By Kyle Fiehler
“Bum” is an interesting title for someone who’s just spent some 400 hours poring over a passion project involving topographic cartography. Unless that is– this labor of the love is the most comprehensive map of backcountry skiing along Canada’s Icefields Parkway in existence– then, it makes total sense.
“The Map” is a feature film that details the labor of love behind “Confessions of Ski Bum” author Marcus Baranow’s new guidebook. Previous guide books and their general-purpose maps just left too much to be desired. Barrow believed he needed to include run-outs, up-to-date glaciers, and other information uniquely useful to skiers.
So he decided to undertake a cartography project that would make any geography teacher proud. He stared with a generic map of the area and hand-clicked the contour lines so he could add the relevant beta to a topo that was truly his.
“I wanted to have a true map for skiing,” he says. “That ended up being a really big chore.“
“At first I thought it wasn’t going to be that bad, and I actually estimated at first that it would take me a month.“
An estimated 400+ hours later, after working through wrist pain and the unique fatigue associated with such sustained tedium, Baranow created something unique. The Icefields Parkway: Lake Louise To Bow Summit promises access to the expertise of a man who’s been creating guidebooks of the area for nearly a decade.
Talk about a bum who contributes.