instagram

The cameras had been buried in the ice since 1937, with the three ancient cameras older than your grandparents' devices.

The cache contained photos of what mountains looked like in the park 85 years ago.

The explorers nearly missed out on the cameras as Post revealed to the website People, they finally discovered them just one hour before the helicopter was scheduled to pick them up.

He said: "That moment when we saw the equipment that was indisputably theirs [was] just so surreal and validating in so many senses.

"There was so much self-doubt over the last 18 months."

To help with the search, Post teamed up with Luke Copland, a glaciologist at the University of Ottawa, and Dora Medrzycka, who has a Ph.D. in physical geography.

Medrzycka joined Post and the team from Teton Gravity Research to head to the mountains in Spring 2022, but were unsuccessful in finding the cameras.

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The team headed back out again in August but were starting to become discouraged.

Medrzycka told ABC News: "I was not only disappointed, but I pretty much knew that I was letting everybody down.

"Because technically, I was the one that was supposed to have the knowledge to figure out where it was. So I definitely felt like I had failed everyone, and that responsibility was pretty, pretty hard to bear."

She did not give up though, as the graduate had a theory that she hoped would point the team in the right direction.

The new theory pointed them in the right direction. Credit: tetongravity/ Instagram
The new theory pointed them in the right direction. Credit: tetongravity/ Instagram

Medrzycka looked at a line of debris known as a medial moraine that looked like it had broken.

To back up the claims, she looked at a satellite image and could see two places where it had happened.

According to the glaciologists, the Walsh Glacier had surged twice since the 1930s, with Medrzycka theorising that the breaks in the moraine happened during a surge.

This allowed her to calculate how far the glaciers moved and identify where the cameras were.

The team put the theory to the test on the last day, and luckily enough, the piece of history was found.

Topics: Community, Science, News

Callum Jones
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