Collection EV - The 1982 Canadian Everest Expedition Collection

Canadian Everest Expedition team head shots compilation : [photograph] Laurie Skreslet at Everest Camp II Expedition member Dwayne Congdon : [photograph] Sungdare Sherpa : [photograph] Laurie Skreslet in the Khumbu Icefall : [photograph] Karen Baldwin, Miss Universe 1982 : [negative] Laurie Skreslet, James Blench, and Jim Elzinga at Base Camp : [slide] Laurie Skreslet, James Blench, and Jim Elzinga at Base Camp : [slide] Base camp kitchen : [negative] Blair Griffiths : [negative]
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The 1982 Canadian Everest Expedition Collection

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CA pfla EV

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1053 slides: col.
647 photographs: b&w and col. negatives; 35mm
181 photographic internegatives: b&w and col.
159 sound recordings (.wav)
113 audio cassettes
59 photographs: col. positives; 35mm
62 photograph: b&w and col. ; 8 x 10 in or smaller
44.5 cm of textual records
30 DVDs
21 10 ½-inch Type C video tapes
21 videocassettes
18 sound recordings (.m4a)
14 contact sheets
13 7-inch film reels
9 U-matic cassettes
6 MiniDV cassettes
5 5-inch audio reels
2 Betacam cassettes
2 Betacam SP cassettes
1 U-matic S cassette
1 6 ½-inch Type C video tape
1 audio compact disc
1 5.75-inch audio reel

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Administrative history

In 1978, a Canadian team of climbers was granted permission for an autumn 1982 expedition to climb Mt. Everest via the Nepal side of the mountain. The objective was to put a Canadian team on the summit for the first time, via a new route on the mountain’s South Spur. In 1981, the Montreal-based company CanEverEx was formed to facilitate the marketing, promotional, and licensing aspects of the expedition. Montreal-based Programmed Communications Limited was subsequently contracted by CanEverEx and the Canadian Mount Everest Society to further act as an administrator and curator of the photographs and other media produced during the expedition. Air Canada joined as a primary sponsor for the expedition, and extensive press coverage and promotional opportunities were planned. In 1979 The Calgary Herald and Southam News bought the newspaper rights for the expedition coverage and the television rights were acquired by the CBC and ABC. Teleglobe Canada was engaged to provide a satellite configuration that would provide the first-ever live video links between Everest and Canada, and further video and photographic documentation was enabled through sponsorships from Hitachi, Leica and Kodak.

A specially-chartered Air Canada cargo plane delivered expedition supplies to Nepal via India in April 1982, accompanied by a small advance party of climbers and photographers. The full team departed for Nepal in July 1982, under the leadership of expedition leader Bill March. Several months in to the expedition, on August 31, an avalanche hit in the Khumbu Icefall, killing 3 of the expedition’s Sherpa team members, including Ang Chuldim Sherpa (age 18), Pasang Sona Sherpa (age 40), and Dawa Dorje Sherpa (age 40). A second Icefall accident occurred on September 2, killing expedition cameraman Blair Griffiths (age 33). Following this, 6 climbers left the expedition, including Tim Auger, Rusty Baillie, James Blench, Jim Elzinga, Dave McNab, and Don Serl. Team doctor David Jones also left due to health reasons. The planned South Spur route was changed to the South Col route, and on October 5, 1982, Laurie Skreslet became the first Canadian to summit Mount Everest with Sherpa team members Sungdare Sherpa and Lhakpa Dorje. Two days later, on October 7, team member Pat Morrow reached the summit with Lhakpa Tshering and Pema Dorje. Upon their return to Calgary, Programmed Communications Limited greeted the team and members of the press with a welcome home slideshow presentation, using photographs that the team members had taken along the way. The team was subsequently honoured in Ottawa by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.


John Amatt, expedition business manager (36 at time of climb, based in Canmore, AB)
Timothy Auger (36 at time of climb, based in Canmore, AB)
Stephen Bezruchka, High altitude physician (38 at time of climb, based in Seattle, WA)
Rusty Baillie, climber (41 at time of climb, based in Calgary, AB)
James Blench, climber (26 at time of climb, based in Canmore, AB)
Alan Burgess, climber (33 at time of climb, based in Kathmandu, Nepal)
Dwayne Congdon, climber (25 at time of climb, based in Invermere, BC)
Jim Elzinga, climber (27 at time of climb, based in Calgary, AB)
Lloyd Gallagher, deputy leader (42 at time of climbed, based in Canmore, AB)
Blair Griffiths, expedition cameraman (33 at time of climb, based in North Vancouver, BC)
David Jones, Base Camp physician (50 at time of climb, based in Calgary, AB)
Bill March, expedition leader (40 at time of climb, based in Calgary, AB)
David McNab, climber (26 at the time of climb, based in Invermere, BC)
Pat Morrow, climber (29 at time of climb, based in Kimberley, BC)
Dave Read, climber (33 at time of climb, based in Calgary, AB)
Don Serl, climber (34 at time of climb, based in Vancouver, BC)
Laurie Skreslet, climber (32 at time of climb, based in Calgary, AB)
Gordon Smith, climber (36 at time of climb, based in Golden, BC)
Peter Spear, Base Camp manager (age 41 at time of climb, based in Calgary, AB)

Kurt Fuhrich, Base Camp cook (33 at time of climb, based in Banff)

Gyaljen Sherpa and Nawang Karma Sherpa, expedition sirdars
Sungdare Sherpa, high altitude Sherpa
Nuru Sherpa, high altitude Sherpa
Tenzing Tashi Sherpa, high altitude Sherpa
An Rinzing Sherpa, high altitude Sherpa
Lhawa Nima Sherpa, high altitude Sherpa
Pasang Tenzing Sherpa, high altitude Sherpa
Pema Dorje Sherpa, high altitude Sherpa
Sonam Chottar Sherpa, high altitude Sherpa
Namgyal Sherpa, high altitude Sherpa
Ang Chuldim Sherpa, high altitude Sherpa
Lhakpa Tshering Sherpa, high altitude Sherpa
Pasang Sona Sherpa, high altitude Sherpa
Ang Chumbi Sherpa, high altitude Sherpa
Pasang Nuru Sherpa, high altitude Sherpa
Dawa Dorjee Sherpa, high altitude Sherpa
Dawa Nuru Sherpa, high altitude Sherpa
Gyaljen Sherpa (Phortse), high altitude Sherpa
Ang Lhakpa Sherpa, high altitude Sherpa
Lhakpa Dorje Sherpa (Phortse), high altitude Sherpa
Ang Nima Sherpa, high altitude Sherpa
Ang Rita Sherpa, high altitude Sherpa
Ang Phurba Sherpa, high altitude Sherpa
Mingma Sherpa, high altitude Sherpa
Ang Pemba Sherpa, high altitude Sherpa
Pemba Tshering Sherpa, high altitude cook
Dendu Sherpa, high altitude Sherpa
Chewang Sherpa, high altitude Sherpa
Phuri Sherpa, kitchen
Palden Chosang Sherpa, Base Camp cook
Lhakpa Sona Sherpa, mail runner
Sona Dendu Sherpa, mail runner
Ang Gyaljen Sherpa, mail runner

Bruce Patterson, expedition press officer
Andy Bako, photographer hired by PCL
Jean Becq, photographer hired by PCL
Bob Warren, photographer hired by PCL

Jim Muir, President, Programmed Communications Limited (PCL) (Montreal)
Brian Smith, Partner at PCL
Lynn Muir, Jim Muir’s daughter, worked at PCL during the summer of 1982
Lynn Huntley, PCL

Nevil Pike, president of CanEverEx
Robin Palin, CanEverEx
Michael Breckon, director of advertising at Air Canada and executive producer of Everest radio serial

Bobby Chettri, Mountain Travel in Nepal

Custodial history

Jim Muir’s Montreal-based company Programmed Communications Limited (PCL) held the contract to manage the 1982 Canadian Everest Expedition’s photograph and slide files, and to create presentations and other promotional events related to the expedition. Because of PCL’s integral involvement in developing the media campaign around the Everest project, Muir amassed a substantial collection of expedition-related records. In the mid-1990s, he transferred his collected Everest records to the Centre for Mountain Culture at the Banff Centre. He established a verbal agreement with Bernadette McDonald, founder and director of Mountain Culture at the time, and the records were retained by Mountain Culture. On July 20, 1998, the records were transferred to Centre’s Archives for temporary storage. During this time Mountain Culture periodically licensed some of the collection’s video footage, and created digitized copies of this footage. In 2018, the materials were were formally accessioned by the Archives.

The audio cassettes were brought back to Banff by John Amatt, who donated them to the Banff Mountain Film Festival in 1982.

Michael Breckon's material was added to the collection in March 2019.

Scope and content

The collection consists of a broad range of records and media generated throughout all stages of the 1982 Canadian Everest Expedition, from the advance promotional and logistical preparations in Canada and Nepal through to the realization of the expedition in Nepal, and post-trip presentations within Canada. These materials were primarily assembled by Jim Muir, whose Montreal-based company Programmed Communications Limited was in charge of organizing and maintaining the expedition’s photographs and slides, as well as developing presentations and other promotional activities.

The collection is divided into 6 series and two sous-fonds, with the arrangement reflecting the diversity of the types of materials accumulated, as well as the organization of Muir’s own administrative files. The collection includes Muir’s correspondence and administrative papers from the expedition, press clippings and selected publications related to the expedition, photographs and slides taken by expedition team members and other press affiliates in Canada, Nepal, and on other training climbs around the world, film and video (both raw footage shot in Nepal by expedition members, as well as news programs and promotional presentations), and a vast selection of audio material (both field recordings and Base Camp transmissions, as well as more-formally produced presentations and radio programs). One sous-fonds contains oral history interviews that archives practicum Abigail Sebaly has conducted with expedition team members and affiliates in 2018.

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