This film is part of Free

Dr. Ward - Bhutan Film

Amateur colour footage dating from c. 1950 of people and mountain scenery in Bhutan. Filmed during a visit by Michael Ward.

Amateur film 1953 22 mins Silent


The film opens with general views and shows building works and Sherpas loading up. Scenes of threshing and a campsite, with Sherpas and huts. A settlement is then shown, including people weaving. Scenes of walking in towards the mountains and climbing in the foothills. More threshing scenes and the film ends with shots of the mountains and village.

Michael Phelps Ward (1925-2005) was a mountaineer and surgeon. In early 1951 he identified a possible route up the Nepalese side of Mount Everest. Together with Bill Murray, he initiated and took part in the 1951 reconnaissance. He was a climbing member and medical officer on the successful 1953 expedition. After this he became a consultant surgeon. For over 50 years he undertook mountain exploration in Asia, as well as high-altitude medical research.