Working up an Appetite by Running up Mountains

A new edition of my 11,000ers of the Canadian Rockies book

A new edition of my 11,000ers of the Canadian Rockies book

People sometimes ask how I remain (relatively) slim despite eating like a snake swallowing a rabbit during my Marathon Mouth road-food travels.

Well, during the long months at home, I eat much less and better—far fewer fries and flapjacks.

I also run regularly and hike and backcountry ski as much as possible. But there’s no calorie burner like running (okay, sometimes wheezing) up mountains.

Indeed, for more than two decades, my obsession was not gorging myself on road trips across western North America. No, it was another epic challenge: climbing all 54 of the 11,000-foot peaks in the Canadian Rockies.

Climbing the amazing East Ridge of Mount Edith Cavell in Jasper

Climbing the amazing East Ridge of Mount Edith Cavell in Jasper Photo: Vern Dewit

After becoming the third person to complete this quest, I parlayed this experience into a mountaineering guide and history book, creatively titled The 11,000ers of the Canadian Rockies (Rocky Mountain Books).

Now, nearly 15 years later, I’ve just published the second edition of the book. Full of colour photos, it weighs a hefty two pounds, making it a great training weight in the pack. It’s available online (Amazon.com, Amazon.ca and Chapters/Indigo) and through places like Mountain Equipment Co-op.

The gorgeous Mount Assiniboine is one of the highest peaks in the Canadian Rockies. Photo: Steph Abegg

The gorgeous Mount Assiniboine is one of the highest peaks in the Canadian Rockies. Photo: Steph Abegg

Researching and writing this edition was a marathon effort in its own right. Think I’ll celebrate. With a burger… or two.

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