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Great Canadian Mountain & Adventure Lit!
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Great Canadian Mountain & Adventure Lit!

By BanffMtnFests
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Inspiring mountain, wilderness & adventure books by Canadian adventurers & climbers. Many of these books were entered into the Banff Mountain Book Competition over the years. Happy adventure reading!
Sand Dance

Sand Dance

By Camel Across Arabia's Great Southern Desert
edition:Paperback

For forty days and forty nights during the winter of 1999, three Canadians, Bruce Kirkby, Jamie Clarke, and Leigh Clarke, along with three Omani Bedu, travelled by camel across Arabia’s great southern desert – the legendary Empty Quarter. Journeying from Salala in Oman on the Arabian Sea, they headed north and east for 1,200 kilometres across remote and largely unexplored desert wilderness, where ranges of sand dunes tower to over three hundred metres in height. When they finally reached Abu …

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Above All Things

Above All Things

edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback Paperback

The Paris Wife meets Into Thin Air in this breathtaking debut novel of obsession and divided loyalties, which brilliantly weaves together the harrowing story of George Mallory's ill-fated 1924 attempt to be the first man to conquer Mount Everest, with that of a single day in the life of his wife as she waits at home in England for news of his return.
 
A captivating blend of historical fact and imaginative fiction, Above All Things moves seamlessly back and forth between the epic story of Mall …

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The Black Grizzly of Whiskey Creek

The Black Grizzly of Whiskey Creek

edition:Paperback

In describing the true events surrounding a series of frightening bear attacks in l980, a bestselling nature/adventure author explores our relationship with the great grizzly.

Many citizens of Banff, Alberta, valued living in a place where wildlife grazed on the front lawn; others saw wild bears as a mere roadside attraction. None were expecting the bear attacks that summer, which led to one man’s death. During the massive hunt that followed, Banff was portrayed in the international media as a …

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Excerpt

There are trails near the timberline, connecting between the ranges, whose purpose is known to very few, because they are not part of the trail system used by humans. Known as bear roads, they tunnel through the krummholz and slide alder where most people stop, baffled, unwilling to get down on all fours and crawl, unsure of their welcome in that hedged darkness. They are roads of ancestral knowledge, passed on from the mother bear to the cubs, imprinted in the brain to be recalled later, perhaps some years after the cubs have dispersed, maybe long after the siblings have gone their separate ways. Mothers and cubs might meet again on those roads, and recognize each other, and pass each other by without doing harm.

One road, of many such, crosses rock slides where the shale is packed into the interstices between great fallen blocks of limestone by the coming and going of padded feet. Here a hole in the path marks where a boulder the size of a small car was grappled and shoved out of the way, and sent rolling down the mountain like local thunder. This road winds across avalanche chutes, over the flayed trunks of old-growth trees that can be three feet or more in diameter, trees that lived for a century or longer before a winter avalanche finally called them to account, leaving their bones like giant pick-up sticks between the boulders, the trunks now scarred by claw marks. Here and there will be a drift of snow, insulated by a layer of broken shale that fell, piece by piece, from the precipice high above earlier that spring, as meltwater loosened the rocks, so in the heat of summer there are still places where the traveller beast can stretch out and rub its back and cool off in the icy slush for a moment below a boiling of frustrated deer flies. The bear road curls through a mossy gulch now and then, where a brook purls down the mountain to form a pool of icy water in which a bear may stop to bathe its hot, cracked footpads in the mud

while slaking its thirst. And if, later, you came upon the spot by chance, you might think that a huge man had stood barefoot in the mud; you might wonder if the stories about Sasquatch are true, and then you might note how the mud is punctured at the end of each toe pad. And this fact will make you stand up quickly; it will make you turn around, and listen, and listen.

In the old-growth forest, where the deep layers of duff and moss sometimes serve as the flimsy roof over a rock crevice, a place to be sniffed at and passed by carefully, or else out on the flatter lie of a bog, the road is marked by tracks a foot deep and a foot or more long. These tracks were made over the centuries by the padded humanoid feet of bears that journey between mountain ranges; each has put its front foot and then the corresponding rear foot down in the same print the first of its tribe made here centuries before. It may seem as if this were a trail made by human footsteps, but you will look in vain for any other sign of their habitation or resort. There are no axe blazes, no fire circles or rusty tin cans. The road may be grown in with fresh green moss as if it had been unused for years, but it has not been forgotten, and won’t be as long as bears are allowed to live.

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Men for the Mountains

Men for the Mountains

edition:Paperback
tagged :

As a park warden in the national parks of Canada's Rocky Mountains, Sid Marty came to know that beautiful and treacherous landscape as few men or women do. He was a mountain climber, rescue team member, firefighter, wildlife custodian, and adviser to tourists, adventurers, and people passing through. At all times, he was an acute observer of human and animal behaviour. In these pages he records with wry wit and bitter insight true stories of heroism and folly drawn from life in the high country. …

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Switchbacks

Switchbacks

True Stories from the Canadian Rockies
edition:Paperback
tagged : adventure

In Switchbacks, Sid Marty draws on his own memories and those of friends and former colleagues in relating a series of true mountain tales. Among his subjects are: the old guide who built a staircase up a cliff; the stranded snowshoer who was rescued between rounds of beer in a Banff tavern; the man who catered to hungry grizzlies; an opinionated packrat with a gift for larceny; and a horse named Candy whose heart was as big as a stove.

Along the way, Marty tries to answer the kind of questions t …

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Canadian Mountaineering Anthology, The

Canadian Mountaineering Anthology, The

edition:Paperback

Sixty-three pieces range from Conrad Kain's classic account of the first ascent of Mount Robson to Sharon Wood's thoughts on her experience as the first North American woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest. Early explorers and modern daredevils, exhilarating achievements and deadly accidents provide a testament to extraordinary places and personalities.

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To the Top of Everest

To the Top of Everest

edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback

On October 5, 1982, Laurie Skreslet became the first Canadian to reach the peak of Mount Everest. His lifelong dream of scaling the world’s tallest mountain had become a reality, but it was an achievement that came with a heavy price. Laurie and his expedition faced hidden crevasses, blinding snowstorms, horrible altitude sickness and deadly avalanches that claimed the lives of team members throughout the ascent.

In this exciting true-life adventure, Laurie shares intimate details from the cli …

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Everest Canada

Everest Canada

The Climb for Hope
edition:Paperback
tagged : ecology

Somehow, the idea of charity balls and Mount Everest just don't fit together. But neither does the idea of someone from backwoods BC organizing an Everest attempt, which normally involves millions of dollars, high-profile sponsors - even royal backing.

Prince George's Peter Austen proved that, while all that might be nice, it's not necessary. Working from, his living room, he assembled a cohesive, high-spirited team whose Everest adventure takes them to such far-flung places as Mount Communism in …

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