E. Wheeler & Son
Mount Cook Photographs
E. Wheeler & Son
Frederick Kingsford Jeken Cooper
Enterprising Photographers.— As was mentioned a few days ago, a party of gentlemen have resolved to attempt the ascent of Mount Cook from the Tasman side. This party will be accompanied by a photographer [Frederick Kingsford Jeken Cooper] on behalf of Messrs Wheeler and Sons. We hope that the party may meet with the success they deserve. Should they do so the public will, owing to Messrs Wheeler and Sons' enterprise, have an opportunity of obtaining an accurate idea of what the Mount Cook scenery is like.
Press, Volume XLVI, Issue 7266, 23 March 1889, Page 4
Mountaineering.The party, consisting of Messrs Dixon, Johnson and Mannering, Mr Cooper (an operator from Messrs Wheeler and Sons), photographers, and two men  engaged in swagging, left the Hermitage on 25th March, and after being detained at the terminal face of the Tasman glacier for a day by bad weather, reached the Ball Glacier Camp (Green's fifth camp) on March 27th. The first few days were spent in photographic work on the Tasman Glacier, the party camping two nights under Mount Malte Brun. From this point Messrs Dixon, Johnson, and Mannering attempted an ascent of Mount de la Beche, but were forced to return, owing to some difficult work on ice covered rocks being met with at an altitude of 8000 ft. On the downward trip Mr Dixon was taken ill, and some difficulty was experienced in reaching camp.
On the Great Tasman Glacier.
Some Difficult Climbing.
The Hochstetter Dome.
On the Great Tasman Glacier.
Some Difficult Climbing.
The Hochstetter Dome.
A return was made to the Ball Glacier camp on the 31st. Mr Mannering and the photographer ascended to 7000 ft on the Ball Glacier spur of Mount Cook, from whence a fine exposure of the peak secured. Mr Mannering pressing on, reached the peak of the Mount Cook range which this spur leads up to — some 7420 ft in height — and from which grand views of each side of the range are obtained. Darkness coming on, camp was only made by 10.30 p.m. after great difficulty.
Some days of rest followed, during which Messrs Johnson and Mannering explored a new route on the mountain (which it is believed will ultimately prove practicable) to a height of 6300ft.
On 4th April, one of the swagging hands coming up with supplies, with him Messrs Johnson and Mannering started for an ascent of the Hochstetter dome, camping the first night under Mount de la Beche. The ascent from this point was accomplished after much negotiating of crevasses and bergschrunds, and cutting steps up difficult ice slopes, in eight hours, the views en route being described as wonderfully magnificent.
From the summit the panorama beggars all description. The Wataroa River could be traced from source to mouth, meandering through forest-clad mountains to the sea, and to the northward and eastward hundreds of peaks of all descriptions flanked by as many glaciers, combined to make the scene one of the grandest panoramas. The descent was accomplished in four hours, the last hour being spent in a maze of crevasses in the turn of the glacier in a fast failing light, the party having been twelve hours on the rope without setting foot on a rock. Von Lendenfeld's time for the mountain was, we are informed, twenty seven hours.
Owing to an accident to the kerosene lamp, and Mr Dixon's uncertain state of health, it was deemed prudent to abandon the attempt on Mount Cook, although the mountain was apparently in fine order, and the route had been carefully noted from various points of vantage.
A return to the Hermitage was effected on April 6th.
Press, Volume XLVI, Issue 7288, 18 April 1889, Page 5
photo right - Guy Mannering, Marmaduke Dixon and Percy Johnson in 1889, Making New Zealand vol.1, no.10.
Mount Cook Photographs.
The chief feature in the collection is a magnificent panorama of the Tasman glacier, showing the superb series of peaks and glaciers on the Mount Cook side. This is an enlarged photograph, or series of photographs, between eight and nine feet in length, and is admirably executed.
As the eye travels along the mountain range, the giant forms of Mount Cook (12349ft), Mount Hector (12,188ft), Mount Haast (9893ft), Mount Tasman (11,475ft), Mount Haidinger (10,118ft), Mount Spencer (8685ft), Mount Jervois (8701ft), Krou Prins Rudolf peak (9598ft), Mont de la Beche (10,180ft), and Mount Green (9235ft) come successively into view.
As our readers are probably aware the Tasman glacier is one of the largest in the world — twice the size of the great Aletsch, the pride of the European Alps, it measures eighteen to twenty miles in length, and is from two to two and a half miles wide, in the photograph are to be seen some of the noble tributary glaciers which go to swell its volume, any one of which would be considered notable, apart from the mighty Tasman.
The first to attract attention is the Ball glacier, at the junction of which was Mr Green's fifth camp. Mr Mannering and his party reached this in one day from the terminal face of the Tasman glacier. The distance is only eight miles, but it was a remarkable achievement to cover the distance in the time. As seen in the panoramic view of the glacier, the lower or southern portion looks as smooth and easy of travelling as a country road, covered with a foot or two of snow. Hw different it is in reality may be gathered from Mr Mannering's narrative, or even from an inspection of one of the smaller photographs in which greater detail is shown. On the moraine a gigantic accumulation of rocks, all apparently with the sharp edges uppermost, has to be scrambled over. On the ice there are treacherous crevasses which have to be crossed. Higher up the valley this ice is seen to be broken up into huge seracs or pinnacles, probably a hundred feet high, and even to the casual observer, who has only the photograph to judge from, the formidable nature of the task of travelling over such country is apparent.
Mr Cooper, Messrs Wheeler's representative, had a pair of boots specially made for the journey, with Brobdignagian soles and protected by a perfect chevaux de frise of huge nails. They were as powerless as wax to resist the attrition to which they were subjected, and when he reached the Hermitage after his travels on the ice the soles were worn to a razor edge. Eyewitnesses also say that the artist, sturdy young fellow though he is, looked as if he had had quite enough of Alpine work for a while.
Returning to the tributary glaciers, the Hochstetter icefall, of which Mr Mannering gave our readers a graphic description, next claims attention. It is fed by the Hochstetter and Linda glaciers and "breaks away over a precipice into a marvellous cascade of ice, some 4000 ft in height and about one mile in width at the foot, abounding in seracs (great square sided ice blocks), and pinnacles cut into and across by divine blue crevesses — such a blue, a cold greeny blue such as one never sees but in ice and sea water."
Near the southern aide an immense rock, shown in the photograph, protrudes through the ice, and down the sides of and over this rock come avalanches, whose thunder barely ever ceases. About once in five minutes, we believe, is the average rate of their occurrence. Such a marvellous spectacle in itself must have compensated the party for all their fatigue, and it is no wonder that they find language too feeble to express their admiration at the sight.
Altogether the panorama is a notable piece of photography, but it is by no means all that Messrs Wheeler have secured; Upwards of forty pictures have been taken, and each has some features of special interest. There is a view of a gigantic ice cave discovered by the party on the side of the Tasman glacier near their second camp, and into which rushed a mountain torrent, whose roar rendered sleep almost impossible. There is a view of Mount Cook showing a rather fine cloud effect. There is another view taken from the Ball glacier at a height of over 7000ft — the highest point gained by the photographer. The daylight was just fading away when the artist managed to snatch the picture, and it looks like a ghost of a mountain which is thus depicted by the camera. There is a charming photograph of a glorious clump of Mount Cook lilies," and another of the wire rope and cage by which the explorer crossed the brawling Hooker.
There are also pictures of Lake Tekapo and Lake Pukaki, and many others too numerous to describe in detail. Suffice it to say that they do great credit to the operator, and fully sustain the reputation of Messrs Wheeler and Son as the premier landscape photographers in the colony. It is not too much to add that by their enterprise on this occasion they have achieved a work of colonial importance. They will make known for the first time, even to residents in the colony, the wonders in the way of peaks and glaciers which we possess almost at our doors, but of whose existence most of us have hitherto been profoundly ignorant. To the world at large they will show that New Zealand possesses alpine scenery of virgin freshness and on a scale of majesty not to be surpassed in any part of the world. No better advertisement to attract tourists to this colony has yet appeared, and we trust that Messrs Wheeler's enterprise will meet with the hearty support it so thoroughly deserves.
Press, Volume XLVI, Issue 7299, 2 May 1889, Page 5
click to enlarge
Press, Volume XLVI, Issue 7393, 20 August 1889, Page 1
At the 1889-90 New Zealand and South Seas Exhibition held in Dunedin, E. Wheeler and Son received a special award for their photographic enlargement showing a panoramic view of Tasman Glacier and Mount Cook.
Otago Witness, Issue 1984, 20 February 1890, Page 19
Alpine Photographs. - As will be seen by advertisement else where, Messrs E. Wheeler and Son notify that there operator, Mr Cooper, has started on a trip to the Murchison Glacier, a region hitherto unvisited by a photographer. The return of Mr Cooper and the subsequent development of the negatives obtained during his visit will no doubt be looked forward to with interest. Our readers will remember the account which Mr Mannering gave in our columns of his visit to this this interesting spot.
Since then Mr Brodrick has been in charge of a Government survey party surveying the glacier. He has carried on the triangulation from the Tasman, and has established huts on the way. Mr Cooper has had some previous experience on the Mount Cook glaciers, and, should the weather prove favorable, Messrs Wheeler's enterprise should be rewarded by the acquisition of some very interesting photographs.
Press, Volume XLVIL, Issue 7720, 27 November 1890, Page 4
Press, Volume XLVIL, Issue 7720, 27 November 1890, Page 1
The Glaciers of the Tasman Valley.
Included in the proceedings of the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science, says the Christchurch Press of Monday, is a lecture to be given next Friday on "The Glaciers of the Tasman Valley," by Mr. G E. Mannering.
In order to illustrate the lecture with lantern slides, Mr. F. Cooper, operator to Messrs. Wheeler and Son, has visited the locality, and obtained about five dozen plates of the Murchison and Tasman glaciers, of the scenery round the Hermitage, as well as photographs of the mountain lily. We have all been made acquainted with the difficulties of mountaineering by the reports of Mr. Mannering, and now from Mr. Cooper we learn of the troubles which accompany the photographic artist in obtaining the pictures.
Mr. Cooper received great aid from Mr. Broderick, the Government Surveyor, and his party, who have placed flags in numerous stations, among the highest being Classon saddle, 7500 ft, and Leibig range, 8000 ft. The party have perfectly surveyed the Murchison, which is named after Sir Roderick Murchison, and from their survey the Government are having a track made to the Ball glacier. This is eight miles up the Tasman glacier, and where Mr., Green established his fifth camp a hut is to he built of corrugated iron lined with felt. Apartments are to be provided for ladies and gentlemen, and supplied with provisions and furniture for the convenience of tourists desirous of seeing the Alpine scenery to advantage.
While Mr. Cooper was at the Hermitage, his Excellency the Governor and his aide-de-camp arrived in a covered coach driven by Mr. J. Rutherford, which was nearly blown over in the nor'-wester when coming from Pukaki. The party, with Mr. F, O. Huddlestone, visited the terminal face of the Mueller glacier, Kea Point, Governor's Bush, where Mr. Huddlestone brought the native birds round them, and on the 7th instant they started for the great Tasman Glacier, intending to go as far as Ball Glacier, after which His Excellency was to return to Pukaki, where Lady Onslow awaited him. Mr. Cooper was fortunate enough to obtain photographs of the group before leaving.
Evening Post, Volume XLI, Issue 11, 14 January 1891, Page 3
 The party also included Marmaduke John Dixon, Percy Hawkins Johnson and two others perhaps - W. Low and J. W. Annan - refer photograph Timefames - National Library of New Zealand reference number:1/2-002045-F