Photo: Ralph Edwards (courtesy Whyte Archives)
A native of England, Ralph Edwards worked for two years in the mines at Canmore before hiring on with Tom Wilson in 1894. He soon gained Tom?s confidence and began guiding important parties such as a twenty-nine day trip in the Mount AssiniboineBill Peyto as packer, and Walter Wilcox, Robert L. Barrett, and J. Porter.
In 1897, Ralph guided German professor Jean Habel over Yoho Pass, the group being the first to see Takakkaw Falls and to explore the Yoho Valley to its source at Yoho Glacier.
Another significant trip that was guided by Ralph Edwards involved the first passage of Dolomite Pass and the first ascent of Mount Balfour in 1899. The party included Rev. C.L. Noyes, Rev. Harry P. Nicholls, Charles S. Thompson, and George Weed.
?The Trail to the Charmed Lands? was written by Ralph Edwards and published in 1950. It describes his trip with Dr. Habel and the Dolomite Pass-Mount Balfour expedition in some detail and presents a direct insight into life on the trail during the early explorations of the Canadian Rockies in the late nineteenth century.
[Additional Information: Edwards, Ralph. "Trail to the Charmed Land". Victoria: Herbert R. Larson Publishing Ltd., 1950]