• whytemuseum

Lost Without Guidebooks

Updated: Dec 13, 2018

By Nathalie Delbecq, Manager Community Engagement

Back to The Cairn

Over the years of living in the Rockies, many of us can recall pouring over guidebooks and Gem Trek maps either discussing with friends or simply scheming and dreaming on our own. Planning day hikes, backpacking trips and light ski tours.

Whether it was Brian Patton and Bart Robinson’s Canadian Rockies Trail Guide or Graeme Pole’s Classic Hikes in the Canadian Rockies, Alan Kane’s Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies or Chic Scott’s Ski Trails in the Canadian Rockies it was these authors (and many others) that lead us to brilliant lakes, exciting mountaintops and rejuvenating forests.

We are grateful for these explorers and writers, who covered kilometre after kilometre, meticulously recording and measuring landscape details as they went. They then compiled their experiences into words, photographs, illustrations and maps. We may not have known such places existed or let alone have had the courage to venture out without first consulting these books.

Much of our connection to this landscape began with these authors. They not only offered us a lay of the land but they gave us a connection to place. A desire to not only take in the scent of subalpine fir or feel the wind on the pass but also to learn and appreciate the stories of those that came before us.

Many of us who were once new to the Bow Valley have re-read, consulted and carried these books in our packs. It is true the internet provides many images, videos and current reports but it does not compare to the knowledge, experience and first discovery offered by these authors.

I still consult the guidebooks and invite new ‘explorers’ of the Rockies to read them too. Before your next adventure come down to the Whyte, where you can find a great selection of guidebooks in the Whyte Museum Shop or consult a guidebook contained in the Archives and Library. Search the Library & Special Collections online by title or by author, or contact the Archives to request a particular title.

We cannot say this enough, thank you for inspiring and guiding us through the Rockies!

Back to The Cairn

111 Bear Street, Banff, Alberta, T1L 1A3, Canada

T: 1 403 762 2291   

E: info [at] whyte.org

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The Whyte Museum gratefully acknowledges the support of The Peter and Catharine Whyte Foundation and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts

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