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Heritage

Bernie Schiesser: Master of the Hills

Bernie Schiesser calls it fate, but the cast of characters in his bio reads like a who's who of Rockies history. Over the course of his long life, Schiesser's positive energy and remarkable contributions to many aspects of mountain life have firmly established him on that same roster. Here's the story behind the man – the pioneer, guide, and backcountry host, who will forever have a legacy in the Canadian Rockies.  [...]

Three Things I’ve Learned: Dorothy Carleton

Mountains make the greatest teachers and provide us with countless opportunities to contemplate, question and learn. At the ripe age of 97, Dorothy Carleton recounts some of her life’s greatest lessons. [...]

The Powwow Trail: Web Listings and Resources

In Volume 3 of the Canadian Rockies Annual, Colette Derworiz profiles the Powwow Trail, the series of powwows that occur across Alberta, British Columbia and parts of the United States. As she describes in the article, “They are open to everyone, including non-Aboriginal people from any culture.” As powwows aren’t widely advertised, we’ve compiled a list of resources to help you connect with a powwow happening near you. [...]

From Mining to Skiing: The Mountain Industry Journey

Many ski towns once started with an entirely different industry in mind: mining. Abby Cooper clips in to explore the relics of the mines in Fernie and Kimberley, B.C., linking turns as much as linking together the stories of a bygone era. [...]

What’s So Amazing About the Burgess Shale?

High up on the flanks of Fossil Ridge in Yoho National Park lies the Burgess Shale Formation, a bed of rock so significant it has been catapulted to international acclaim. Why? Perfectly preserved amidst those layers of black shale are rare and ancient specimens that give us clues about the history of life – and help us make sense of life as we know it today. [...]

Excerpt: Ghost Town of the Canadian Rockies

Situated in the Bow Valley under the watch of Castle Mountain, Silver City was once a thriving mining town that started – and ended – as one of the region’s largest scandals of the time. [...]

A Glimpse of the Past: 12 Historic Photos of the Canadian Rockies

Have you ever wondered what it was like to walk the streets of Banff Avenue with the original establishments and shops? Or how modern ski events compare to those from fifty years ago? This winter we teamed up with the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies to discover just that in our #RockiesThrowback series: the settings, people, and events that made up Canadian Rockies mountain culture of long-gone eras and shaped our culture into what it is today. [...]

Letter From the Editor, Canadian Rockies Annual (Vol. 2)

I recently came across a photograph taken by Byron Harmon in 1920 of a ski jump built on the lower flanks of Tunnel Mountain. In it, a skier is flying midair above a landing slope – a residential street lined by spectators. As I looked more closely at the image, it dawned on me that the building on that street is none other than Mary Schäffer’s historic home. Opposite that home the photograph shows a vacant lot, where today stands another home: the one I live in. [...]

The Unsquare Cellar: Banff’s Hangout for Hippies

In Volume 2 of the Canadian Rockies Annual, we flash back over forty years to explore a decade of change and innovation in our largest feature article, Rockies Life in the '70s. In this companion web piece, historian Ben Bradley uncovers the story of the Unsquare Cellar and how it came to be closely associated with Banff’s burgeoning counterculture. [...]

The Tentless Transients: The History of Echo Creek

In June 1970, Parks Canada established the Echo Creek campground as an experimental response to the thousands of “tentless transients” expected to pass through Banff that summer. In this companion web piece to Rockies Life in the '70s, featured in Volume 2 of the Canadian Rockies Annual, Ben Bradley explores the rise and fall of the short-lived, long-haired crowd at Echo Creek. [...]

Mountain Lodge Spotlight: Winter at Emerald Lake Lodge

Luxury in wilderness comes a bit off the beaten track for many getaway lodges in the Canadian Rockies. But, Emerald Lake Lodge maintains a semblance of isolation and the elegance of simplicity, despite being just a short drive away from the nearest village. The historic Swiss-inspired lodge is just as inviting as the peaks seen from its windows, beckoning visitors to explore and enjoy the splendour of Yoho National Park. [...]

Hobnails and Hemp Rope: On Recreating a Historic 1916 Ascent

In 1916, Conrad Kain led the first ascent of Bugaboo Spire – the hardest technical route in the world at that time. This past summer, a team of climbers set out to recreate that experience using period gear – hobnailed boots, a hemp rope and a 100-year-old camp stove. [...]

Truth and Reconciliation Summit Coming to Banff Centre

On October 29, 2016, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity is hosting a day-long summit for Bow Valley residents to learn about and respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's 94 Calls to Action that resulted from this process. To learn more about the event, Crowfoot Media's Editor-in-Chief caught up with Banff Centre's Program Manager for Indigenous Leadership and Management, Brian Calliou, who has taken a lead role in organizing the event. [...]

Whyte Museum Seeks Input From Rockies Community

For nearly 50 years, the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies has played a central role in preserving the history and culture of our unique corner of the globe and making that heritage accessible to the public through world-class programming and exhibitions. What will the museum's next 50 years look like? That's where you come in. [...]

Climbing Camp Celebrates Kain’s Epic Season of 1916

When the 1916 climbing season ended, Conrad Kain had led ascents of 15 virgin peaks, including some of the most difficult ever attempted in Canada. In celebration of the 100th anniversary of his most successful and ambitious season, 10 students from Invermere, Cranbrook and Kimberley travelled to Bugaboo Provincial Park on July 22 to participate in the annual Conrad Kain Bugaboos Teens Climbing Camp. [...]

Letter From the Editor, Canadian Rockies Annual (Vol. 1)

At times I feel that I was born a hundred years too late and missed a “Golden Age” in the Canadian Rockies. It must have been an exciting era when first ascents were a dime a dozen and explorers, often led by First Nations guides, initially encountered the lakes and mountain passes we are well acquainted with today. [...]

3 Ways to “Do” Winter at Skoki Lodge

Drop "Skoki" into a conversation around these parts, and you'll be met with some predictable reactions, usually a reminiscent sigh or a sense of deep longing for this near mythical mountain experience. Everybody wants to go to Skoki Lodge and anyone who has been wants to go back. [...]

The Ultimate Timeline of Ski History in Banff National Park

From its first introduction to the Banff area by Scandinavian Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) workers and Swiss mountaineering guides, skiing has grown to be the very heartbeat and pulse of Canadian Rockies culture. Skiers may have traded in their pea coats and wooden skis for Gore Tex shells and the perfect camber, but the spirit of the sport remains in Canada’s first national park. [...]

In the News: 10 Fascinating Clips from Banff’s History

Start clicking around in the Encyclopedia of Banff History and you'll quickly get lost in a sea of fascinating clips and images that cover the intriguing history of Banff National Park. Mostly chronicled from the Crag and Canyon and any materials available in the public domain, the Encyclopedia provides a window into our heritage, reminds us of pivotal moments in the development of this region, and highlights fascinating snapshots of a bygone era. Here are ten such moments we've handpicked from the lot. [...]

The Encyclopedia of Banff History: Interview with Founder David Fleming

History is easily forgotten unless we can find creative ways of keeping it fresh, accessible and interesting for people. With the Encyclopedia of Banff History, old stories are brought to life in a modern-day format. Founder David Fleming has created a Facebook Group, where he is archiving digitized newspaper clippings and images from Banff's history into categorized albums. In this Q&A, Tera Swanson finds out what compelled him to start this project, and what he's learned through the process. [...]