Corrections to An Orogenous Life, Ben’s memoir

The mistakes and typographical errors noted below will be corrected in the next printing, along with minor typos not worth mentioning here. For now you may wish to mark the changes below into your copy.


Copyright page (back of the title page), after “Lucky thing the raven was home that day,” insert “Added image from a photo by Barry Giles.”

Page vi (sixth page in the book), add these names to the acknowledgements: Barry Giles, Jim Hunter, Rainer Schmid.

Page 125, in the first paragraph remove reference to Martin Luther King Jr. I had always thought that King was a key figure in the Congress of Racial Equality, but he wasn’t. King’s organization, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, was allied with CORE, and it and all the other major civil-rights organizations in the U.S. cooperated during the Chicago protests.

Page 196, fourth paragraph, change “three territories” to just “territories.” (There were only two in 1968, three when Nunavut was declared later on.)

Page 198, also fourth paragraph, change “Wolf” to “Wolfe.”

251, first paragraph, I should have mentioned that my study of streams in the foothills and front ranges had suggested that there might be tectonic activity in the foothills, i.e. that the Rockies might still be growing. If this were true it would be an important discovery, updating the current wisdom that mountain-building in the region was no longer occurring. Doing the work needed to either confirm or reject this idea would have made a fine master’s or Ph.D. thesis. But I didn’t go on to graduate school, and to this day no one else has taken on the project.

Page 296, about midway down the page, change “Garlic?” Laura.” to just “Garlic?”

Page 304, fourth paragraph, remove sentence, “Located in the wealthy Broadmoor area, CSS was way ahead of the public system in helping students to overcome learning disabilities.”

Page 342, last paragraph, remove “some 3000 of us in total.” Jasper’s correct population at that time, about 3500, has already been given on page 337.

Page 344, first paragraph, change “surrounding the town” to “south of town.”

Page 352, third paragraph, change “an Earth-science degree” to “a degree in geology.” Elise Maltin, who is pictured on that page, had a degree in geography, which is one of the Earth sciences.

Page 359, under the song title, change the paragraph in italics to Music and lyrics ©1983, 2014 by Ben Gadd, with apologies to Chubby Checker. To hear this, go to and click on Downloads, then scroll down to Music.

Page 369, fourth paragraph, change “Burton” to “Berton.”

Page 396, remove mention of the Bankhead book, which was already written by the time the Handbook came out but was published later. Somehow I forgot that, duh.

Page 485, not a correction, but I think it's worth mentioning that in 2017 "The Gathering Place" was discovered by Gilles Mossičre, a professor of French at Mount Royal University in Calgary. He liked the story well enough to translate it and submit it to the CBC in Montreal, thinking that listeners would enjoy hearing it. On December 21st "The Gathering Place," renamed "La grande célébration," which worked better in French, was indeed broadcast. You can hear it at

Page 490, first paragraph,  change “last summer” to “last year.”

Page 491, upper photo, change “June 2013” to “22 June 2013.”

Page 519, third paragraph from the bottom, change “Muztag” to “Muztagh.”

Page 539, second paragraph, change “cut” to “cutting.”

Page 594,  beginning of the sixth paragraph, remove “He never did tell me his name.” It’s redundant.

Page 599, first paragraph, change last sentence to, “You can read it at Click on Downloads and scroll down to Essays.”

Here are a few changes to the index:

Page 614, add “Cesco, Sue  457

Page 617, add “duck in basement  350

Page 618, add “Eliot, T.S.  160

Page 619, to item “Fortney, Bill,” add 581