Ain’t It Hell
By: E.J. (Ted) Hart
Publication date: April 2008, reprinted 2019
224 pages | Paperback | 6 x 9 inches
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“I headed downslope to where the cubs were feeding and came up at them, hoping to scare them into one or another of my mining shafts for protection. It worked perfectly, as they ran for the nearest dark hole, and I went in with my ropes on the ready to see if I could catch one. I could hear the little fellows squealing in the dark and I paused a moment to let my eyes adjust. Just then I heard a tremendous roar and knew the sow was coming on the run looking for her wayward offspring. It didn’t take her a moment to pick up the scent and she headed straight for the mouth of the shaft bent on destruction….”
−Bill Peyto’s Mountain Journal May 15, 1910
Travel back in time through the fictional journal entries of Bill Peyto, Banff’s most legendary figure. Along the way you will marvel at his accomplishments as an early park warden, be amazed by his adventures as a mountain guide, and be drawn in by his infamously unsophisticated personal life.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
E. J. (TED) HART’s life and career have been dominated by the history of Banff. Born and educated in Edmonton, Alberta, Ted graduated with a Masters in Western Canadian History at the University of Alberta in 1971. The following year he was hired by the late Maryalice Stewart to work in the archives at what was then known as the Peter Whyte Foundation, beginning what would be a 40-year-long career involved with the cultural history of Banff and the Canadian Rockies. Encouraged by noted mountain poet Jon Whyte, Ted published his first book on Canadian Rockies history, Diamond Hitch, the Early Outfitters and Guides of Banff and Jasper, in 1975. In 1976, Hart took over as the head of the Whyte Foundation, a position that evolved into the Director of the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies and that he held until 2008. During this period Hart authored 12 books relating to Banff and the Rockies, including his award-winning The Selling of Canada: The CPR and the Beginnings of Canadian Tourism; Jimmy Simpson, Legend of the Rockies and a work of fiction, Ain’t it Hell: Bill Peyto’s “Mountain Journal.” Between 2008 and 2010 Ted continued to oversee the archives at the Whyte Museum and work on a major biography of Dominion Parks Commissioner J. B. Harkin, published in 2010 as J. B. Harkin, Father of Canada’s National Parks. Ted retired from the Whyte Museum in 2010 and now lives with his wife, Pat, south of Calgary in the foothills town of Okotoks.