The Raven and the Mountaineer is the most significant contribution toward the history of the St. Elias Mountain Range -- the Himalayas of Canada.
To introduce this mountain range to the reader the author has chosen the aboriginal emblem and traditionally sacred bird the Raven to make the introductory statement to each chapter. It is the Raven, the creature that soars high and endures the worst of weather, that has observed all that has taken place since time immemorial. The author has been privileged to have had the opportunity to spend several months (collectively) within the sanctuary of the St. Elias.
This is a publication that presents to the reader the unique history of a very special part of Canada. From first sightings by coastal navigators like Bering, La Perouse, Malaspina, Quadra, Cook and Vancouver to the first ascents of the two highest peaks Mount St. Elias and Mount Logan (Canada's highest) to the surveys by the International Boundary Commission, the story is an exciting one. The author has appropriately dedicated his work to the late Dr. Walter Wood whom he regards as the Father of the St. Elias. Beginning in 1935 and until his death in 1993 Walter carried out exploratory mountaineering and initiated multi-disciplinary research in the region.
This book is a novel combination of the history of the initial sighting of Mount St. Elias and subsequent exploration of the Range with the personal experiences of the author in expeditions during the second half of the twentieth century. A unifying thread is provided by the Raven who shares the narrative and gives the text a poetic, even mystical, dimension. The sense of eternal permanence one experiences in the mountain world permeates the book through the Raven's voice.
No other work lists within one cover all the special events (does not include a record of private ascents) that have taken place in this part of Canada. No other reference could contain a first hand account of such special events as the National Geographic Mapping Expedition of 1965, of the Centennial International Ascent of 1967 and the Arctic Winter Games Expedition of 1972.
Introduction; Waseitashaa; The Long Haul to Mount Logan; Walter's Parachutes; Mount Kennedy; Glaciers; The Grandiose Centennial Expedition; Papaver Macounii; A Winter's Visit; The Last Word.