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Bob & Ira Spring - Mountain Films
Preservation of these films was made possible by a grant from The Mountaineers Foundation with cooperation from the Ira Spring family.
"Mountains Don't Care", 1957, 16mm color with sound, 20-1/4 minutes (See st-1957-dec-29-pic4 and spring-1998-p104 )Photographed in the summer of 1956 and released by the Mountain Rescue Council in 1957, this film has two main parts. The first part describes mountaineering hazards that may be encounted by climbers, fishermen, hunters and hikers. A pair of weekend sightseers ventures onto the Nisqually Glacier. One of the sightseers falls into a crevasse and the other runs to Paradise for help. A mountain rescue team responds. One of the Whittaker twins (Jim or Lou) is lowered into the crevasse and the victim is loaded onto a litter and hauled out. The litter is converted into a Stokeski stretcher and the rescuers slide and wheel the victim back to safety.
The second part of the film shows how to avoid accidents in the mountains. Two young people, Jack Cavanaugh and Carol (Marston) Bogert, accompany a pair of experienced mountaineers, Ome and Matie Daiber, on a multi-day trip in the North Cascades. They hike to their first camp in damp weather and Ome shows how to make a fire in these conditions. On the second day they continue cross-country to a high camp. Ome demonstrates route finding and climbing on snow. This segment was filmed between Cascade Pass and Koolaid Lake. Ome talks the young climbers out of attempting Mount Formidable (called "Daiber" by the first ascent party) and suggests an easier peak. They spend the afternoon practicing self-arrest, use of crampons, and belaying on rock.
In the morning, Ome and Matie waddle around camp in their Penguin sleeping bags preparing breakfast. The party begins the climb, which requires roped climbing on rock, glacier travel, crevasse jumps, and a final scramble to the summit. This segment was filmed on Sahale Arm, the Middle Cascade Glacier, and points in between. After the climb, Ome leads the party back to camp by compass in the fog. On the final day, they hike out to civilization, having gained their first lessons in mountain judgment.
"Ice Climbing on Mount Rainier", Circa 1956, 16mm color with sound, 16-1/4 minutesThe film begins with distant views of Mount Rainier and closer views of its glaciers. A group of climbers loads their packs at Paradise as a ranger inspects their gear. They set out and soon pause at the Paradise ice caves. There are fine scenes of climbers exploring the caves by torchlight. They continue to Camp Muir and set up tents in the wind. The afternoon is spent practicing with crampons, jumping crevasses on belay, and exploring the Cowlitz Glacier. There are fine scenes of climbers walking through jumbled crevasses and chopping steps up icy pinnacles. The next morning, after climbing through the night, they reach the summit and prepare to camp in the crater. The climbers sign the summit register and melt snow over steam vents before preparing supper. The film ends with sunset at the summit. There is a fine scene of a climber at last light admiring the shadow of Mount Rainier extending to the eastern horizon.
"Skiing Above the Clouds", Circa 1955, 16mm color with sound, 12-1/2 minutes (See spring-1955 and spring-1998-p123 )This film was sponsored by Fisher Flouring Mills, the makers of Zoom instant cereal. A party of four skiers (Bob and Ira Spring, John Carter and Paul Wiseman) plans a traverse from Paradise to the White River across the glaciers of Mount Rainier. They are shown packing their 60 lb. loads including Zoom. They climb to Camp Muir carrying huge packs and using canvas climbing sleeves on their skis. The next morning they leave their packs behind to tour and ski among the crevasses. This scenic segment was filmed on the Emmons Glacier below the north face of Little Tahoma Peak. Later, the skiers pack up and travel to a camp on the other side of the mountain. In the morning they prepare Zoom and Paul Wiseman enjoys it for breakfast. They set out again without packs and explore scenic crevasses, making delicate crossings on skis. On the last day, they descend through timber to their waiting car.
"Ice Rescue", 1957, 16mm color, silent, 15-1/4 minutesThis film is a silent, extended version of the crevasse rescue sequence in Mountains Don't Care. It includes more detail of rescue equipment and techniques. In one segment, Ome Daiber explains the importance of good boots. A pair of roped climbers demonstrate a crevasse fall and self-rescue using prussiks. This film is in better shape than Mountains Don't Care, which was copied from an old library print.
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