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The Gift: A Brief History Of Mountaineering



Despite his mountaineering accomplishments, which include the first winter ascent of Mount Assiniboine (1967) and the ascent of Myagdi Matha (1973), hands-on historian Chip Scott insists that climbing “is not about getting to the top.”

Now in his mid-sixties, Scott says climbing is “all about style,” and for that reason, it’s a very difficult sport to communicate.

Not for Scott, however. He shows little trouble telling us what climbing is all about in the short film, “The Gift,” a powerful and informative documentary directed by Canadian photographer Andrew Querner.

In it, Scott describes how he and his friends crossed the Canadian contintental divide in the 60s, camping out in tents made before the invention of the term “wind-proof,” and home-tailoring courderoy pants into climbing knickers.

Such was the way men climbed half a century ago, not much different even than explorers and academics climbed in the 1880s, when Canada’s rich climbing history first began.

“The Gift” covers those humble beginnings, brings us into the modern era and, though it focuses on Canadadian mountaineering, a subsection of the sport neglected historically in climbing circles and on coffee tables, “The Gift’s” real gifts are the nuggets of wisdom imparted by Scott on climbing in general.

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