Thorington, J. Monroe
(1895-1989)

J. Monroe Thorington was an American opthamologist who first came to the Canadian Rockies in 1914. He became a prominent mountaineer, climbing extensively in the Rockies and completing 52 first ascents in the Rockies and Selkirks. Following explorations and numerous first ascents by Collie in the first decade of the twentieth century, the area around the Columbia Icefield had been ignored for some time until Thorington's visits. In 1923, together with W.S. Ladd and guide Conrad Kain, Thorington completed the second ascent of Mount Columbia, the third ascent of Mount Athabasca, and first ascents of Mount Saskatchewan and North Twin Peak.

Thorington was an important historian as well. After a close association with Conrad Kain, Thorington completed and edited Kain's autobiography after the guide's early death. "Where the Clouds can Go" is a classic of mountain literature. The first "Climber's Guide to the Canadian Rockies" was co-authored by J. Monroe Thorington and he wrote numerous other guidebooks and journal articles for mountaineering associations. But his finest effort was the classic, "The Glittering Mountains of Canada" that was published in 1925.

"We were not pioneers ourselves, but we journeyed over old trails that were new to us, and with hearts open. Who shall distinguish?", summed up Thorington's enjoyment and appreciation of his days in the Canadian Rockies.

[Additional Information: "The Glittering Mountains of Canada". Thorington, J. Monroe. Philadelphia: John W. Lea, 1925]

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