Mountains of the Coast


119 pages
Contains Maps
ISBN 1-55017-213-1
DDC 971.1'104'0222





Photos by John F.Baldwin
Reviewed by Patricia Morley

Patricia Morley is professor emerita of English and Canadian Studies at
Concordia University and an avid outdoor recreationist. She is also the
author of The Mountain Is Moving: Japanese Women’s Lives, Kurlek, and
Margaret Laurence: The Long Journey Hom


The impressive photographs in this, John Baldwin’s second book, are a
tribute to the intrepid spirit of adventurers and to the unique beauty
of B.C.’s Coast Mountains. There is a relatively brief text, succinct
and informative, structured in four chapters: “Introduction,” “On
Foot,” “On Skis,” and “In the Silence.” Individual captions
accompany each photo.

Baldwin, a Vancouver mountaineer who often partnered with fellow
climber John Clarke, has spent 25 years exploring and photographing the
immense mountains that stand along B.C.’s western edge, from the
Alaskan panhandle to Vancouver. Mountains of the Coast is the first
published record of Baldwin’s more than 250 first ascents and epic ski
traverses. His photos have won many awards. He is also a researcher in
civil engineering at the University of British Columbia.

Baldwin writes about trip planning, friendships among dedicated
climbers, and the thrill of being the first human to scale a remote
peak. His prose is clear and dramatic: “the mountains’ ‘toes’
sit right in the ocean, and like barnacles in the surf below they are
constantly lashed with moisture from the sea.”

Some photos are sublime, some stunning, others quietly serene. Armchair
travelers will find a feast for eye and spirit, while fellow
mountaineers will garner precious information.


Baldwin, John., “Mountains of the Coast,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 27, 2024,