PART V. THE REUNION- AUGUST 2009
However much a film might appeal to my ego, the prospect of seeing the greatest bunch of friends together again was the force that drove me for the next eight months. The moment I arrived at Lupine Meadows in the Tetons my heart started to pound. We hadn't been together for 16 years, and although we were a bit gray, I was so excited I could hardly stand it. One by one I put my arms around my old friends, hugged, shook hands and felt the warmest of emotions surge.
Mike, Bob, and Rick reunite at Lupine Meadows in Grand Teton National Park
Yours Truly again under the North Face of the Grand Teton!
(I never photograph myself, so I must credit my friend and cinematographer par excellance, Peter Pilafian)
The only missing member was our old friend Leigh Ortenburger who had died in 1991 in the Oakland fires. However, Irene Beardsley, who had been Leigh's wife in the 60's, lives in Jackson Hole and came to our reunion. She has been a friend to all of us for likely 50 years, so it was a wonderful treat to see her again. When I was a young man, she was one of the best women climbers in the country and the one who first climbed the most beautiful rock climb in the Tetons, Irene's Arete.
Irene Beardsley - Married to Leigh Ortenburger at the time of the rescue
Irene's husband, Dan Goodman and Dunbar Susong - our supervisor and Jenny Lake Sub-district Ranger in 1967
Half way through shooting the reunion, we were treated to a big surprise: Lorraine Hough McCoy, who had been climbing the North Face with Gaylord Campbell, and who called for help, bandaged and cared for him the first day, suddenly appeared. Hugs all around, tears, emotion, and love flowed better than in any Hollywood film. None of us had seen Lorrie for 42 years!
Lorraine Hough McCoy
Producer Jenny Wilson
Lunch at Amphitheater Lake
The team and Lorraine on the porch of Pete's cabin in the 60's:
Rick, Pete, Ralph, Lorraine, Mike, Bob, Ted
Jenny and Meredith had found our old friend Peter Pilafian, now a famous cinematographer to film the event for the next week. It seemed that for every step I took, Peter took two, following us around, interviewing us individually, and setting up the scenes as we hiked and talked.
Cinematographer Peter Pilafian at lunch
The final day of shooting the entire crew of rescuers, family, cinematographers, directors and producers hiked up to the Teton Glacier at the base of the North Face of the Grand Teton. It was a fitting finale to a the most enjoyable week I can remember.
The entire crew on the Teton Glacier at the base of the North Face of the Grand Teton
For the Deseret News story see: