Review: Soul of Wilderness by John Baldwin and Linda Bily

Soul of Wilderness is a beautiful coffee table book with excellent photographs by authors John Baldwin and Linda Bily. The mountain explorers will present their newly-published work at the Canuck Splitfest on Jan. 9th.

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John Baldwin and Linda Bily will present Soul of Wilderness: Mountain Journeys in Western B.C. and Alaska at the Canuck Splitfest at the Coast Hillcrest Hotel on Jan. 9. Here is a preview of their new book published by Harbour Publishing in October of 2015.

Soul of Wilderness brings John Baldwin and Linda Bily’s readers into the world of British Columbia and Alaska’s wilderness. Those who are familiar with John Baldwin have likely made use of his guide book, Exploring the Coast Mountains on Skis (John Baldwin, 2009). Baldwin’s encyclopaedic knowledge of even the most remote areas of the Coast Mountains is apparent in his latest effort.

Soul of Wilderness is a beautiful coffee table book with excellent photographs by both Bily and Baldwin. Their trip reports detail some truly inspiring and epic trips through the Coast Mountains’ numerous icefields and mountain ranges. It is also a work about wilderness, conservation, and the unique natural beauty of our province’s geography. Readers are invited to experience wilderness through their words and pictures, and to become acquainted with its importance.

John Baldwin and Linda Bily will present South of Wilderness: Mountain Journeys in Western B.C. and Alaska at the Canuck Splitfest at the Coast Hillcrest Hotel on Jan. 9. This image is a promotional poster for the event.
John Baldwin and Linda Bily will present Soul of Wilderness: Mountain Journeys in Western B.C. and Alaska at the Canuck Splitfest at the Coast Hillcrest Hotel on Jan. 9. This image is a promotional poster for the event.

It should be noted that Soul of Wilderness definitely reads as a collection of trip reports and not a wilderness epic. There are sections which describe fairly mundane trip details — details that might be untenable to those uninitiated to the rigours of long wilderness trips. Overall, however, Bily and Baldwin’s accounts give a solid picture of what is entailed in traversing ridges, ice fields, and mountain ranges over days and weeks. It would be helpful to accompany this book with a fairly detailed map, as the map at the outset of the book is quite basic.

Be warned that Baldwin and Bily’s accounts of their lengthy wilderness trips will almost certainly inspire you to quit your job and head for the hills. Soul of Wilderness would make a great gift for any lover of the outdoors – just ensure that you don’t give it to anyone on whose income you depend.

Soul of Wilderness
Mountain Journeys in Western BC and Alaska
Harbour Publishing
Hardback
166 colour photos
9 x 11 – 176 pp
October 2015
CAD$36.95 • USD$36.95

Order online directly through Harbour Publishing at this link.

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