My wife & I are from Houston, Texas and our annual backpacking trips are the only time we get to see the mountains. Because of this, every trip is precious to us and I always do extensive research on deciding on where to go. After reading this book, we ended up doing a trip that has turned out to be one our favorites of all times - a 2007 trip to Assiniboine.
We hiked in from Sunshine Village and saw spectacular scenery from the minute we started the trip. We ended up base camping near Lake Magog and doing several of the recommended day trips - all of which still rank as some of the most beautiful scenery we've ever seen. The advice in this book was spot-on: the high spots were truly amazing (Lake Magog, Nub Peak and Windy Ridge) and the "low" points were indeed mundane (Camp Porcupine wasn't bad, but not nearly as beautiful as everything else).
This book was helpful for the following reasons:
At the start of the book, all 138 hikes are listed with their rating (1-4 Bootprints - 4 being the best), the type of trip (backpacking, day hikes, or shoulder season trip) and overview maps to show where everything is in relation to each other. This makes zeroing in a trip very quick and easy.
More importantly, once you find a trip that peaks your interest, the candid advice about each trip really lets you know what to expect: how good is the scenery, is one trail better than another to get to a point of interest, how crowded/popular the trail is, and any other fact about a trail that will help you make a decision.
When I did my planning for our 2007 trip, I found 3-4 trips that really interested me and started reading in detail about each trip. The advice was clear enough for me to quickly figure out which type of trip suited our hiking style. Most guidebooks only offer pages and pages of descriptions about the trail, but never strong opinions (usually leaving me to search the internet for the opinion of others). While this book has the pages and pages of trail description, it was the opinions offered in this book that made the difference and allowed me to quickly decide on a trip.
For anyone planning a trip to the Canadian Rockies, I'd highly recommend this book. And if you're up for it, don't miss Assiniboine - it was AMAZING!