The interviews were conducted 25 years ago, and some of the stories told by the climbers are still 25 years older.
And now they’re being revitalized in a series of online movies for the next generation of climbers to hang onto.
“The story in this area…it’s tangible,” said Canmore filmmaker Glen Crawford The last straight line Friday. “Fifty years ago is not a long time in history, but it’s when you look at how much Canadian mountaineering and mountaineering around the world has changed.”
Crawford helps produce the series, which is available at the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies. He says the project is Chic Scott’s vision.
Scott, a famous author and adventurer, conducted over 80 interviews with prominent mountaineers in Canada in the mid-1990s as part of research for his book Pushing the Limits: The History of Canadian Mountaineering.
He and Crawford now feature 11 of those interviews, which mostly focus on people who lived near and climbed the Canadian Rockies, as well as around the world.
After editing them and adding stock photos, they’ve been posting one video a month since January.
They also make three themed films; the first one, Yamnuska Rock Climbing Pioneersis available online.
“The climbers who [Chic] interviewed at the time are all great storytellers,” Crawford said.
But there’s no denying that the footage is a few decades old.
“They’re not the best quality, but they’re the best stories for sure,” Crawford said. “And it’s just awesome that Chic had the foresight to record them on video as well as audio.”
The interviews feature the likes of Sharon Wood, the first North American woman to climb Mount Everest, and local legend Tim Auger, who, in addition to being one of Canada’s top climbers in the 1960s, has been instrumental in hundreds of rescues as a searcher and rescuer. technician for Banff National Park.
The fundamental reason for the escalation is always the same
It’s clear from the interviews, Crawford said, how much the climbing world has changed in some ways. In the 1950s, for example, Hans Moser set up the first climbing route on Mount Yamnuska in Kananaskis. No one had climbed it before.
Today there are around 200 different routes on the face of the mountain that climbers have taken.
“So yeah, the sport has changed, the abilities have changed,” Crawford said. “But I think the fundamental reason people go out is still the same.”
With files from The last straight line.