A new book on the life Edward Feuz Jr is set to be released this autumn, with author Donna Stephen offering a glimpse into the life of the Swiss guide in the early 1900s in Golden.
Describing him as handsome and charismatic, Stephen says that Feuz was a family friend and compiled her research based on her own personal experiences.
She spoke with his family and friends, such as Feuz’s daughter Gertie Marrs, his niece Jean Vaughan and nephew Syd Feuz (two of Walter and Johanna Feuz’s children) and Alice Pollard (Ernest and Elise Feuz’s daughter).
Rudi Gertsch and Sepp Renner were also very helpful, according to Stephen.
She also completed extensive research at the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies in Banff.
For Stephen, she’s hoping that people in Golden and in the Columbia Valley will be able to read her book and find a new appreciation for the early mountaineers and the history of the town.
“I’m hoping they’ll remember that these were people who were individuals with separate personalities and aren’t we lucky to have them in Golden,” said Stephen.
“I hope it will inspire people and help them appreciate the mountains. I hope they’ll find it charming and for people who never knew him, to help to connect with this important and interesting past.”
Feuz came over to Canada in 1903 and quickly became one of the most famous Swiss guides in the area.
He has over 100 first assents to his name, more than any of his peers, says Stephen, but he never did it for the fame.
His life was filled with a passion for the outdoors, as he continued to climb well into his 90s, before passing away at the age of 94.
Stephen says her book is more than just a retelling of Feuz’s life, but also provides a historical context to the era and the people he surrounded himself with.
It’s about the journey and passion for the mountains that he embodied, she says.
“His life was defined by an insatiable passion, a passion for climbing mountains and an equal passion for helping people get up them. He was really a charming personality and a real character,” said Stephen.
“It was really interesting doing the research, to see people 100 years ago saying the same things about him that I always felt.
“People were just smitten with him.”
The book is set to release this coming fall, with Stephen saying to see it come to fruition has been rewarding.
“Just seeing the cover is mindblowing, the first time I saw it already on the bookstore wall in Canmore was thrilling,” said Stephen.
“The tremendous support from everyone has been fantastic.”
The book is now available for pre-order from major booksellers or on the book’s webpage Amazon.ca/Edward- Feuz-Jr-Story-of-Enchantment.