Edward Feuz Jr.

A Story of Enchantment

Reviewed by Brooke Campbell

Posted January 14, 2023

Edward Feuz Jr. came to Canada in 1903 along with his father, Edward Feuz Sr. The elder man had visited Canada beginning in the spring of 1899 to work as one of the first Swiss guides hired by the Canadian Pacific Railway, but he returned to Switzerland after each year’s climbing season.

Feuz Jr. settled in Canada and became a prolific mountaineer. He claimed more than one hundred first ascents of mountains — in most cases becoming the first person to reach a mountaintop, and on other occasions establishing new routes — while leading visitors to the tops of the famous peaks of the Canadian Rockies.

In Edward Feuz Jr.: A Story of Enchantment, psychologist, writer, and hiking guide Donna Stephen provides an intimate portrait of Feuz and his contributions to Canadian alpinism. Woven throughout the biography, and providing additional colour to the story, are Stephen’s memories of Feuz. She grew up visiting Edward and his wife, Martha, in Golden, B.C., every summer with her family, and as a young adult she continued to climb and to hike with Feuz.

This personal connection to the story provides a touching impression of Feuz and the vivaciousness with which he approached living among the mountains. As explained by Stephen, “Mountain climbing for Edward was not a symbol or an allegory about life. It was life. From his point of view, it was life lived in the best of all possible experiential ways.”

Throughout the pages of Edward Feuz Jr. there is a radiating sense of love and appreciation for the mountains and a subtle encouragement to readers to find that which brings pure enchantment and joy.

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This article originally appeared in the February-March 2023 issue of Canada’s History.

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