Charles and Marion Hessey - From East to West in the North Cascades Wilderness Home
This 16mm film is in color, with sound, with a running time around 30 minutes. Made in 1958, this film originally included winter footage at Spanish Camp and summer footage in the Pasayten Wilderness and at Whatcom Pass. The Spanish Camp segment was removed for some reason and is now separate. See "Pasayten Wilderness Skiing." (These films could be put back together through digital editing.)
The film opens near Windy Peak at the east boundary of the North Cascades Wilderness. There is a distant view of Cathedral Peak and Marion wishes that she could see the area in winter. The Spanish Camp ski sequence was removed from this point in the film. The film abruptly jumps to spring and the break-up of ice on the Naches River near the Hesseys' home. In summer they return to the Pasayten with their friend John Young. They visit Ashnola Ridge, hoping to observe game animals, but instead find the area overrun by cattle. At Crow Lake the shoreline has been trampled by cows and fouled by their waste.
The Hesseys visit Quartz Lake for fishing, view the Carru-Lago group, and continue to Bunker Hill lookout and Tatoosh Buttes. They sample fish from Hidden Lake and hike to Eightmile Pass, Pleasant Valley, Osceola Peak, and the emergency airfield on the Pasayten River. From here they climb to the Crest Trail for views of Jack Mountain, the Picket Range, Mt Baker and Mt Shuksan.
They re-enter the wilderness from the west, near Mt Baker, hiking from Ruth Creek over Hannegan Pass to Whatcom Pass. At Whatcom Pass, with the Challenger Glacier as a backdrop, Marion prepares a breakfast of pancakes smothered in blueberry sauce over a campfire. They hike to Tapto Lakes for views of Whatcom Peak and the glaciers above the pass. They are joined by a group of Mountaineers and hike up Red Face Mountain for more scenery. In closing, Chuck Hessey expresses hope that the glory of wilderness can be preserved for future generations. "If we save enough for them, we can go on, not without honor."
(Digital transfer of this film was made possible by a grant from The Mountaineers Foundation. Film notes and video clip by Lowell Skoog.)