On Friday, May 4, Cranbrook’s Janice Strong will be in Fernie signing copies of her new adventure guide at Polar Peak Books, from 3 to 5 p.m.
The new release, Mountain Footsteps: Hikes in the East Kootenay of Southeastern British Columbia – 4th Edition, aims to inspire individuals to get outside and experience the beauty of the surrounding valleys.
Strong is who many consider a local hiking veteran. This year marks the 25th anniversary of Mountain Footsteps. She has been expanding her knowledge of the area enough over these years to create four editions of her book.
Accompanying the text, which includes in-depth guides about some of the best trails and routes in the area, are enhanced colour maps and beautiful photos from Strong’s hikes. Along with instructions, Strong often includes personal stories of her experiences on each trail; from storms, to incredible mountain life, to sunset/sunrises and wildflower meadows.
“I’ve hiked them all,” said Strong. “My husband and I have taken the photographs.”
Strong says that even non-hikers tend to enjoy her book, as her personal logs describe exactly how she was feeling during the hike.
The 400-page book covers the areas between the Rocky Mountains in the east and the Purcell Range in the west, including trips in the Cranbrook, Kimberley, Creston, Invermere, Radium and Fernie areas. Also featured are the BC Provincial Parks Akamina–Kishinena, Top of the World, Height of the Rockies, Elk Lakes, St. Mary’s Alpine and Bugaboo Glacier.
Strong loves that the mountains in the East Kootenays aren’t marked and mapped like some of the provincial parks. Additionally, she loves the variety of terrain here.
“We have glaciers to grassland,” she said.
The guide also includes basic information on established bike trails for those users interested in recreational cycling. There is a new selection of day hikes in the northern Purcells and a number of short hikes and walks in the lower elevations of the East Kootenay.
Strong is an avid hiker, snowshoer and skier as well as an established outdoor photographer whose images appear in publications and collections all over the world. For a decade, she led hikes for the City of Cranbrook’s Parks & Recreation department.
Strong hopes that readers will gain an appreciation of the surrounding environment and discover new places to go adventuring.