Engelhard, Georgia
Photo: Georgia Engelhard (courtesy Whyte Archives)
(1906-1985)

A native of New York, Georgia Engelhard enjoyed hiking in the eastern US as a child and studied art in college later and after abandoning painting, and focused on photography.

She had visited the European Alps in her teens and climbed with her father in the Mount Ranier area in 1926. Later that year the family visited the Canadian Rockies and Georgia climbed Pinnacle Mountain with Edward Feuz jr. She was a regular visitor to the Rockies, visiting fifteen summers during the next three decades.

Georgia grew to love the Canadian Rockies. She wrote, "In 1929, I came out on my own and my career really began. In nine days I climbed nine peaks: Mount Lefroy, the traverse of the two Pope's Peaks, the traverse of Haddo Peak and Mount Aberdeen, Mount Hungabee, Mount Huber, Mount Victoria, and Mount Biddle. It was considered quite a feat."

Following her climbs of these nine impressive peaks in as many days, "The day after my last climb, the day of departure, I got up at 4 a.m. A silver full moon flooded the calm, mirrorlike lake with silver, and silver were the Victoria Glaciers beyond. with my easy loping mountaineer's stride less than two hours brought me to the summit of Mount St. Piran, 3000 feet above Lake Louise. The lake and valley were still in deep shadow, but the surrounding peaks, all I had climbed, were bathed in golden rosy light. I was seized by an indescribable ecstasy, filled with the joy of conquest. They were all mine -my beautiful, private, world of mountains. Yet, at the same time, I felt how infinitesimal I was. It was an unforgettable experience."

During 1931 she climbed a total of 38 peaks in the Rockies and the Selkirks. She stood on the summit of Mount Victoria eight times that summer, seven of the trips being part of the filming of the movie, "She Climbs to Conquer."

Engelhard completed 32 first ascents in the Rockies and Selkirks. She, to some extent, competed for first ascents with Katie Gardiner who completed 33.

In 1935 she climbed in Europe for the first time. She was joined by Eaton "Tony" Cromwell, a veteran mountaineer whom she married in 1947 after several years of climbing together in the Canadian Rockies. They retired to Switzerland spending their final years enjoying the Alps together. During the last forty years of her life, Georgia never returned to the Canadian Rockies where she had spent much of her youth.

She considered the best compliment regarding her enthusiasm and stamina to have been offered by her guide, Ernest Feuz after she and Tony Cromwell had done the Victoria, Collier, Pope's Peak Traverse. Ernest said, "Dat Chorcha, she vants to do too much." He described her as, "tough and wiry and climbed so fast she often had us guides puffing to keep up."

[Additional Information: Smith, Cyndi. "Off the Beaten Track". Lake Louise: Coyote Books, 1989]

[Additional Information: "Lake Louise Days -A letter from Georgis Engelhard-Cromwell" as found on page 43 of "Lake Louise -A Diamond in the Wilderness" by Jon Whyte and Carole Harmon]

[Excellent photo: Glenbow NA 4868-195]

[See Mount Engelhard; Engelhard Tower; Mount Cromwell]

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