Bill Burrud Productions - True Adventure: Mt Edith Cavelle Home
This half-hour program was photographed by Dan Doody for True Adventure, a TV show hosted by Bill Burrud. Doody was a regular cameraman for this show. The program depicts the 1961 first ascent of the North Face of Mt Edith Cavelle in the Canadian Rockies by Fred Beckey, Yvon Chouinard and Dan Doody. The film opens with Chouinard and Beckey getting off the train at Jasper below Mt Edith Cavelle. The narrator gets Fred's name wrong, calling him "Fred Beckett." The climbers take a bus to Jasper Park Lodge and, after visiting with a pair of young ladies, sort and pack their gear.

The climbing footage appears to have been taken during two different sessions. The actual climb of Edith Cavelle began on a morning with a clear blue sky. Fred carries a short north wall hammer. On a different day, with a hazy sky, Beckey and Chouinard are shown on the approach hike and scrambling slabs next to the Angel Glacier icefall. For these scenes and later ice climbing closeups, Fred carries a long ice axe.

There are scenes of Fred and Yvon climbing ice onto the Angel Glacier during the actual climb. The weather is quite warm, as meltwater drips from the seracs. In scenes shot at a different time, the climbers don jackets and maneuver their way among crevasses. Diffuse light and Fred's long axe reveal that these shots were not made during the actual climb. Clear skies return as they tackle the rock of the North Face. Just a few pitches of rock are shown before the climbers settle in for a bivouac. Yvon wears a caguoule with his feet in his rucksack. Fred wears a rain jacket and puts his feet in an "elephant's foot."

Scenes representing the second day of the climb were photographed on a low-elevation glacier. This is apparent due to the texture of the ice and occasional glimpses of surrounding terrain. The summit itself is genuinely shown. Clouds swirl around the summit ridge as Beckey and Chouinard scoop up Doody's gear and hurry toward the camera. Eventually the men return to the base and look back at the mountain shrouded in clouds. The program ends with a short on-camera conversation between Dan Doody and host Bill Burrud. Doody says that he has been invited by Norman Dyrenfurth to be cameraman on the 1963 American Mt Everest expedition. (Notes by Lowell Skoog.)

Return to the Mountaineers History Committee home page.
© 2010 - The Mountaineers - Seattle, Washington
Contact the History Committee. Last Updated: Sat Jun 19 06:42:03 PDT 2010