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Photo: Alfred Ostheimer (courtesy Whyte Archives)

Alfred J. Ostheimer


A.J. Ostheimer was an American who first visited the Rockies in the early 1920Ís, climbing Mount TempleWalter Feuz. Later that year he climbed Mount Ranier with Hans Fuhrer. The following year he returned to the Rockies, completing four ascents with J. Monroe Thorington, Max Strumia and Hans Fuhrer. These included first ascents of Mount KaneMount HookerMount OatesSimon PeakEdward Feuz jr.. During this trip four of the five peaks of Mount LyellCurly Phillips.

Ostensibly the reason for this effort was to fulfill the requirements of a field component for a geology course he was taking at Harvard University. But clearly there was more to it than that. He later wrote that, "We came to explore little known and unknown country; we came for first ascents and the acquisition of scientific knowledge."

Ostheimer did not climb seriously after this most incredible summer in the Canadian Rockies. He went on to a successful career in the insurance business and, as well, became an expert in malacology, the study of shells, and Indian, Mexican, and Hawaiian artifacts and art objects. He visited the Rockies again in 1977, fifty years after his most memorable year of climbing.

Alfred OstheimerÍs journal of his adventures in 1927 was published by the Alpine Club of Canada in 2002. It is titled, "Every Other Day."