say, ‘because mountains, at least, stand still.’
With his health much improved, he began to pursue the alpine pastimes of the day-hiking, riding, and climbing- but always carrying the heavy, awkward photographic equipment of the early 1900s: 4” x 5” and 5” x 7” view cameras (and, after 1910, a movie camera), wooden tripods, changing bag, extra film packs, and glass plates.
At the turn of the century Banff was a centre for mountain climbing, perhaps even more than it is today, because of the large number of unnamed and unclimbed peaks in the immediate vicinity. As a Victorian sport, climbing had no equal, and with all the great peaks of Europe conquered by the 188os, alpinists turned their alpenstocks toward the unexplored regions of Canada. The CPR, not missing a trick, imported European climbing guides to escort tourists and alpinists to the summits of the Rockies and Selkirks, and such international figures as Edward Whymper of the Matterhorn became familiar faces in the Banff environs.
With so much activity in the area, it was only a matter of time before the sport became formally organized, and in March 1900 the Alpine Club of Canada was founded. After three years in the mountains, Harmon had become such an ardent alpinist and Rockies booster that he became a charter member of the Club and its official photographer, eager to use his skills to fulfil the dictates of the Club’s charter, which called, among other things, for ‘the cultivation of art in relation to mountain scenery’ and ‘the exploration and study of Canada’s alpine tracts; and, with that in mind, . . . [the gathering of] ... literary material and photographs for publication.’
The major event of the ACC’s year was its climbing camp, held each year at a different spot in either the Rockies or Selkirks, featuring a week of exploring, hiking, and climbing. For most members it meant a moderately priced vacation in the mountains (all extended travel at that time was by pack train, an