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October 25 , 2008

Old Indian Trails of the Canadian Rockies


“We seemed to have reached that horizon, and the limit of all endurance, to sit with folded hands and listen calmly to the stories of the hills we so longed to see, the hills which had lured and beckoned us for years before this long list of men had ever set foot in the country.” —Mary T.S. Schäffer

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Mary T.S. Schäffer was an avid explorer and one of the first non-Native women to venture into the heart of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, where few women—or men—had gone before.

First published in 1911, Old Indian Trails of the Canadian Rockies is Schäffer’s story of her adventures in the traditionally male-dominated world of climbing and exploration. It also sheds light on Native and non-Native relations at the early part of the 20th century. Full of daring adventure and romantic depictions of camp life, set against the grand backdrop of Canada’s mountain landscapes, the book introduces readers to various characters from the annals of Canadian mountaineering history, including Arthur Philemon Coleman, Billy Warren, Sid Unwin, Bill Peyto and Jimmy Simpson.

Old Indian Trails of the Canadian Rockies is certain to entertain and enlighten 21st-century readers, historians, hikers and climbers.

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