University of Alberta Press

Mountain Studies


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    The mountain parks are for all Canadians for all time and their value cannot be measured in terms of how many access roads, motels, souvenir shops and golf courses we've provided. -Bob Jordan, 1971 The Alpine Club of Canada imagined the Rockies and neighbouring ranges to the west and the north as a "climber's paradise." Through a century of adventure and advocacy, the ACC led the way to mountain pursuits in spectacular regions. Historian and mountain studies special... [READ MORE]
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    Conrad Kain is a titan amongst climbers in Canada and is well-known in mountaineering circles all over the world. His letters to Amelie Malek-a life-long friend-offer a candid view into the deepest thoughts of the Austrian mountain guide, and are a perfect complement to his autobiography, Where the Clouds Can Go. The 144 letters provide a unique and personal view of what it meant to immigrate to Canada in the early part of the twentieth century. Kain's letters are ordered chr... [READ MORE]
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    Adults need playgrounds. In 1907, the Canadian government designated a vast section of the Rocky Mountains as Jasper Forest Park. Tourists now play where Native peoples once lived, fur traders toiled, and Métis families homesteaded. In Culturing Wilderness in Jasper National Park, I.S. MacLaren and eight other writers unearth the largely unrecorded past of the upper Athabasca River watershed, and bring to light two centuries' worth of human history, tracing the evolution... [READ MORE]
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    Many of Canada's superb national parks owe their existence to James Bernard Harkin (1875-1955), the first commissioner of Canada's new Dominion Parks Branch in 1911. Ted Hart follows Harkin's career from his apprenticeship in the Department of the Interior to his retirement in 1936, and presents Harkin as a major force in early Canadian parks and wildlife conservation. He supported Canadian wildlife conservation at its inception, created the world's first park service, and de... [READ MORE]
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    Mapper of Mountains follows the career of Dominion Land Surveyor Morrison Parsons Bridgland, who provided the first detailed maps of many regions of the Canadian Rockies. Between 1902 and 1930, this unheralded alpinist perfected phototopographical techniques to compile a series of mountaintop photographs during summers of field work, and spent his winters collating them to provide the Canadian government, tourists, and mountain climbers with accurate topographical maps. Bridg... [READ MORE]
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    In 1912, Mary Vaux, a botanist, glaciologist, painter, and photographer, wrote about her mountain adventures: "A day on the trail, or a scramble over the glacier, or even with a quiet day in camp to get things in order for the morrow's conquests? Some how when once this wild spirit enters the blood...I can hardly wait to be off again." Vaux's compulsion was shared by many women whose intellects, imaginations, and spirits rose to the challenge of the mountains betwee... [READ MORE]