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Chic Scott's book 'Mount Assiniboine – The Story' receives international honour

“One of the signatures in my books is I don’t just focus on the famous people like Bill Peyto and A.O. Wheeler. Yes, I’ve included them, but I also include a lot of other people who never otherwise get mentioned. The community is made up of thousands of interesting people.”

BANFF – Chic Scott always knew that the famous Mount Assiniboine had great stories to be told – new adventures, old triumphs, and some nearly forgotten legends – and penning that collection of tales into a book has been internationally recognized.

Regaling 130 years of people, their diverse adventures and mountain culture, Mount Assiniboine – The Story ­written by the Banff-based author and historian was honoured with the John Fry Award for Excellence by the International Skiing History Association at its annual banquet on March 24 in Sun Valley, Idaho.

The award is given for outstanding work on, or in part on, sustaining ski history.

“The book is really about the people who have gathered over the years at the base of the mountain and who have made the mountain part of their life,” said Scott.

“One of the signatures in my books is I don’t just focus on the famous people like Bill Peyto and A.O. Wheeler. Yes, I’ve included them, but I also include a lot of other people who never otherwise get mentioned. The community is made up of thousands of interesting people.”

It’s in these treasured stories and 382 lively photographs that make up the coffee table book.

The first 30 years Scott lived in the mountains were all about adventures through skiing and climbing, he said. In the past 30, the mountaineer transitioned to writing its rich history.

“My life has been books and mountains,” he said.

Scott added Assiniboine has a special aura around it, though.

Mount Assiniboine, located in British Columbia in the Canadian Rockies bordering Banff National Park in Alberta, is a massive pyramid-shaped peak with an elevation of 3,618 metres.

Its colossal size and remarkable beauty has made it a popular adventure destination. Many visitors to the area, skiers, climbers and hikers often find refuge at the famed Assiniboine Lodge at the base of the mountain.

The rustic structure was built in the late 1920s and broke ground becoming Canada’s first backcountry ski lodge. In 1929, its inaugural guests arrived at the area.

“I had always seen that there was the opportunity for a good book about Assiniboine and it was in the back of my mind for a long time that that would make a good story, but it was really Barb [Renner],” said Scott.

Described as the “spirit behind the book,” Renner, a former operator of the lodge for 27 years, researched its history, collected thousands of photographs, and corresponded with old binders and guests to help bring the book together.

“She always believed in preserving the history of Assiniboine, and in the end, we did,” said Scott.


Jordan Small

About the Author: Jordan Small

Jordan Small joined the Outlook in 2014 and covers the vast world of sports in the Bow Valley. A Barrie, Ont. native, he also wrote for RMO's Mountain Guide section and the MD of Bighorn beat.
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