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Katie Gardner (Courtesy Whyte Museum, M67 Box 7 Album 4)

Katie Gardner


Katie Gardner completed thirty-three first ascents in the Canadian Rockies. More than any other lady. Only three men, other than professional guides, exceeded her total.

Katherine Gardner arrived for her first season of climbing in the Canadian Rockies in 1929, traveling alone on the CPR. However she was no stranger to climbing and exploration. The daughter of a distinguished British climber who was the first to reach the summit of Mount Elbruz in the Caucasus, she had often accompanied him on his annual climbing trip to the Alps. Upon her arrival in Banff she contacted Walter Feuz, the youngest of a family of alpine guides brought over from Switzerland by the CPR, and together with two packers they explored the country between the Bow Valley and Crowsnest Pass making five first ascents and climbing Mount AssiniboineKen Jones, who has been a guide in the Rockies since the 1930''s and currently resides in Nanton, remembers meeting Katie at Shadow Lake in Banff National Park. He was to lead Miss Gardiner and two friends on an ascent of Mount BallWalter Perren. When in their fifties, Katie and guides Edward Feuz jr. and Christian Hasler jr. climbed Mount RobsonGeorgia Engelhard. Georgia completed 32 first ascents in the Selkirk and Rocky Mountains and Katie, 33.

[Additional Information: Smith, Cyndi. "Off the Beaten Track". Lake Louise: Coyote Books, 1989]