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The story of mountain rescue has its roots in the early 1900s, with the Canadian Pacific Railway's use of Swiss guides--alpine experts who brought their knowledge of mountain rescue to the Canadian Rockies. As climbing gained in popularity with the emerging middle classes after the Second World War, tragic accidents became more common. Two accidents in 1954-55 forced the government to develop a professional mountain rescue team through the Park Warden Service, under the tutelage of Swiss guide Walter Perren, considered the father of mountain rescue in Canada. Perren essentially turned cowboys into competent rescue personnel, and the story takes off from there. Guardians of the Peaks traces the first 50 years of mountain rescue in Canada, focusing on the five principal men instrumental in its development. Authors Kathy Calvert and Dale Portman cover all aspects of the rescue experience, juxtaposing the political, cultural and technical developments of the time with gripping accounts of actual rescues. Guardians of the Peaks is a fascinating look at the people who are willing to enter this stress-laced, demanding profession in order to save lives, despite the personal tragedy it often involves.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781894765800
ISBN-10: 189476580X
Format: Paperback
(254mm x 203mm x 20mm)
Pages: 328
Imprint: Rocky Mountain Books,Canada
Publisher: Rocky Mountain Books,Canada
Publish Date: 30-Oct-2006
Country of Publication: Canada

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Author Biography - Kathy Calvert

Kathy Calvert grew up in the Canadian Rockies. In 1974 she became one of the first female national park wardens in Canada; in 1977 she was a member of the first all-women expedition to Mount Logan and in 1989 was on the first all-women ski traverse of the Columbia Mountains from the Bugaboos to Rogers Pass. She is the author of two books: Don Forest: Quest for the Summits (RMB 2003) and Guardians of the Peaks: Mountain Rescue in the Canadian Rockies and Columbia Mountains (RMB 2006). Dale Portman is a retired park warden who spent nearly 30 years working for the warden service, often involved with backcountry travel, mountain rescue and avalanche control work in Jasper, Banff, Yoho, Glacier and Revelstoke national parks. He and his wife, Kathy Calvert, live in Cochrane, Alberta, and head to the mountains as often as possible. Dale has written three books about his experiences working in the mountains of western Canada: Riding on the Wild Side: Tales of Adventure in the Canadian West, Rescue Dogs: Crime and Rescue Canines in the Canadian Rockies and Guardians of the Peaks: Mountain Rescue in the Canadian Rockies and Columbia Mountains, the latter co-written with Kathy. Besides seeing new cultures in foreign lands, Dale's greatest love is for extended trips to remote parts of the Canadian Rockies, by skis, on foot or on horseback leading a couple of pack horses.

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