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Tera Swanson

Review: Searching for Mary Schäffer

Colleen Skidmore's latest book, Searching for Mary Schäffer, explores the life and works of one of the Rockies' most famous mountain women, and in the process sheds new light on Schäffer's persona, the stories that comprised her exciting life, and the people who crossed her path along the way. [...]

Wilderness First Aid Courses in the Canadian Rockies

In Volume 3 of the Canadian Rockies Annual, we featured Wilderness First Aid courses as part of The Kit: Resources for Mountain Living. Here is a round-up of courses on offer throughout the Canadian Rockies, and where to find them. [...]

Your Guide to the Cowboy Trail

In Volume 3 of the Canadian Rockies Annual, we featured the Cowboy Trail as a Side Trip in The Kit: Resources for Mountain Living. Here are stops you won’t want to miss, from towns to ranches to horseback tours. [...]

Mountain Film Release: To the Top

What makes for an epic day outside? Through the eyes of a child, the equation is simple: toboggans, friends, and snow. Take Me Outside, a non-profit organization based in Banff, takes us back to that simple mindset with ‘To The Top’. [...]

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. [...]

5 Sure-Fire Ways to Elevate Your Backcountry Cooking

We asked our readers, contributors and team at Crowfoot Media for their favourite ways to go gourmet in the backcountry. Turns out, you don’t need to pack in your kitchen or have five-star restaurant cooking experience to turn your meals up a notch. Here are five sure-fire ways to elevate your cooking the next time you set out to sleep under the stars.  [...]

How to Make the Most of Banff This (Busy) Summer

Banff is set to be a bustling place this summer. But, a busy Banff doesn’t need to be miserable one – not when the park is 6,641 square kilometres and just begging for people to see a different side of it. [...]

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. [...]

10 Rockies Causes You Should Care About

From groomed trails to community gardens, bolted routes to hiking boots, there are plenty of ways to get involved with your local mountain town. Volunteering allows us to give back, and grow roots in our communities. Tera Swanson rounds up ten causes that have done a fine job of laying the groundwork. [...]

Free Camping Resources for Alberta and B.C.

For avid campers and newbies alike, the costs of pitching a tent can add up. Thankfully, there are nearly 1,300 free recreation sites across B.C. and several in Alberta’s Rockies waiting for you to set up camp. Here are the best resources we could find – in print and on the web. [...]

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. [...]

Wild Life Distillery: Q + A with Matt Widmer

Good things come out of the Bow Valley, and this new craft distillery is just the latest. Bringing together local grain, local water, and local people, Wild Life Distillery offers authentic Rockies spirits made in small batches 100% on-site. We talked to co-owner Matt Widmer about the ins and outs of the distillery industry, and what to expect when they open their doors. [...]

Review – Earth and Sky: Photographs and Stories from Montana and Alberta

Stephen Legault’s Earth and Sky spans 200 pages of stunning images of the Alberta and Montana foothills, paired with captivating narratives of lives that have interacted and developed meaning with these lands over centuries. A conservation activist, writer, and photographer, Legault provides a distinct perspective on the geology and history along the Rocky Mountain front – through national parks, iconic destinations, and everywhere in between. [...]

Trip Report: Iceline Circuit, Yoho National Park

The Iceline Circuit is considered by many to be a jewel of Yoho National Park, and for good reason. Not only will you find waterfalls, glaciers and wildflowers around every turn, but this region is rich with the history of Swiss Guides and the CP Rail. Whether you complete the 20-km circuit in a hard-earned day or break it up with a backcountry campground or ACC Hut, there are several ways to enjoy this little slice of Yoho paradise. [...]

Jasper: 6 Awesome Summer Adventure Ideas

What does adventure mean to you? Whether you like to go with the flow, seek a thrill or look to maximize your experiences, one of the best things about adventure is that there is no such thing as “one-size-fits-all.” No matter where you fall on that spectrum, Jasper has got you well covered. As an epicentre of endless activities, it can be hard to sort out where to get started, so we’ve planned out a few simple itineraries to best suit your style (but feel free to pick and choose from the bunch!) [...]

5 Ways to Experience the Waterton Wildflower Festival

Waterton Lakes National Park is known as the Wildflower Capital of Canada and celebrates its diverse ecology each June with a week-long festival. Whether you're into hiking, horseback, boating or art, here are five ways to explore the flora of this wildflower wonderland. [...]

The Bold and Cold: Excerpt and Interview with Brandon Pullan

Perfect for the armchair traveller or devoted mountaineer, The Bold and Cold: A History of 25 Classic Climbs in the Canadian Rockies has been in the works for decades. It began in the late 60s as a brainchild of Urs Kallen, who later collaborated with Dave Cheesmond to select the 25 routes and compile them into a book. The project was abandoned following Cheesmond's death on Mt. Logan in 1987, but not before the pair decided to name it ‘The Bold and Cold.’ Here, Tera Swanson interviews Brandon Pullan, who took over the project in 2005 and saw it through to publication with Rocky Mountain Books more than ten years later. [...]

Alberta Apparel: Q and A with Founder, Thomas Mo

Make local. Buy local. Source local. Thomas Mo knows it's easier said than done. As the founder of Alberta Apparel, he's working to highlight the unique culture of Alberta and tap into the talent and resources that exist in our province. Writer Tera Swanson interviews him about his new clothing company and how he's growing it from the grassroots. [...]

Top 10 of 2015: Our Most-Read Articles of the Year

Call it our 'best of' if you like, but what this list really represents is the collection of stories that resonated the most with our community this past year. They are the most-read on the website and the most-shared on social media, but more importantly, in these articles we are proud to have featured the people, places and projects that are truly elevating mountain culture here in the Canadian Rockies. Read them now or bookmark them for later when you need a good dose of mountain inspiration. [...]

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. [...]

8 Mountain Culture Books to Add to Your Reading List

While gripping films and skilled speakers attract the die-hard adventurers and inspiration-seekers to the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival, it is also the stories expressed through the written word that carry this spirit beyond the end of the fest. This year, 139 books were entered into the Banff Mountain Book Competition, and 26 made it to the list of category finalists. Here are this year's winners, which are sure to keep your mountain soul satiated well into the new year. Feature photograph by Jon Griffith. [...]

Cascade, Rundle, Sulphur: Athletes Take on Three Peaks Challenge

For most mountain enthusiasts, ascending a single peak in a day is a worthy undertaking. But endurance athletes have set their sights on three peaks accessible from the town of Banff for a multi-peak challenge, using their muscle and willpower to run and climb from trailhead to summit, and everywhere in between. [...]

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. [...]