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Conrad Kain (1883–1934) was born in Nasswald, Austria, and moved to Canada in 1909, where he remained until his death in 1934. Although credited with more than 60 first ascents and numerous pioneering routes in the Canadian Rockies and the Purcell Range of British Columbia, Kain is primarily known for three first ascents in western Canada: Mount Robson (1913), Mount Louis (1916) and Bugaboo Spire (1916). During his 30-year mountaineering career, he journeyed to New Zealand between 1913 and 1916, successfully guiding more than 25 first ascents and climbing Mount Cook, the country’s highest peak, on two occasions.
To commemorate the 100th anniversary of Kain’s arrival in Canada, the Conrad Kain Centennial Society was formed in 2008 to celebrate his many achievements and to develop legacy projects in his memory. This expanded edition of Kain’s book will help carry his passion for mountaineering to a new generation of readers and adventurers.
Pat Morrow is a renowned photographer, mountaineer, author and filmmaker. In recognition of these achievements, he received the Order of Canada in 1988 and the Summit of Excellence at the 1990 Banff Mountain Film Festival. Pat was instrumental in the formation of The Conrad Kain Centennial Society (CKCS), which was created in 2007 to celebrate the legacy of mountain guide Conrad Kain, whose life burned like a "splendid fire" as he quietly set new standards during the Golden Age of Canadian mountaineering.
J. Monroe Thorington (1895-1989) was an American ophthalmologist who first came to the Canadian Rockies in 1914. He became a prominent mountaineer, climbing extensively in the Rockies and completing 52 first ascents in the Rockies and Selkirks. Following explorations and numerous first ascents by J. Norman Collie in the first decade of the 20th century, the area around the Columbia Icefield had been ignored for some time until Thorington's visits. In 1923, together with W.S. Ladd and famed guide Conrad Kain, Thorington completed the second ascent of Mount Columbia, the third ascent of Mount Athabasca and first ascents of Mount Saskatchewan and North Twin Peak.