I've been working on photography guide to a national park nearby (yes, depsite all the guides to NP's and this one NP, there isn't a photo guide of significance, just a few pamphlets or chapters in books). I managed to find an original print of an 1896 report with plates (prints) of the first scientific expedition in the NP (although it had been explored with camps and one settlement).
I'm currently scanning the plates (also investigating the existence of the original negatives and prints), but I got to thinking about these people and many of those that preceded us today who visit, hike and photograph the NP.
I've always been taken when I hike and photograph there, thinking about those before me, how nature survived the exploitation (including a golf course, tent camps, military exercises, etc.) where we seeing the result, people on one had and nature on the other.
This is a photo (original quality) of two of the team at the toe of the glacier (standing on rocks). And in 1896 they didn't have all the technology we have. The narrative in the report is fascinating, hiking in cotton and wool clothes and natural rubber raincoats, sleeping in wool blankets, and living on tea, hardtack and whatever they could scourge or shoot.
And the team member who carried a 4x5 camera around (ok, the horse did for much of it but not to the place in the photo) to record the trip. I would love to read the notebooks about the trip to gage where all they went and what they experienced. I know the summit trip almost killed them from exhaustion.
At the time there were few trails and they had to scramble through forests and over glaciers. They had ropes, ice axes and good boots, but not much else. I wonder if we could have done as much then and what they would think of us today. Times change perspectives, the ghosts of those who ventured there and the times since then.
Just a thought while working.