Inner Ranges

An Anthology of Mountain Thoughts and Mountain People

By (author): Geoff Powter
Foreword by: Chris Bonington
ISBN 9781771602877
Softcover | Publication Date: September 7, 2018
Book Dimensions: 5.25 in x 8 in
360 Pages

About the Book

Winner of the 2019 Banff Mountain Book Award for Climbing Literature
Winner of the 2019 National Outdoor Book Award for Outdoor Literature
Shortlisted for the 2019 Boardman Tasker Award

Inner Ranges brings together an enlightening and entertaining selection of mountain writing by one of Canada’s most respected adventure journalists and thinkers.

This collection of original and previously published pieces includes provocative editorial and opinion work about the state of adventure, personal tales from a life of exploration and risk-taking, some touches of humour, and award-winning profiles of some of Canada’s mountaineering greats. Stories include conversations with and profiles of alpine personalities such as Barry Blanchard, Sonnie Trotter, Lena Rowat, Raphael Slawinski, David Jones and many more.

Bringing these essays together for the first time has given Geoff the unique opportunity to reflect back on the stories behind the stories, the consequences of their publication, and the sometimes complex processes of writing about adventure and adventurous lives.

About the Author(s)

Geoff Powter has been a mountain writer, editor and presenter for more than 30 years. He has written pieces for magazines and newspapers around the globe, was the editor of the renowned Polar Circus magazine and spent 13 years at the helm of the Canadian Alpine Journal. He has been the host of the Voices of Adventure interview series at the Banff Mountain Book Festival for the past 20 years, and has been a regular contributor to CBC Radio and to the Globe and Mail travel section. He is the author of Strange and Dangerous Dreams: The Fine Line Between Adventure and Madness. Geoff Powter lives in Canmore, AB.


Inner Ranges is a collection of writings, the culmination of a lifetime of puzzling over what it is that motivates climbers and mountain explorers. Geoff Powter comes at it from a unique perspective, that of a practicing clinical psychologist.   Included are his own personal stories, opinion pieces, and insightful profiles of notable climbers.  What adds greatly to the book’s appeal is that Powter has added commentary, evaluating his past writings in a new light and adding clarity in the passing of the years.”
-National Outdoor Book Awards Jury

“The intense but complex relationship between mountains and those who climb them comes alive in this collection of essays. Geoff Powter draws vivid sketches of climbers and writes haunting stories, along with a good deal of self-examination. They are indeed a study of the psyche of climbers in different settings but pitted alongside mountains – within and without.”
– Nandini Purandare, 2019 Banff Mountain Book Competition Jury

“The strength of his story is the sharp contrast of the physicality of mountains with his own self-reflection and transformation as a result of time spent within these landscapes. The stories portray the evolution of those who seek out these places for physical achievement and pleasure and who leave with a deep appreciation of, and respect and admiration for, mountains.”
– BC Studies

“There is some beautiful, provocative and astute mountain writing in this book, and I’ll hope you’ll enjoy the journey through it as much as I have.”
– Chris Bonington

“An astute observer of the many layers and hues of life, of the mountains, and of mountain life, Powter’s inquisitive mind and finely-honed storytelling talent coalesce in the collection to reveal shifting perceptions and opinions, moods and passions.”
– Rocky Mountain Outlook

“Powter’s writing discloses an intelligence and a maturity that ranges beyond mountaineering’s frequent self-absorption. He is able to both view the mountaineering world from within the bubble, and from the outside looking in.”
– Crowfoot Media

“This insightful anthology, stretching back to the beginning of his career, distills his best work while creating a natural extension of his own evolution as a writer.”
– Leslie Anthony, Pique Newsmagazine

“…Powter’s incorporation of twenty-six pieces of mountain adventures, tragedies, conflicts, and fulfillment creates the portrayal of mountains as cultural and environmental landscapes molded by the people and animals within them.”
– BC Studies

“Inner Ranges documents, through a range of literary genres, a prolonged encounter with an inner mountain landscape, and tries to see that landscape through new and ever-sharpening eyes.”
– The Ormsby Review

“…an essential addition to the lore of this country as a place of deep adventure.”
– Gripped Magazine

“With Inner Ranges, he brings those adventures to the page, not in the form of tedious trip reports, but with lucid and honest accounts of triumph and death, intimate profiles of Canada’s most beloved mountain people and even some investigative journalism.”
– Alberta Views

“Anyone with any interest in the craft of adventure essay writing, personal exposé or a broad range of climbing subjects will find much here to justify acquiring a copy of this unique collection”
– Canadian Alpine Journal