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The Forgotten Explorer: Samuel Prescott Fay's 1914 Expedition to the Northern Rockies [Paperback]

Samuel Fay , Robert William Sandford , Charles Helm , Mike Murtha
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Feb. 1 2010 Mountain Classics Collection

North of Jasper, in the Canadian Rockies, is a large, roadless and spectacular wilderness of alpine flower meadows, glaciated peaks, canyons, waterfalls and abundant wildlife. Compared to the millions each year who visit Banff and Jasper national parks immediately to the south, this northern area sees few visitors. Fewer still have ever attempted to travel through this wilderness in one continuous trip. The first to do so was Samuel Prescott Fay in 1914. To this day, his exact route has never been duplicated.

Fay and his party set out from Jasper on June 26, 1914, with five saddle horses and 16 pack horses. After a treacherous, slogging journey of 1,200 kilometres through wild, uncharted country they reached their destination on October 15, 1914, with the outfit completely intact.

During his expedition, Fay kept a detailed journal (currently held at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC), which he provided to the US Biological Survey (now known as the US Fish & Wildlife Service) and to various Canadian government authorities. He also published several magazine articles about his discoveries. However, the journal in its entirety, with all his day-to-day observations, struggles and concerns, has never been published. Similarly, his maps, photographs and wildlife records have been preserved in various Canadian and US archives but never exhibited to a wider audience. Brought together for the first time in book form, they provide an early and dynamic record of an area that remains little known to this day.

Complete with a large selection of never-before published photos and maps, The Forgotten Explorer is destined to become a classic of North American exploration history.


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About the Author

Robert Sandford is the EPCOR Chair of the Canadian Partnership Initiative in support of the United Nations "Water for Life" Decade and also sits on the Advisory Committee for the prestigious Rosenberg International Forum on Water Policy. He is a director of the Western Watersheds Climate Research Collaborative; an associate of the Centre for Hydrology at the University of Saskatchewan and a fellow of the Biogeoscience Institute at the University of Calgary. As well, he sits on the advisory board of Living Lakes Canada and is co-chair of the Forum for Leadership on Water and a member of the Advisory Panel for the RBC Blue Water Project. In 2011, he was invited to be an advisor on water issues by the InterAction Council, a global public policy think tank composed of more than 20 former national leaders, including Jean Chrétien, Bill Clinton, and Vicente Fox.

Robert is the author of some 20 books on the history and heritage of the Canadian mountain West, including Ecology and Wonder in the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site (AU Press, 2010), Water, Weather and the Mountain West (RMB, 2007), Restoring the Flow: Confronting the World's Water Woes (RMB, 2009) and Ethical Water: Learning to Value What Matters Most (RMB, 2011). He lives in Canmore, Alberta.



Mike Murtha has worked for both Parks Canada and BC Parks and is currently the planner for Banff National Park.



Samuel Prescott Fay was born in Boston on May 27, 1884. Fay was an early member of the American Alpine Club and visited the Rockies to climb in the Lake Louise and Lake O'Hara areas starting in 1906, making numerous trips with outfitter Fred Brewster. Fay died on August 11, 1971, at his home in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.



Charles Helm is a medical doctor originally from South Africa and is the author of four books on the Tumbler Ridge area.


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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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3.0 out of 5 stars A Trek Through the Mountains Feb. 11 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An overall interesting book that takes you right into the heart of the mountains, along old Indian trails, through fire ravaged forests and across flooded rivers. We are introduced to the native mountain wildlife, everything from mosquitos to bears and everything in between. We also meet some of the people that have the mountains and the foothills as their home including a psuedo hermit used to living in the wilds for months on end tending his trapline.

While informative it also tends to lean at times to the tedious side as is the nature of daily journals when at times nothing happens that is out of the ordinary or hasn't happened already. The footnote set up is also a bit awkward as there are many that are integral to the story but they're placed at the back of the book forcing you to constantly flip away from the story and to the back in order to get the information you need. It would have been more convenient to have them listed at the bottom of the page for instant referral.

I would certainly recommmend this book for anyone that ls interested in the Rockies or travelling by packhorse as well as those interested in mountain wildlife and the history of the area. Some may use it as a reference guide if they mountain hike or spend time on horses in the area.

As for me, once is enough and I've passed it on to a friend already.
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