Amery, Leopold
Edward Feuz jr. (l) and Leopold Amery on the summit of Mount Amery. Photo by Brian Merideth (Courtesy Whyte Museum, NA-66-2117)
(1873-1955)

Leopold Charles Maurice Stennett Amery was born in Britain and was a journalist with the London Times before beginning a career as a politician, serving in the British Parliament for thirty-four years. In the latter years of his career he played a role in bringing down the Chamberlain Government during the darkest days of World War II. In the great parliamentary debate of May 7, 1940, addressing Chamberlain from the government benches, he quoted Cromwell's words, "Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!" Chamberlain resigned thus opening the way for Winston Churchill, Amery's friend from schooldays at Harrow, to become the wartime prime minister.

Amery had visited the Canadian Rockies in 1909 but, "it was not until a disagreement with the electorate in the spring of 1929 released me from the cares of office that I felt that I was justly entitled to a real holiday." He had a special motive for this visit however since the Geographical Board of Canada had named Mount Amery in his honour. As a parliamentarian, Amery had promoted trade reforms with Canada and worked towards advancing the constitutional arrangements with former British colonies. The Canadian government of the day must have had great respect for him as Canadian mountains are rarely named for living persons. "To me the challenge (of making the first ascent at the age of 56) was obvious as well as "proving myself, as a mountaineer and not merely as politician, justified of the appellation."

Amery was joined by Brian Meridith, a skier and Canadian Pacific Railway public relations officer and they were guided by Edward Feuz jr. Arthur O. Wheeler accompanied the expedition but did not participate in the climb.

A route was difficult to locate up the steep cliffs that were quite "rotten" and broke away easily. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate either and deteriorated to the point that Feuz suggested turning back. Amery insisted that they press on, writing later that when they reached the summit, "Here we felt the full force of the blizzard and were more than once hard put to it to keep our feet...I had made good my claim to Mount Amery in the mountaineering sense. The view I had to forgo." The party had to spend the night on the mountain while descending. Amery was most pleased with his climb and Edward Feuz must have been too. The guides took great pride in getting someone famous to the top of "their" mountain.

[Additional Information: Amery, Leopold. "In the Rain and the Sun". London & New York: Hutchinson, 1946]

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