Mountain lore and legends

Went to a presentation by Bill Corbett the other night.  He was speaking at the Alpine Club’s clubhouse about his ascent of all 54 of the 11,000ers (the mountains over 11,000 feet)  He was the third person to do them all which is an incredible achievement.  I’ve spent many evenings pouring over his book which outlines the routes and history of each mountain.  I became interested especially interested in them having been up 2 of them now.

I really enjoyed hearing about the style of the expeditions and the interesting side stories that don’t make it into the books.  Even better was his description of climbing the wrong mountain in the fog!  When you hear the best alpinists making such ridiculous routefinding mistakes, it makes your own misadventures with getting briefly lost and found (something that happens all the time) seem quite tame and excusable!

Also interesting was the luminaries in the small crowd of 30.  When musing over a photo he casually asks “Chic is that the east face?”  The Chic in question sitting behind me is legend Chic Scott who pioneered ski mountaineering in Canada and is the author of the definitive resources of every major route (I have three of his books.)  Never mind counting his first ascents and tireless organizing.  Or a casual remark made to Nancy Hansen sitting on the couch who at first glance may not seem like the only woman in the world to have climbed all 54 11,000ers.  Legends not so hidden in the small crowd!

bill with book award

I caught up with him at the end of the evening and scolded him for all my lost sleep from reading his book at night and having my brain get all excited!  A very inspiring character with a good sense of humour, a very good evening.

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