Neal Marshall Carter was born in Vancouver on December 14th, 1902. Educated at UBC and McGill Universities, he earned a PhD in Organic Chemistry. In his professional life, he was a marine biologist working in fisheries research. He was introduced to mountaineering, and to the BC Mountaineering Club (BCMC) by Tom Fyles, and was a member of that Club from 1920 to 1926, when he left the BCMC for the Alpine Club of Canada.
His first love, where climbing was concerned, was the Coast Mountains of British Columbia, though he also climbed extensively elsewhere in Canada and further afield. He liked exploring new peaks, and made several first ascents in what is now Garibaldi Park. He was a skilled surveyor, photographer, and cartographer, and created the first topographical maps of Garibaldi Park, and of the Tantalus Range in the 1920's. In the 1930's he explored peaks at the head of the Lillooet and Toba Rivers, and was a member of a team attempting a first ascent of Mt. Waddington. In the early 1940's he surveyed the Seven Sisters Range near Smithers, and was the first to climb the highest peak, Mt. Weeskinisht. He remained an active climber in the 1950's with two important first ascents: Mt. Monmouth and Mt. Gilbert.
Carter was made an honorary member of the Alpine Club in 1974, and for his mapping work, he was named a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. In March, 1978 he died while swimming in Barbados, at the age of 75. Mount Neal in Garibaldi Park is named in his honour.