peak by hand and rope, so Harmon was pleased to capture a new area on film, and the Purcells offered a particularly rewarding prize. Early in the trip, Harmon spent a day with the packers ahead of the main party clearing a trail for the horses. When he returned to camp that evening he was in an exultant mood. He had, he reported, discovered a massive glacier, the ice of which was pierced by what Longstaff later described as ‘a collection of the most striking aiguilles I ever saw in the western mountains ... [which] shot up from behind the glacier like arctic nunataks out of an icecap: quite sheer, without a speck of snow’ (p. 231). The glacier, first known as Harmon’s Glacier, is today called the Bugaboo Glacier and its expanse of ice and the surrounding peaks constitute one of North America’s most famous climbing and skiing areas.
Descriptions of the trip written by both Longstaff and Conrad Kain, the party’s alpine guide, provide the beginnings of a portrait of Harmon as a trail companion. Longstaff recalls him as ‘a very good goer’ and states that ‘a hardier companion none could wish for’. Harmon was, as usual, ‘inseparable from his beloved camera’, and was indefatigable in his efforts to catch the images he wanted. A man of nearly boundless energy, he was more than willing to help the packers cut trail or to help rope up the horses ‘as if they were tourists’ and yard them up a particularly steep section of trail. On one occasion he hiked a continuous thirty-six mountain miles with full pack and camera gear, a feat few men would attempt, let alone complete!
He also possessed a keen, interested mind and a quirky sense of humour, traits that endeared him to those with whom he travelled. Though he is remembered as a quiet, private person, genial but slightly aloof, he was never above participating in the fireside activities so important to trail life. Both Harmon and Kain were mirthful souls at the fireside, and the two of them together had a special ability to keep a camp in high spirits. Kain, in Where the Clouds Can Go (published posthumously), remembered