Mountaineers catalog number: 2009.4
These notes are by Lowell Skoog. This collection includes both color
slides and B&W prints. Subjects include U.S. Army mountain troop
activities during World War II as well as climbing, hiking and skiing
(mostly post-war) in Washington, Montana, Alberta, and British Columbia.
The main groupings in the collection are labeled as follows:
Notebook A -
Mountain Troop 35mm Color Slides
Box B -
Mountain Troop Prints
Box C -
Climbing and Hiking, North Cascades
Box D -
Climbing and Hiking, B.C., Alberta, Montana, Oregon
Box E -
Hiking and Climbing, B.C., Montana
Box F -
Ski Tours, B.C., Alberta, Ontario, Yellowstone
Journals and Other Publications
These slides are in archival pages in a three-ring binder. On September
21, 2005, I did a taped interview with Duke Watson to identify his
mountain troop photos. I applied a unique number to each photo that we
Mt Rainier training, 1942 (slides 1-7)
- #1: Ski trooper near Alta Vista.
- #2: Rudimentary snowmobile near Paradise, Mt Rainier.
- #3: Ski instruction near Paradise. Instructor is
Don Goodman. Standing behind Goodman (just to viewer's right)
is a Sergeant Sigmund. Goodman was one of the earliest
recruits in Capt. Paul Lafferty's C Company, 15th Infantry,
3rd Division, at Fort Lewis. Duke recalled that he, Ralph
Bromaghin, Walter Prager, and Don Goodman (in that order) may
have been the first four men brought into Lafferty's outfit in
the fall of 1941. Charles McLane, the first man assigned
directly to the 1st Battalion of the new 87th Mountain Infantry
Regiment, arrived at Fort Lewis shortly after Watson and
Bromaghin. But McLane wasn't assigned to Lafferty's 15th
Infantry C Company. For a while, McLane didn't have to do any
duty, since he had no outfit, and he hooked up informally with
the men of Lafferty's outfit.
- #4: Glen Stanley practicing a terrain jump at the
edge of Edith Creek basin. Glen Stanley and another man (last
name Alexander) were the next two men from 1st Battalion, 87th
Regiment to go to officer candidate school, after Duke Watson
and Joe Hearst.
- #5: Terrain jump practice, Edith Creek basin.
- #6: Ski maneuver in Paradise Valley. It was normal
to go without packs during ski instruction, but unsual to go on
a maneuver without them.
- #7: Ascending to Panorama Dome.
Columbia Icefield, 1942 (slides 51-74)
Two camps were established by the Columbia Icefield expedition to
support testing of the Weasel over-snow vehicle by the Studebaker
Corporation. The Weasel was being developed for an invasion in
Norway to destroy a German heavy water plant. Base camp was
established at the foot of the Saskatchewan Glacier, close to the
road. Advance camp was established on the upper Saskatchewan
Glacier. That was where the Studebaker people lived and worked.
2nd Lt. Duke Watson was the only officer at the advance
camp. He had about 35 of the 60 enlisted men assigned to the
project. 2nd Lt. Joe Hearst commanded the base camp. This
assignment came only about a month after Watson and Hearst
returned to the 87th Regiment from officer training school.
Watson and Hearst were asked to interview prospective men for the
assignment from the 87th Regiment at Fort Lewis. 1st Lt. Paul
Townsend, Capt. Whitney Reynolds (medical officer), and a
representative of the Winter Warfare Board were based in the
Banff Springs Hotel, which was being closed for the duration of
Above the advance camp, the men
built 87 bridges over crevasses
using pine trees cut in the National Park and
hauled up the glacier's medial moraine in 6x6 trucks. (Duke remembered
that the number of bridges was the same as their regimental
number.) One foggy day Pvt. Eldon Metzger and a Cpl. Rinke were
returning from the icefield in a Weasel. Familiar
with the route, they took a shortcut. They plunged into a deep
crevasse and fortunately landed on a bench about 20 feet down.
Metzger was miraculously unharmed but Rinke, the driver, broke
both legs severely. Metzger clawed his way out of the crevasse
and went for help.
Whitney Reynolds, the medical officer, happened to be in the
advance camp that day. He and Duke got a rope team together and
went to the crevasse. Duke was lowered into the crevasse while
Reynolds shouted first aid instructions from above. They hauled
Rinke out and immediately transported him off the glacier to a
hospital in Canmore. Duke thought this was in August 1942. It
was the only accident during the entire expedition. Rinke
remained in the hospital throughout the entire war recovering
from his injuries. He was released in the spring of 1946.
- #51: Duke Watson on upper Saskatchewan Glacier at
location of advance camp.
- #52: Cpl. Hackett (far left, a renowned post-war
climber), Cpl. Thiveridge (from Butte, MT) next to him. Lt.
Paul Townsend is 3rd from right, with hood up. Other soldiers
- #53: 6x6 truck low on the Saskatchewan Glacier.
- #54: Erecting quonset hut at advance camp. Pvt.
Slim Mayberry on roof.
- #55: Tractor working at advance camp. The advance
camp was accessed by driving on the glacier's medial moraine.
The 87 bridged crevasses were above the advance camp.
- #56: Eight of the nine completed huts at advance
camp. Studebaker used one of the huts as a shop. After testing
during the day, they would develop movies of the machines
in operation and make mechanical adjustments during the
night. Another hut was used for Studebaker lodging.
There was a general mess hall and the rest of the huts
were probably men's quarters.
- #57: Eldon Metzger (left) on Saskatchewan Glacier.
- #58: Dyson Duncan in front of Mt Saskatchewan.
- #59: Mt Bryce
- #60: Columbia Icefield
- #61: Unknown peak
- #62: Pvt. Florian Hammerle in front of Mt
- #63: Unknown peak
- #64: P.C. Putnam, Office of Special Services
coordinator, head of the Weasel project. The Weasel was
designed to be parachuted into Norway with personnel and 500
lbs of TNT to destroy a German heavy water plant. Putnam
considered icefields in the Andes and Alaska for the
project, but settled on the Canadian Rockies. He offered
Duke Watson an opportunity to join OSS, but Duke chose to
stay in the 87th Regiment.
- #65: Columbia Icefield scene.
- #66: Columbia Icefield scene.
- #67: Columbia Icefield scene.
- #68: Columbia Icefield scene.
- #69: Columbia Icefield scene.
- #70: Columbia Icefield scene.
- #71: Duke Watson's skis in front of Mt Bryce.
- #72: Mt Bryce
- #73: Columbia Icefield scene.
- #73: Columbia Icefield scene.
Camp Hale, 1943 (slides 151-174, 181-182)
- #151: Officers from G Company, 87th Regiment.
Foreground (L-R): Lt. Newman, Capt. Ellsworth
(commander), Lt. Van Houten (exec). The man in back is
unidentified. This slide was not taken at Camp Hale. It
is from the Hunter-Ligget military reservation in
California, where the 87th Regiment moved temporarily
before Camp Hale was finished.
- #152: Ski tricks during the winter of 1943, possibly
by Charles McLane.
- #153: Snowshoe exercise, probably a weapons platoon.
Rifle platoons didn't train on snowshoes at Camp Hale.
The rifle platoon from each company and the weapons
company from each regiment used snowshoes to carry their
heavier loads. On day-long marches with a lot of up and
down, the snowshoers always arrived at their destination
before the skiers, Duke recalled.
- #154: Snowshoers shovelling.
- #155: Duke Watson on snowshoes. Duke thought he
probably borrowed a pair from the weapons platoon to try them
- #156: Spring 1943 near Camp Hale.
- #157: Duke Watson trying a jump turn on skis.
- #158: Duke Watson trying a jump turn on skis.
- #159: Weapons platoon soldier operating a light
(60mm) mortar. The weapons company used bigger (81mm) mortars.
- #160: Campsite during spring 1943 cross-country trip
on skis from Camp Hale to Vail.
- #161: Neoprene mountain tent developed by
Quartermaster Corps. Completely waterproof and unpleasant to
- #162: Lt. Harding.
- #163: Unknown location.
- #164: Lt. Van Houten, executive officer.
- #165: Off-duty ski climb of a peak near Camp Hale,
possibly Mt Elbert.
- #166: Unidentified soldiers.
- #167: Probably spring 1943 cross-country trip on
skis from Camp Hale to Vail.
- #168: Unidentified lieutenant (L), Lt. Renne (R).
- #169: Mix of skiers and snowshoers.
- #170: Unidentified lieutenant.
- #171: Rest break on Camp Hale to Vale trip.
- #172: Same trip.
- #173: More of the same.
- #181: Probably 10th Recon troop, in Sawatch Range on
trip from Camp Hale to Aspen, summer 1943.
- #182: Same as 181. Unidentified lieutenant.
3rd Platoon, 10th Recon Troop, Camp Hale to Aspen, June 1943 (slides 201-218)
I've included notes only for those photos for which Duke could
add information. Duke recalled that he sent many good photos
from this trip, some years ago, to a fellow from Milwaukee and
never got them back.
- #201: Probably Ed Link's fishing pole. Link was
executive officer of the 10th Recon. He spent his entire
career in the Army and later Duke arranged to hire him as
manager of Crystal Mountain ski area in Washington.
- #202: Ed Link fishing.
- #203: Duke Watson at right.
- #205: Freidl Pfiefer, rope practice.
- #209: John Woodward, troop commander, 2nd from right.
- #216: Probably John Woodward, commander of the 10th
Seneca Rocks climbing school, 1943-44 (slides 76-104)
I've included notes only for those photos for which Duke could
add information. The Elkins, West Virginia maneuvers area,
including Seneca Rocks, was used to introduce selected regiments
from regular infantry divisions to problems of mountain warfare.
The regiment as a whole was put through tactics that might be
used in mountains like the Appalachians. Out of each regiment,
about 50 officers (mostly lieutenants) and enlisted men (mostly
sergeants), all volunteers, were selected to go through special
rock climbing training. It was about a three-week course. The
Elkins area also had special training for engineers and medical
Duke estimated that about 80% of the top rock climbers in the
U.S. at the time were instructors in the Seneca Rocks climbing
school. When Duke commanded the school from May-July 1944, his
assistants were David Brower and Raffi Bedayn, renowned climbers
from the first ascent of Shiprock, New Mexico before the war. I
asked, if most of the good climbing instructors were at Seneca
Rocks, whether anyone was teaching rock climbing at Camp Hale.
Duke recalled that the rock climbing training at Camp Hale was
not as intensive or spectacular as at Seneca Rocks. It was
mostly rapelling and some belaying. The rock climbing training
at Seneca Rocks was more intensive than what the 10th Mountain
Division got at Camp Hale. There were three different rock
climbing areas near Elkins. Seneca Rocks was the most prominent,
but they used all of them. Some of the cliffs were infested with
copperheads, and climbers had to be vigilant, and they killed
many snakes, but nobody ever got bitten. Duke did not recall any
climbing accidents at the school.
- #76: Camp at Seneca Rocks.
- #77: Pup tents in a farmer's field.
- #78: This photo was published in an April 1973 article
about Duke Watson and Seneca Rocks in Off Belay magazine.
- #80: Training on an artificial climbing wall. This
sort of training also took place at Camp Hale.
- #85: This climber appears to be wearing klettershue
(special rock climbing boots), which were not issued by
the army. He may have had these as a personal
- #87: Belayer is probably Norman Lindhjem from
Oregon. This photo was published in an April 1973 article
about Duke Watson and Seneca Rocks in Off Belay
- #99: Lt. John McCown from Philadelphia. McCown
commanded the Seneca Rocks climbing school before Duke
Watson arrived. Col. Bob Works replaced McCown with
Watson and McCown returned to Camp Hale. McCown was
killed during the attack on Riva Ridge in Italy.
- #100: Col. Bob Works in foreground.
- #104: Probably engineer training at Elkins,
practicing a river ford.
These prints (mostly B&W) are in several envelopes in a box. When Duke
and I looked through these prints, I wrote a number in pencil on the back
of each print for which Duke could add information. I've included notes
below for these prints only.
Columbia Icefield, 1942
- #1: Duke Watson (left) en-route to the Columbia
Icefield standing next to a Canadian soldier at Field,
- #2: 6x6 trucks on Saskatchewan Glacier. They spent
about a week chopping away at the snout of the glacier by
hand with pick mattocks and shovels to carve a ramp that
the trucks could climb. They tried using dynamite but it
had no effect. Once the trucks got up onto the glacier
and its medial moraine they were able to pack out a road
for the jeeps to follow.
- #3: Lone outhouse on the Saskatchewan Glacier.
- #4: Kathleen ?? from Calgary. She came to the base
camp with a companion named Mackey. Duke had a couple of
dates with her.
- #5: Tractor preparing advance camp site for quonset
- #6: Probably P.C. Putnam, crossing a foot bridge
over a crevasse.
- #7: Building a bridge over a crevasse. The man in
the foreground later worked for the Osborn and Ulland sports
shop in Seattle.
- #8: David Brower, standing at left, probably in
Italy. Brower was the intelligence officer for Duke's
- #9: Big horn sheep, maybe near Columbia Icefield
- #10: Jeep near advance camp.
- #11: Photo probably taken by Kathleen. (L-R): Sgt.
Hawkins, Lt. Joe Hearst, Kathleen's companion Mackey,
- #12: Sgt. Hawkins at left, unknown center, Paul
Townsend at right.
- #13: Time off at Lake Louise. Paul Townsend in
middle, probably Duke Watson at right.
- #14: Duke Watson at Lake Louise.
- #15: Skiing above advance camp, Columbia Icefield.
- #16: Banff Springs Hotel window.
- #17: Banff Springs Hotel window.
- #18: Mt Brice.
- #19: (L-R): Mackey, Sgt. Hawkins, Duke Watson, Lt.
Hearst, probably taken by Kathleen.
- #20: Canadian army personnel on the trans-Canada
- #21: Train stop on continental divide between Lake
Louise and Field.
- #22: Same group with Kathleen, probably taken by
- #23: (L-R): Mackey, Hawkins, Watson, Hearst, photo
- #24: Kathleen poses in the jeep.
- #25: Kathleen drives the jeep.
87th Regiment at Mt Rainier, 1942
- #26: Col. Cook on a horse at Fort Lewis. Cook was
executive officer of 87th Regiment under Col. Rolfe.
Overseas, Cook was the regimental exec of the 86th
- #28: (L-R): Glen Stanley, ?? Alexander, Ralph
Bromaghin, Ray Zoberski, unknown, unknown, Dick Whitmore,
Tony Hyde, Don Goodman, unknown, Charles Bradley at Mt
- #29: Paradise, Mt Rainier (note "Keep Out" sign).
- #30: Duke Watson (left), Ralph Lafferty (center) on
Mt Shuksan, Washington, during army leave, 1942.
- #31: Paradise, Mt Rainier.
- #32: Duke Watson skiing at Mt Rainier.
- #33: Charles McLane at Mt Rainier.
- #34: Old rope tow at Paradise, Mt Rainier.
Camp Hale and 10th Recon, 1943
- #27: Probably 10th Recon training at Camp Hale.
- #35: Army equipment.
- #36: Trekking in mountains east of Camp Hale.
- #37: (L-R): John Woodward, Dick Whitmore, Col.
Fowler. Fowler was one of the 10th's regimental officers
- #38: Walter Prager (L) and George Gagnon.
- #39: Liaison officer (something-dahl) from Norwegian
army (L) and John Woodward.
- #40: Rock climbing on shattered rock.
- #50: Ralph Bromaghin. Normally Bromaghin was a more
stylish skier than in this photo, Duke said.
- #51: Probably Cooper Hill.
- #52: Unidentified soldiers.
- #53: Encampment.
- #54: Ski maneuver, probably a whole company.
- #55: Col. Bob Works, on left. Works was the
commanding officer at the Elkins, WV maneuvers area, which was
previously set up by Paul Lafferty.
- #56: Pando flats, Camp Hale.
- #58: Unidentified ski trooper sitting on pack.
- #61: Unidentified ski troops.
- #62: Weasel near Camp Hale.
- #64: Unidentified scene.
- #65: Skiers.
- #67: Ski and snowshoe troops.
- #68: On the march.
- #69: Unidentified skier.
- #70: Flame-thrower demonstration.
- #71: Flame-thrower demonstration.
- #74: Camp Hale street.
Mountain and Winter Warfare Board, 1942?
- #41: First aid toboggan.
- #42: 75 pack howitzer recoil mechanism on 15"
- #43: Pack board, ala Trapper Nelson.
- #44: Muk-luk.
- #45: Stem christie ski test, probably Mt Rainier.
- #46: Lt. Dan Murphy in center, facing camera.
Probably during platoon physical.
- #47: No explanation.
- #48: Stretcher case, ready to be transported.
- #49: Neoprene tent, probably at Fort Lewis.
Large Color Prints, 1943-45
- Duke Watson on skis as a platoon leader on Homestake Peak,
- Duke Watson and Capt. Van Houten of G Company, 86th Regiment,
waxing skis at Camp Hale, Colorado, 1943.
- Duke Watson next to a jeep while on special assignment from 10th
Mtn Division to IV Corps Headquarters, Italy, 1945.
Photocopies - Mountain Troops 1941-22
A manila folder contains photocopies of photos of mountain troops on Mt
Rainier in 1941-42. Most of the photos are from the Denver Public
Library's Western History Collection. Some unidentified photos are
probably from the Rainier National Park archives at Longmire.
This box contains many slide boxes and a few envelopes containing prints.
I've noted the labels on the boxes or envelopes, but have not verified
the contents thoroughly. It would be a good idea to move the slides from
boxes into archival pages (with captions). This would make the slides
more visible, improve organization, and probably have preservation
- 1946, Mt Baker via Boulder Glacier, Mt Rainier
- 1946, Mt Baker climb with Bill Eastman, Andy Kauffman, etc
- 1946, Bedal Pk, Little Tahoma
- 1946, Dome Pk, Spire Pt, Sloan Pk? (2 boxes)
- 1951, Indian Henry's, Mt Rainier
- 1951, Snowfield Pk
- 1952, Goat Rocks
- 1953, Mt Maude
- 1954, Views from Silver Star Mtn (2 boxes)
- 1954, Gothic Peak area
- 1954, Hurricane Ridge, Silver Star
- 1954, Mt Baker ski climb
- 1955, Mt Johannesburg, also Chilliwacks
- 1955, Chilliwacks
- 1956, Chilliwacks, Mt Rainier, Ptarmigan Ridge (3 boxes)
- 1957, Overcoat Peak
- 1957, Sinister, Dome Pk
- 1958, Hozomeen, South Peak, 2nd ascent
- 1958, Golden Horn, Goat Rocks
- 1958, Northern Pickets
- 1958-65, Hozomeen, Border Peaks, Icy Peak, Windy Pass
- 1960, Southern Picket Range
- 1960, Mt Temple, Mt Adams, Glacier Pk
- 1960s, Party that climbed Mt Rainier via Nisqually Icefall
- 1961, Hwy 410 to Crystal Mtn ski tour
- 1961, Kangaroo Ridge
- 1961, Huckleberry Mtn
- 1961, Depot Basin, Glacier (Silver) Lake
- 1962, Park Creek Pass peaks (Logan, Buckner, Booker)
- 1962, Three Fingers with Lloyd Anderson, Phil Sharpe, M. Muzzy
- 1963, Twin Sisters climb
- 1963, Jolly Mtn
- 1963, Crystal Mtn to Chinook Pass ski tour
- 1964, Damnation-Despair
- 1965, Mineral Mtn
- 1965, North Cascades flight with Stu Wilson (2 boxes)
- 1966, Sibley Ck to Thunder Arm traverse (2 boxes)
- 1966, Sulphur Mtn
- 1967, Mt Tomyhoi
- 1967, Whitehorse/Three Fingers ridge, plane wreck
- 1968, Colonial, Pyramid, Pinnacle Peaks
- 1968, Ptarmigan Traverse
- 1974, Crater Mtn (autumn)
- 1976, Mt Rainier, Sunset Park
- 1978, Various North Cascades from A.F. Hovey (autumn)
- 1980, Ski tour, Barlow Pass to Monte Cristo
- 1980, Mother Mtn, Mt Rainier NP
- 1981, Fraser River, Columbia River, Buck Mtn.
- 1986, Bailey Range, Olympics
- 1986, Mt Hardy
- 1988, Glacier Park (MT), Mt Bruseth (WA)
- 1989, Desolation Peak, N Cascades
- 2003, Summit of Bare Mtn
- Undated, Warren Spickard photos, Clark Mtn, Chilliwacks, etc.
- Undated, Dee Molenaar photos, North Cascade various
This box contains slide boxes and a few envelopes containing prints.
I've noted the labels on the boxes or envelopes, but have not verified
- 1939, Mt Hood climb
- 1945, Climb of Mt Sir Donald
- 1952, Bluff Lake, B.C. Coast
- 1952, Jasper Nat. Park
- 1952, Odaray, Hungabee
- 1952, Opal Hills, Maligne, Coronet
- 1952, Wiwaxy Gap, Lk. Oesa Trail, Yoho Nat. Park
- 1959, Mt Waddington (2 boxes)
- 1962, Mt Sir Sandford (2 boxes)
- 1963, Ramparts, Jasper Nat. Park (2 boxes)
- 1965, Mt Monarch (2 boxes)
- 1966, Mt Assiniboine, Lake O'Hara
- 1991, Cabinet Mountains, Montana
- Undated, Climbs in Southern Selkirks of B.C. (1st traverse, Dawson Range)
- Undated, The Ramparts, Jasper Nat. Park, B.C. (envelope)
A Frederick & Nelson box containing prints and one box of slides. I've
noted the labels on boxes or envelopes, but have not verified the
- 1988, Backpacking Glacier Park, MT
- 1989, Cabinet Mtns, MT
- 1989, Glacier Park, MT
- 2001, Cathedral Lakes area (Pasayten, WA)
- 1997, Approaching North Kananaskis Pass
This box contains two slide carousels, several slide boxes, and a few
envelopes containing prints. I've noted the labels on the boxes or
envelopes, but have not verified the contents.
- 1964, Little Yoho, B.C. (2 boxes)
- 1964, Mt Garibaldi, B.C.
- 1966, Cariboo Exploratory
- 1966, Cariboos, B.C.
- 1967, Bugaboos, B.C. (box)
- 1967, Cariboos, B.C. (2 boxes)
- 1967-68, Bubaboo Peaks, Helicopter skiing (carousel)
- 1968, Bugaboos, B.C. (box)
- 1969, Mummery Glacier, Freshfield Icefield, B.C.
- 1970, Continental Divide ski tour, Peyto Lake to Field, B.C.
- 1971, Cariboos, B.C. (3 boxes)
- 1972, Ski tour, Cariboo Mtns. (carousel)
- 1977, Yellowstone Nat. Park
- 1989, Chilkoot ski tour (2 envelopes)
- 1989, Glacier Nat. Park, MT, ski tours
- 1991, Thunder Bay, Shawanabis Lake, Ontario, ski tours
- 1992, Grand Portage and Gunflint Trail ski trip (Minn., Ontario)
Duke gave me a few journals and such and I've added them to this
- Brower, David R., Remount Blue: The Combat Story of the 3rd
Battalion, 86th Moutain Infantry, University of California
Press, Berkeley, CA, 1948. Duke later gave me an expanded version
of this document (updated about 1993), which I kept. I've donated
the older version to this collection.
- Skoog, Lowell, "Duke Watson: A Mountaineer For All Seasons,"
Mountaineering Journal, Issue 3, 2006. (Printed copy from
- Watson, R. Duke, Outdoor Activities Record of R. Duke
Watson, 1928-2000. Dates, locations, names of companions, and
highlights of hiking, climbing, skiing and canoeing trips (118 pp.).
Very useful reference for photos.
- Watson, R. Duke, Journals Of My Northern Travels, Vols.
1-3, completed in 1995 (323 pp.), 1997 (694 pp.) and 1999 (256
pp.), respectively. Detailed record of Duke's travels in Canada,
mostly by canoe, between 1967 and 1998.
- Watson, R. Duke, Trans-Canada Canoe Photos, CD-ROM prepared
by Hunter Black, 2006.
- Deed of Gift for R. Duke Watson photographs, signed by Duke on 13
June 2009. (Until our filing system is improved. I've stored the deed
of gift for this collection with the collection itself.)