New Book, Old Friends

I met adventure photographer Pat Morrow a few months after starting my first job as an assistant editor at Ottawa’s Canadian Geographic (then known as the Canadian Geographical Journal) in the mid-1970s. The Kimberley, B.C. native had bought a Greyhound bus pass in order to roam around for a month to show eastern photo editors his portfolio.

That day, I bought two photo essays to liven up the magazine’s (then) dreary pages — hang gliding in the mountains and frozen waterfall climbing in the Rockies — and took him home to crash on my couch for a few days.

Five years later, Pat was preparing to climb Mount Everest and I was the executive editor of Equinox, Canada’s hot new magazine of discovery (headquartered Continue reading

EIGHT ways to do justice to a lifetime of photography

 Canadian photographer Pat Morrow has travelled the globe in pursuit of adventure over the past 40 years. Along the way, he:

  • became the 132nd person to summit Mount Everest,
  • set the standard for climbing the highest mountain on each continent (AKA The Seven Summits) and,
  • won more than a dozen national awards for his photos and videography.

Frank and Pat taking a break from photo editing. 2012.

Recently, Pat launched a new adventure by collaborating on a stunning iBook about Mount Everest with fellow mountaineer Sharon Wood and me. (I’ve been a friend of Pat’s since our earliest magazine days when I was at Canadian Geographic and he was a rookie freelance photographer.)

The result — Everest: High Expectations — is a beautiful iBook especially produced for Apple’s iPad. It’s loaded with 145 photographs as well as a half dozen video and audio clips. And also 50,000 words.

Here are 8 reasons why we embraced the concept of the new “coffee tablet” book.

  1. The iPad’s Hi-Def retina display gives photographs an almost Continue reading

Reviews and News

Publisher Embraces iFuture

The Ottawa Sun, Ottawa, Ontario. January 19, 2013

Frank B. Edwards has never been afraid to chart unknown literary waters. When he was starting his children’s book publishing business in the early ’90s, he was one of the first to use desktop publishing.

Now he’s one of the first to get into iBook publishing, which is specifically engineered for that medium…

Greg Burliuk, Arts Reporter, The Kingston Whig-Standard. January 17, 2013. Read it here.


“Everest Book Celebrates Climbing and Publishing Firsts”

Pique Newsmagazine, Whistler, B.C. December 20, 2012

In a narrative sense, it’s the first publication to tell the story of how the preparation, unfolding tragedies and successes of the 1982 expedition spurred the particular planning, execution and triumph of the 1986 expedition…

Not stopping at still photos, the hybrid book also incorporates video and audio footage from both the ’82 and ’86 expeditions, which literally bring the story to life — including breathless commentary by Skreslet as he films an avalanche thundering down a not-very-distant slope, adding an extra dimension of drama and depth to the story.

You can feel the cold in Skreslet’s voice…

More than just a book, Everest: High Expectations is a well-written, introspective and thoughtful story artfully told in a 3D multi-media experience…

Lynn Martel, Pique Newsmagazine, Whistler, B.C. December 20, 2012. Read it here.


Explorers Club of Canada

Jason Schoonover writes in the ECC Fall 2012 newsletter:

…(Sharon’s) personal account was most gripping when she writes about the personal ordeal, how close she constantly was to death, and reinforces to me why these beautiful crazies do these crazy, dangerous things.


Word-of-mouth department

Former editor of the American Alpine Journal, John Harlin III, has been giving Everest rave reviews to mountaineering editors around the world.

Everest: High Expectations, by Pat Morrow and Sharon Wood, is at the vanguard of the new wave in publishing. It’s an iPad-only book about two milestone Canadian expeditions to Everest in the 1980s. One journey takes Pat Morrow to the summit after four people died early in the expedition. The other is Sharon Wood’s struggle for the top via a new route with no Sherpa support… Both of these stories are historically important and superbly written.
… this is the first mountain book to fully utilize the incredible new iBooksAuthor system from Apple, which helps authors create multi-media “coffee tablet books.” I think it’s brilliant. It brings a book to life like never before, including slideshows, video, and sound clips. And yet the design follows the aesthetic tradition of a photo-heavy book that you’d proudly display on your coffee table. So it’s a “coffee tablet” book.
I’m convinced that growth in publishing will be in tablets and I recommend this book for two reasons:
1) these are gripping good tales that are gorgeous to look at, and
2) this book is making history, as perhaps the very first climbing book designed specifically for today’s most exciting medium.

Adventure Zone

Adventure Zone

Canadian Geographic, December 2012

This isn’t so much a review as an enthusiastic announcement of Everest: High Expectations in Canadian Geographic‘s Travel Club newsletter — in the Adventure Zone column. Read it here.


iTunes Reviewers/Readers

Gourgeous Book! by Shh!Siena

This book is as beatiful as they come. … I almost feel like I was on those 1980s climbs.

High Marks by ergonaught

The iBook format is ideal for these excellent accounts… This is the real stuff about climbing. The photos are terrific especially on the iPad, and more abundant than any printed book can contain; the writing clear and direct as a high-altitude wind.

Fantastic by Bob2cow

You can almost fell yourself up on the mountains and in the cold with Pat. A wonderful photographer. I read the story in one sitting… An amazing story by a real mountaineer.

Breathless on Everest by Michael Buckley (author of Eccentric Explorers)

… this is more than just a book recounting groundbreaking summit bids: afterword sections take on controversies that embroil the mountaineering world… It’s a highly inspiration read.

Everest Canada by Tom Hopkins

Indelible accounts of the two expeditions that pushed Canada onto the mountaineering world stage. Bonus: a clear-eyed meditation on recent Everest shenanigans and the mutable nature of adventure by two climbing elders whose opinions matter. Timely and refreshing.

Everest: High Expectations by Mike Mortimer (past president, Alpine Club of Canada)

It is not often that you get a chance to joing the adventures of two of Canada’s pioneer Himalayan mountaineers… fine first person narrative… greatly enhanced by Pat Morrow’s stunning photography and the use of video clips.

A multimedia breakthrough in climbing storytelling by Saul Greenberg (mountaineer)

This book represents a breakthrough in how climbers tell stories… I’;ve read other accounts of the various Canadian Everest expeditions, but the multiple storytelling and visula perspectives offered by this book retells the story in a fresh way. This book is… a trend-setter in this new media.

A fine read by Geoff Powter (Voices of Adventure, Banff)

…excellent views of what Everest can be at its best: wild, challenging, dangerous and inspiring. A unique view of a unique time.

Pat Morrow

Sharon Wood and Pat Morrow. 2012.

Sharon Wood and Pat Morrow. 2012.

Pat Morrow was born in Invermere and grew up in Kimberley, British Columbia, the son of a construction carpenter. His parents taught him their love of the outdoors and he began hiking and climbing as a teenager. At age 19, he almost died with two friends during their winter ascent of Mount Assinboine when they got caught by darkness just below the summit and had to spend a night on the mountain with no tent or sleeping bags. The experience did nothing to discourage his love of high-altitude, winter ascents.

After a brief stint as a photographer with the Calgary Herald, Pat studied photography at the Banff School of Fine Arts. He quickly learned that photography could support his love of mountain climbing and he made a name for himself as an adventure photographer willing to go anywhere in the world for little more than expense money and rolls of film.

He met Bungalo publisher Frank B. Edwards in early 1976 after dropping into the offices of  Canadian Geographic (then called Canadian Geographical Journal) where Frank was working as a junior editor. Frank bought Pat’s first magazine features (frozen waterfall climbing and hang gliding) and the pair became lifelong friends.

When Frank went to work at Harrowsmith magazine and helped launch Equinox, Pat found enthusiastic buyers for his work. His features in Equinox included mountain adventures in China, Tanzania, Indonesia, Argentina and Nepal.

Pat and Lhakpa Tshering. Everest. 1982.

Pat and Lhakpa Tshering. Everest. 1982.

In 1982, Pat became the second Canadian to summit Mount Everest (two days behind expedition colleague Laurie Skreslet). He then spent several more years becoming the first climber to top the world’s Seven Summits (highest peak on each continent) including Australasia’s Carstenz Pyramid, an accomplishment later repeated by international climbing star Reinhold Messner. Pat’s book Beyond Everest: Quest for the Seven Summits was published in 1986 by Camden House Publishing.

Pat now lives in Wilmer, British Columbia with his photographer/writer wife Baiba. Their house overlooks the Columbia River and is surrounded by mountains.

Visit his Facebook page.