Switchbacks – True Stories from the Canadian Rockies –

Sid Marty

“Some of the men and women in Switchbacks are drawn to the high peaks of the Canadian Rockies as an antidote to the jaded comforts of city life. For them, the grizzly bear and the mountain goat epitomize the spirit of the West, and the switchbacks take them up to when all trails end, where cliff and glacier rule the horizon and weather changes without warning.

Other visitors are less aware of the risks they encounter when they open the car door and step into the mountain wilderness. Tourists pose or pictures with bears – and rudely reject advice to back away. Even experienced naturalists make dangerous mistakes. The author is likewise no stranger to error: as a young climber, he underestimates a mountain and there is blood on the snow as a result. Some lapses are forgiven and end in laughter, others end in tears and grief.

The author draws on his own memories and those of friends and former colleagues in relating these mountain tales. Among his subjects are: the old guide who built a staircase up a cliff; the stranded snowshoer who was rescued between rounds of beer in a Banff tavern; the man who catered to hungry grizzlies; an opinionated packrat with a gift for larceny; and a horse named Candy whose heart was as big as a stove.

Along the way, Marty tries to answer the kind of questions that all of us must face some day. Do we really have to ‘grow up’ and abandon adventure as well as youthful ideals? Can the mountains draw old friends back together, when politics and lifestyles have set them apart?

Sid Marty writes gracefully of the land he loves and lampoons a few bureaucrats whose policies sometimes threaten its integrity. His portraits of the people – and creatures – that make their lives in the mountains are affectionate and respectful.
But, above all, this is a collection of engaging, surprising, funny, and superbly told true stories by a gifted writer.”

“Switchbacks, the hairpin turns in mountain roads, may tire the traveller, but to the walker, at least, they can offer the most scenic and contemplative route to the summit. In this collection of non-fiction stories, Sid Marty sometimes changes course unexpectedly, true to life, depending on what is found lurking around the next turn in the path.”





McClelland & Stewart





Talen Engels
Landen Canada,


hardcover, met stofomslag, 316 blz, in zeer goede staat


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