American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Canfield Beattie, 1900-1987

  • In Memoriam
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1988


Dr. Canfield Beattie died on August 18, 1987 in Portland, Oregon at the age of 86. He was a long-time member of both the American Alpine Club and the Alpine Club of Canada, having joined the AAC in 1935 and the ACC in 1931. He was born in Omaha, Nebraska on December 30, 1900. His family moved to Portland in 1912 and Canfield went on to attend Stanford University and Stanford Medical School. In the early 1920s he took a graduate degree in ophthalmology at the University of Vienna. While in Austria, he became interested in the mountains and on his return to the Pacific Northwest he continued this involvement, which was to go on for the rest of his life.

Canfield attended a number of the Alpine Club of Canada’s summer camps during the 1930s and he received the Silver Rope badge, given to outstanding climb leaders. He was full of interesting accounts of odd happenings on climbs, including such stories as having to bring down a climber from Mount Assiniboine with a cervical vertebra cracked in a fall, to arrange an upper body cast and then to shepherd the victim on horseback fifteen miles to the road. This was all long before the days of helicopters.

He continued his active medical practice until shortly before his death and, while he had not climbed for some twenty years, he still made regular trips to his best beloved mountains, the Canadian Rockies. He is survived by his wife Charlotte, a son and three daughters.

Lewis L. McArthur

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