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Biography & Autobiography Adventurers & Explorers

Capturing The Summit

Hamilton Mack Laing and the Mount Logan Expedition of 1925

by (author) Trevor Marc Hughes

Ronsdale Press
Initial publish date
Jun 2023
Adventurers & Explorers
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2023
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jun 2023
    List Price

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In this classic adventure story, the diaries of two men, a scientist and a mountaineer, reveal their distinct struggles in the unforgiving wilds of the northern landscape.

Four months alone in the remote windswept wilderness, adventurer and ecologist Hamilton Mack Laing spends his days deeply immersed in observing the natural world of the Chitina River valley. He endures dust storms, befriends a family of ravens and fearlessly tracks elusive bears.

At the same time, Fred Lambart documents the gruelling expedition to the summit of Mount Logan, the highest peak in Canada. In their primitive wool gloves and canvas trousers, the mountaineers soldier on across the frozen landscape despite escalating tempers and rivalries.

Written nearly 100 years ago, Laing and Lambart's diaries give the reader a visceral, tactile and cinematic experience of the north in this remarkable tale highlighted with archival photos.

About the author

Trevor Marc Hughes is an historian, writer and filmmaker. He began exploring the history of British Columbia while riding his motorcycle across the province. He has produced and directed two documentary films and is currently working on a third documentary about his grandfather's younger days on the Fraser River. He lives in Vancouver, BC.

Trevor Marc Hughes' profile page

Editorial Reviews

"What stands out in the book is the clever way Hughes juxtaposes the two solitudes of Laing, on one hand, languishing in the forested lower country interacting with birds and animals, and the mountaineers on the other, ensconced on rock and ice." - The BC Review

"With the help of both Laing's and Lambart's diaries, Hughes delivers two adventure stories for the price of one. Two men, a naturalist and a mountaineer, offer the reader a visceral experience of the North and its mighty landscapes." - Vancouver Sun

Hughes "writes with a strong sense of the epic that at times leaves one holding one's breath with anticipation or fear, at times wanting to clap and cheer for the participants out loud, and at times smiling or even chuckling at an event that feels well-deserved, or shows the resourceful strategies used to circumvent a potential downfall or to amuse the person or persons involved." -Miramichi Reader

"Hughes deftly weaves two compelling stories." - BC BookWorld

"Hughes does much to rescue from obscurity the life and times of Hamilton Mack Laing, the exploratory naturalist who breathed science into the epic first ascent of Canada's highest peak." - Zac Robinson, chair, expeditions committee, Royal Canadian Geographical Society

"Mack was left alone in the remote wilderness, relying on his ingenuity and resourcefulness to survive. Many of the species he collected are now under threat from climate change. Essentially, Mack was an ecological historian." - Mack Laing Historical Society