Fonds fonds 222 - Neal M. Carter fonds

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Neal M. Carter fonds

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CA NVAN fonds 222

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  • 1918-1925 (Creation)
    Carter, Neal M.

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Physical description

851 photographs : b&w prints in 3 photo albums
3 maps

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Name of creator


Biographical history

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.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of three meticulously labelled and decorated photo albums. Identification, and dating of the trips and photographs is thorough, but the date at which the albums were compiled is not known. A few images have been removed from the albums, and their whereabouts is unknown.

Album A (330 images on 72 pages) contains the earliest material, with most photographs being views of North Shore mountains - Crown, Camel, the Lions, Seymour, Grouse, Cypress, Lynn Canyon, Mosquito Creek, and so on. The earliest images in the book date from 1918, but the majority date from 1920 to 1922.

Album B (170 images on 35 pages) consists of two sections: images from two attempts to ascend Mt. Tantalus in 1925 (66 photos); images from a two-week camp in the Selkirk Range in 1921 (104 photos).

Album C (351 images on 86 pages) consists of three sections: images from 2 trips to the Tantalus Range at Easter in 1923 and 1924; images used to make the map on page 21, "Map showing Mountains Explored during our Private Trip (1923) and BCMC Summer Camp (1924) as shown in the following views"; images titled "This Being a Pictorial History of a Joyous Fortnight in the Canadian Rockies" (1925). All three maps are in Album C: p. 21 as above; p. 70 - Five Passes; p. 73 - Yoho Park.

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General note

Biographical note derived from obituaries in the BCMC newsletter (1978) and the Canadian Alpine Journal (1978), and details from "John Clarke: Explorer of the Coast Mountains" by Lisa Baile (p.42-43), and "Pushing the Limits: the Story of Canadian Mountaineering" by Chic Scott, (p. 122). A file of biographical materials is available in Box 2.

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