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Rocky Mountain Books Celebrates 40 Years


By Meghan J. Ward

Founded in 1979 by passionate mountain adventurers, Tony and Gillean Daffern, Rocky Mountain Books celebrates its 40th year with a special event at the 2019 Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival. It all started with a hiking guidebook…

Today, guidebooks grace the bookshelves and coffee tables of many outdoor enthusiasts, and in the Canadian Rockies, most of the go-to guide books can be accredited to a small, but mighty, publishing company and proud partner of Crowfoot Media.

Celebrating its 40th year, Rocky Mountain Books (RMB) first kicked off its publishing activities in 1979 when co-founders and husband/wife team Tony and Gillean Daffern prepared to send Kananaskis Country Trail Guide to press. That first guidebook, published in January 1980, sold out of its initial print run of 5,000 copies by the following May and, after a number of reprints, eventually sold 20,000 copies. That was the first edition alone. Clearly, the Daffern’s had struck a chord in the Rockies community.

Rocky Mountain Books has continued to carry that torch with additional guidebooks for hikers, climbers, skiers, ice climbers, and more. But, it has also repositioned itself for the 21st century, and now publishes a variety of non-fiction genres, from mountain history to adventure travel, environmental consciousness, Indigenous studies, photography and kids books. Numerous books have been finalists or winners of respected book competitions, including the Banff Mountain Book Competition and Boardman Tasker Prize for Mountain Literature.

“Everyone at RMB is extremely proud of our history and the authors we’ve published during these past 40 years,” says publisher Don Gorman. “The founders of the company built something truly unique and vital in terms of growing and promoting the outdoor and mountain writing community in western Canada. I see us continuing with that tradition and also growing in new and interesting ways for another 40 years.”

Many Crowfoot Media team members and contributors are also proud authors, photographers and artists with Rocky Mountain Books – a testament to the vibrant and robust mountain culture publishing scene that has emerged over the decades.

There is much to celebrate, so join us as we celebrate with Rocky Mountain Books!


Saturday, November 02, 2019
Kinnear Centre 2nd Floor Patio

Writer, adventurer, outdoorsy mama, summit cartwheeler, and proud RMB author, Meghan J. Ward is the editor and co-founder at Crowfoot Media and lives for backcountry getaways.

The views and opinions expressed in the articles on are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the editor, the editorial team or the publishers.

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