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Coast Mountain explorer Baldwin coming back


Celebration 2010 and the Whistler Public Library are pleased to welcome back John Baldwin for a slide show of his photographs of the Coast Mountains. The show will be held on Thursday, March 6 at 7:30 p.m. at Maurice Young Millennium Place. Tickets are $7 each and are available at MY Place or by calling Ticketmaster at 604-935-8418.

John Baldwin has completed 250 first ascents and pioneered more than a dozen long ski traverses. Adventuring in the Coast Mountains since 1972, he has become one of B.C.'s premier mountaineers.

In an amazing feat of skill and perseverance, Baldwin has skied the entire length of the Pacific Ranges from Bella Coola to Vancouver, an 800 kilometre high-level trek. He completed the last leg of the route in 1992.

In Mountains of the Coast , he writes: "After crossing many of the icefields in the Pacific Ranges, using the familiar pattern of traversing across the width of the range, I did a trip in 1987 that followed the only portion of the southern Coast Mountains that actually forms a divide between interior and coastal drainages. This led through the mountains south of Chilko Lake and ran in the same direction as the main spine of the Coast Mountains. This shift in direction served to trigger the idea of linking up several of the longer traverses, and it soon became apparent that it was possible to form a high-level ski route through the entire length of the Pacific Ranges from Bella Coola to the Fraser Valley. It is a spectacular route, almost entirely on glaciers, crossing half a dozen major icefields and dropping into valleys only three times, where the main divide of the Coast Mountains is severed by major rivers running through the range from the B.C. Interior. It is 400 kilometres long in a straight line, but it is probably close to twice that on the ground, a distance too great to tackle in one go. It took me 10 years, section by section, 75 days in total."

Mountains of the Coast was shortlisted for the 2000 Bill Duthie Booksellers Choice Award, and was the winner of a B.C. 2000 Book Award. Baldwin is also the author of Exploring the Coast Mountains on Skis , and Backcountry Whistler , a topographical recreational route map. Both his books are available at the Whistler Public Library.

His award-winning photography has appeared in Powder, Beautiful B.C., Sierra, Climbing, Ski Trax and the Canadian Alpine Journal .

Baldwin has his MA in engineering from the University of British Columbia. When not climbing mountains, he works as a researcher at the UBC Civil Engineering Department and lives in Vancouver with his wife and two children.

This event is sponsored by Celebration 2010, the Governments of Canada, British Columbia, the City of Vancouver, the Resort Municipality of Whistler and the Canada Council for the Arts.