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September 16 , 2007

The Northern Horizons of Guy Blanchet

Intrepid Surveyor, 1884-1966


The working life of the distinguished surveyor Guy Blanchet reflects the story of northern Canada in the first half of the twentieth century. Beginning his career in the boreal forests of Alberta and Saskatchewan, using pack horses and dog teams, Blanchet went north to map large areas of the Barrens by canoe, and soon became caught up in pioneer northern aviation. His story encompasses the Great Depression and the Second World War, which in turn led to his work finding the routes for oil pipelines. His life was rich in contacts with First Nations people, and his friendships included most of the well-known northern travellers of the time. While Blanchet did not seek adventure, adventure often found him and he had many narrow escapes. While Blanchet published a number of articles about his experiences, this is the first time his fascinating life story has been told in book form.

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