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Canadian Rocky Mountain Travel Gems

Canadian Rockies Trail Guide by Brian Patton and Bart Robinson.

Canada’s Rocky Mountains have been a high profile visitor destination for well over a century. Travelers vividly recall with affection their favorite craggy mountain, a magical hiking trail or a startlingly blue or turquoise lake long after they have fallen under the spell of this uniquely-compelling environment in any season.

Certainly Andrew Hempstead would endorse the truth of such a lure to the Canadian Rockies. After 17 years of life on the road as a travel writer and photographer and over 20 guidebooks to his credit, he moved to Banff, Alberta and bought a local publishing house to ensure that books about the region continue to flow into the hands of those who love the Rockies and want to learn about them. In 2008 alone, his company Summerthought Publishing, www.summerthought.com, has released six Rockies-focused titles, including three first editions.

The clear veteran in the book mix is Canadian Rockies Trail Guide by Brian Patton and Bart Robinson (CAD$24.95), first published in 1971 and now in its 8th edition. With over 229 hikes for all levels of fitness, it is considered a hiking “bible” with over 240,000 copies in print, and the only guide recommended by Fodor’s, Frommer’s and Lonely Planet. “We have a special niche market and a loyal following,” comments Andrew. “But we must keep moving forward with fresh ideas that keep our readers engaged, informed and entertained.”

The Canadian Rockies, a book by Andrew Hempstead.

Just coming off the press in May 2009 is a stunning coffee table book showcasing Andrew’s own photography and words entitled simply The Canadian Rockies. Temptingly priced at CAD$19.95, this 96-page 10x10 inch gem is offering buyer-choice of four different covers which has to be something pretty unique in itself. Another element of which Andrew is particularly proud is that photos used in the book have not been manipulated in any way. “The colors may not be as saturated as other photo books,” he says, “but we believe the Canadian Rockies are stunning exactly as they appear in real life.”

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