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Cranbrook author gives reading of historical novel

Author Keith Powell is hosting a public reading of his book on the life of Conrad Kain.  - Photo submitted
Author Keith Powell is hosting a public reading of his book on the life of Conrad Kain.
— image credit: Photo submitted

Kootenay author, Keith G. Powell, will officially launch his second historical novel entitled, Raising Kain, the adventurous life of Conrad Kain – Canada’s greatest mountaineer, this Friday at 7:00 pm at the Cranbrook Public Library’s Manual Training Room.

“Though the book has been out for a couple of months I haven’t had an opportunity to officially launch it,” said Keith Powell.  “So I am inviting everyone to come to the Library to enjoy a reading, slide show, entertainment and some refreshments.  The slide show follows our recent trip back to Nasswald, Austria, the hometown village of Conrad Kain.”

Acclaimed singer/songwriter Mark Koenig will be traveling over from Creston to sing several of his songs including a tribute to Conrad Kain entitled Where the Clouds Can Go.

In 1909, twenty-five year-old Conrad Kain, from the tiny Austrian village of Nasswald, located in the heart of the Rax Mountains, boarded the CPR ship the Empress of Britain, en route to the Canadian Rockies.  Never did he imagine the adventurous life that lay before him, as the first official mountain guide of the newly formed Alpine Club of Canada (ACC).

This historical novel tells the story of Conrad Kain’s 25 years in Canada in a manner, which reflects the overall spirit and experience of the early days of alpine adventure in the Canadian Rockies – from his arrival as a young man to his later years in and around Wilmer in the Columbia Valley.

With almost 70 first ascents or new routes on peaks throughout the Canadian Rockies and 59 ascents (29 first ascents) in New Zealand, Conrad Kain, was recognized as “the prince of Canadian mountain guides” – in what can only be called the Golden Age of mountaineering in Canada.

Conrad Kain has an enduring legacy in the Canadian Rockies and he is still fondly remembered for his mountaineering skills and colourful sense of humour.

“It is my hope that this book, Raising Kain, the adventurous life of Conrad Kain – Canada’s greatest mountaineer, captures the rich heritage and legacy that Conrad Kain left behind in his relatively short but extraordinary life in the Canadian Rockies,” said Keith Powell, author and publisher.

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