Examine the life of the pioneering guide in these 144 letters sharing his thoughts on immigrating to Canada, his passion for nature, his travels, and more.
Conrad Kain is a titan amongst climbers in Canada and is well-known in mountaineering circles all over the world. His letters to Amelie Malek—a life-long friend—offer a candid view into the deepest thoughts of the Austrian mountain guide, and are a perfect complement to his autobiography, Where the Clouds Can Go. The 144 letters provide a unique and personal view of what it meant to immigrate to Canada in the early part of the twentieth century. Kain’s letters are ordered chronologically with annotations, keeping the sections in English untouched, while those in German have been carefully translated. Historians and mountain culture enthusiasts worldwide will appreciate Kain’s genius for description, his passion for nature, his opinions, and his musings about his life.
“In a culture that enjoys as many romantic figures as there are mountain peaks on the horizon as viewed from a lofty summit, Conrad Kain holds a special place in the historical landscape of western Canada’s mountains. Robinson . . . makes no secret of his affection for Kain, and that's a good thing, because he handles the letters Kain wrote throughout his adult life while guiding in Canada and New Zealand to his dear friend in Austria, Amelie Malek, with the care and reverence they so richly deserve.” —Lynn Martel, Alpine Club of Canada Gazette
“From his letters, it’s obvious that Kain loved climbing mountains for the physical challenge, to meet interesting people, to make a living, and for opportunities to travel around the world, but most especially because of his all-consuming love of the natural world.” — Cyndi M. Smith, The Canadian Field-Naturalist, Vol. 129, No. 1