Forum Index > Pacific NW History > John Clarke modern British Columbia mountains explorer/climber (film)
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gb
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gb
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PostMon Aug 30, 2021 11:25 am 
A friend just sent me by e-mail this film which was shot a couple decades ago. It appears the film was made very close to the coast in perhaps Bella Coola, or maybe nearer the Squamish-Pemberton area where the mountains do not have the grand glaciers of the apex areas of the BC Coast Mountains. Many of Clarke's adventures were solo and traversed amazing glaciated terrain. I first read about him in annual reports of the Canadian Alpine Journals.

Child of the Wind

The video apparently won an award at the Banff Mountain Films Festival at the time of it's release.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Clarke_(mountaineer)

Kliniklini Glacier from Mt. Silverthrone +- 10,000', 100+ miles north of Vancouver:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klinaklini_Glacier#/media/File:Heiltskuk_Icefield,_British_Columbia.JPG

I flew over this glacier a few years ago in a friend's Cessna. Silverthrone is mentioned in the film.

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BeardoMcGrath
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PostMon Aug 30, 2021 5:14 pm 
Thanks for the link, I was unaware of this film. As someone who has a real affinity for the Coast Mtns in BC John Clarke's story is a very interesting one. He can claim hundreds of first recorded ascents, in terrain that is not necessarily technically difficult (i.e. not a lot of roped climbing) but incredibly remote with often poor weather conditions. A John Clarke trip to the mountains often involved being dropped at the head of some remote inlet, bashing straight up through horrible brush to the alpine, and then rambling along glaciated ridges for two weeks before returning to a separate inlet for pickup.

There is a mountain that was named for him between the head of Princess Louisa Inlet and the Sims Creek (Elaho River drainage). As the wikipedia page notes he was well respected both in the climbing and First Nations community, where he was adopted as a member of the Squamish Coast Salish.

John Baldwin (one of his climbing partners) has a nice book with photographs if you want to get a better sense of the territory he explored. To this day, many of the peaks he climbed have seen only a handful of ascents.

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Mike Collins
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PostMon Aug 30, 2021 7:37 pm 
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Anne Elk
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PostTue Aug 31, 2021 12:52 am 
Thanks for starting this thread, GB, and sharing the film link. An intriguing profile; sufficient that I ordered the bio that Mike Collins posted. No less amazing than Clarke's many first ascents are the approaches, and that he went into those deep wildernesses so often alone, returning without serious incident.

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"There are yahoos out there.  Itís why we canít have nice things."  - Tom Mahood
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contour5
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PostTue Aug 31, 2021 12:57 pm 
Nice Film!

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puzzlr
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PostTue Aug 31, 2021 9:02 pm 
I enjoyed watching that. Thanks for the link.

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Mid Fork Rocks ē flickr
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Stefan
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PostThu Sep 02, 2021 4:35 pm 
John Clarke.

One of the lesser unknowns who needs to be known in Western Washington.

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Art is an adventure.

Anne Elk
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Mike Collins
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PostFri Sep 03, 2021 10:26 am 
ďThe big value of wilderness travel is weíre dipping our toes into that landscape from which we evolved, back to a time when our lives and even our spirituality were guided by the weather, the animals, the plants, the seasons and the tides.Ē

                                                                                              John Clarke

Prosit, Anne Elk
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Waterman
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PostSat Sep 04, 2021 7:08 pm 
Watching the video was a nice introduction to John. Which leads to wanting to know more. Which leads to buying the book written by Baldwin.

The book opened my eyes to what John Clarke accomplished with assorted friends. Climbing trips lasting weeks, ski traverses with monstrous loads on 3 pins.
After reading that book I have come to the conclusion that one lifetime isn't enough. While I think that I spent mine wisely exploring the PNW,  I now realize that you really need more than one. The southwest desert alone could fill a lifetime. Let alone overseas.

My retirement is coming up, but realistically physical ailments will be a determining factor.  Lama packing, boat shuttles and airdrops will help overcome limitations. So we will see.

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Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost
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OwenT
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PostWed Sep 08, 2021 4:14 pm 
Is there a repository of John Clarke photographs somewhere?

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gb
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PostFri Sep 10, 2021 6:23 am 
OwenT wrote:
Is there a repository of John Clarke photographs somewhere?

Don't know about that, but the Canadian Alpine Journals in his active period describe and show images of his great BC Coast Mountain traverses. Certain libraries may have those journals. I downsized and got rid of my journals a number of years ago.

There is also a book cited in this thread.

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Anne Elk
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PostFri Sep 10, 2021 10:07 am 
OwenT wrote:
Is there a repository of John Clarke photographs somewhere?

I don't climb but am a Canadaphile and have seen a lot of the BC coast from sailboat.  So I was motivated to order Clarke's bio (which hasn't arrived yet) as well as the book BeardoMcGrath mentions in his Aug 30th post by Clarke's expedition pal John Baldwin, which I now have.  If you get that book, you won't be disappointed.  Clarke is in a number of the photos and it's obvious they covered a fair amt of territory together.  I think it's one of the most beautifully done books on Canadian mountains I've ever seen.  up.gif

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"There are yahoos out there.  Itís why we canít have nice things."  - Tom Mahood
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