Ned Gillette and Ellesmere Island

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Messages 61 - 80 of total 93 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Sep 16, 2009 - 11:13am PT
Hey, Ned your class is showing! Nice one Peter!
powderdan

Social climber
mammoth lakes
Sep 16, 2009 - 11:51am PT
ned was THE man...my favorite thread yet!
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Sep 16, 2009 - 03:40pm PT
Thanks everyone for an inspiring thread !
I just ordered a copy of Everest Grand Circle.
beanchef

climber
Kansas City, KS
Oct 14, 2009 - 11:42pm PT
It was really good to come across this site. I have been looking for this type of info for a long time. Doug Wiens is(sorry, was) my uncle. I never got to meet Ned, or any of the other crew, but heard a lot about them from my uncle. Uncle Doug was with Ned on the Baffin Islands trip, Mt. McKinley trip, they kayaked from Seattle to Juno together, and were in National Geographic together. If I can ever get those photos from my folks and scan them, I'll try and remember to post them here.

Wish I could have spent more time with my Uncle Doug, but he lived in California and we in Kansas, but I loved all the stories. They also worked together at the Trapp Family Lodge where Maria asked him to teach her how to X country ski or ride horse when she was 80. He told her NO, as he was afraid she would break something.

Doug died in 1983 doing what he loved - working in the outdoors on the avalanche control crew. The sucky thing about it was the two people who were supposed to be around the howitzer were decimated when the rocket blew up in the launcher, but the 6 others hanging out were barely scratched.

Thanks again for the pictures.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Dec 25, 2009 - 06:02am PT
I just finished reading Everest Grand Circle which I learned about on this website. I can't imagine why I hadn't heard about this expedition before. I've also walked from Khumbu to the Arun river valley though at a lower altitude in early spring. We had enough trouble getting lost and running out of food ourselves in the remote regions of the Arun, that I could really appreciate what it must have been like up above in winter!

I too traveled as the only woman in a group of men, so I particularly enjoyed hearing Jan Reynold's perspective on the trip. Not to mention we share the same name.

Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Dec 25, 2009 - 03:23pm PT
Jan's slide show was really fabulous and she has a great sense of humor about hanging with the guys. Jim on one end of the alpha scale and Ned on the other! LOL
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Dec 25, 2009 - 04:08pm PT
Bump for Ned, one of the classiest men I've
ever had the pleasure to meet.

Fuzzywuzzy

climber
suspendedhappynation
Dec 26, 2009 - 03:37am PT
beanchef -

Did your Mom spend some time in Africa? Because Doug had the coolest wooden figurine of a skier craved by one of her native friends who had never seen snow. It was a classic one -of- a- kind piece. It used to occupy the window sill of Doug's room at Trapps along with a Piston. His nickname was "the Piston" because he was a machine - he was soooo tenacious. Ned regarded him as the most well read man he ever knew in regards to Arctic History. He was planning on going around Ward Hunt island during that trip to Ellemere but the others, Allan, Ned and the "Turlock Tornado" (Chuck Schultz) had had enough of the pack ice. What a character. I miss him very much.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Apr 29, 2010 - 07:27pm PT
Big Time Adventure Bump!
Minerals

Social climber
The Deli
Nov 14, 2012 - 12:28pm PT
Mom found another article on Nedís trip to Ellesmere Island in a magazine titled Contact, published by National Life insurance company in Vermont. The article appeared in the March 1978 issue.

Click on images for full size versions.


Credit: Minerals


Credit: Minerals


Credit: Minerals


Credit: Minerals

SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Nov 14, 2012 - 12:44pm PT

Awesome, Minerals!!!!
captain chaos

climber
Nov 14, 2012 - 02:22pm PT
Nice to see this surface again, thanks Bryan... it brings back some great memories.

I hope your well... all the best, -Craig
zBrown

Ice climber
chingadero de chula vista
Nov 14, 2012 - 11:17pm PT
blimp
pyro

Big Wall climber
Calabasas
Nov 15, 2012 - 12:03pm PT
nice read!
FrankZappa

Trad climber
Hankster's crew
Nov 15, 2012 - 01:27pm PT
Ned was a very inspirational guy. My dad took me to a few of his slide shows when I was a kid and he was somewhat of a local hero as I grew up in the same town as he, and grew up skiing at the same places as he, and met him a few times. (My childhood dentist's office was the house Ned grew up in... how odd) I remember leaving his slide shows wanting to to be the adventurer he was, but not wanting to, as his photos and stories did a good job capturing the danger and remoteness of some his journeys.
tom Carter

Social climber
Nov 15, 2012 - 02:35pm PT
BL!!

Nice article.

Those cats came back with triceps that looked like they had had tennis balls implanted under their skin!!! Super strong from pulling those sleds for months!

Funny about the same food day after day....I remember Allan (correct spelling) never ate oatmeal again!!! They had a cube of butter per man per day too!!

Before they were allowed into Alert a heli landed during their tour many miles and maybe even a week or two from base, took their names and left. They ran security checks and since they all passed - were invited onto the base. They raged, ate steaks and AB became the base DJ for a night. The "station" was named "The Chosen Frozen". You can only imagine Allan at the mic!!!!! I'm sure he gave "The Wolfman" a run for his money!!!!

That pack ice was horrendous!

guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Nov 15, 2012 - 03:03pm PT
Man, I can just visualize Bardini up there with his shuckin and jivin with sweet sounds of The Chosen Frozen and telling everyone to get loose or get lost.

SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Nov 15, 2012 - 09:47pm PT

Bump!
Fossil climber

Trad climber
Atlin, B. C.
Nov 16, 2012 - 12:23am PT
The second year of Yosemite Mountaineering I wanted to start an x-c school in Yosemite. We got Ned and Jim Speck, both US team in Nordic combined, as the first instructors, Ned being Chief. He was great, as you can imagine. He started climbing then too. I think I introduced him to Yosemite rock, and of course he took to it easily.

In Ď72 a few of us climbers decided we wanted to do a real long x-c trip. Ostensibly it was to promote the ski school, but basically it was just because we wanted to do a great trip. Jack Miller, Jed Williamson and I were looking at skiing across Greenland, but the authorities there wanted a $4000 rescue bond each, which would take some doing. So we decided to ski from the Arctic Circle to the Arctic Ocean in Alaska, across the Brooks Range. Ned had been watching all these plans keenly and asked if he could join us. He had no major journeys under his belt yet but he was a powerhouse and a great guy, so of course he could join.

We talked North Face into making our gear to order in exchange for photos for their catalog. It worked for both of us. Of course in Bettles, when we told people where we were going, they looked at our gear and said "No beaver mitts? Yer gonna die out there!"

We left from Bettles. March. Temps down to about -30F. Deep snow, 80 lb. packs. Lots of relays. But great company. One night Ned and I were still feeling good, so left Jack (nicknamed Grinch) and Jed (nicknamed Brillo) to set up camp, and we broke several more miles of trail. Nedís name was Captain America because of his star-spangled hat, and I was of course known as Grandfather.

On top of the Arctic Divide we became aware of the quickly arriving spring. Ahead lay 100 miles of Arctic plain - flat, deteriorating snow. Beside and behind lay a wilderness of gorgeous unnamed and probably unclimbed peaks. Not too far ahead was Galbraith Lake where there was an airstrip and exploration camp, from which one might fly out. So we had a vote - go for the ocean, or back into the range to climb and fly out of Galbraith.

Brillo and I voted to climb. Captain America - incredibly goal-oriented - voted for the ocean. Grinch wisely abstained. Ned was so pissed off that he hardly spoke for days - often took off before anyone and was just a speck breaking trail in the distance. We turned south from Galbraith Lake, back into the mountains for the last couple weeks. Made some wonderful peaks - all walk-ups, of course. The last day there we did the biggest one. It was a perfect day. You could light a candle on top. Ned went up to the ultimate point and just stood there for a long, long time. White peaks as far as you could see, a hundred miles of Arctic plain to the north. Then he came down and said, ďYou guys were right. Canít beat this.Ē

That was his first expedition, and I think his disappointment in not completing the original plan was a powerful motivation for running his own expeditions in the future. It didnít take long. He initially got sponsored by a couple of Norwegian ski companies and never looked back.

We had some great non-technical trips in northern BC and Yukon, too. Canoed some major rivers with friends and my kids - he loved the kids and they loved him. He had a knack for making them laugh when they got a bit bored.

Once when we were corresponding during his later adventures I commented to him that I wasnít worried about him getting killed in the mountains or on the ice, but I really worried about the human element in some of those countries. He said, ďA big smile goes a long way.Ē

When I heard he was killed I was in denial for months. I still have a few of his letters, and treasure them. Great guy, great adventurer, great friend.
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Nov 16, 2012 - 12:31am PT
Fossil Climber! Thank you for sharing your great memories, and thank you to all for sharing as well.

Great history on Ned!
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