Handbook of the Canadian Rockies
Table of Contents

Introduction

Introduction
Location, boundaries and defining characteristics. Comparison with American Rockies. Physiographic tours across the region along three major highways. Base map, satellite view. Pages 12-43
Geology

Geology
All the layers in the sedimentary stack--30 vertical km of them--and the geological history they represent. How the rock was thrust into mountains, with the latest plate-tectonics info. Descriptions and data for 145 rock units, with separate sections on mountain-building, glaciation and the modern landscape (lakes, rivers, hot springs, etc.). Enough detail for the experts, but presented in everyday English. Many photos and diagrams. Time-line, geological maps and charts, cross-sections, illustrations of fossils, annotated photos of classic geological views. Pages 44-203
Weather
Weather and climate
Key elements in the climate of the Canadian Rockies--latitude, elevation, ridge alignment, proximity to the west coast, prevailing winds, Pacific and prairie influences--and local weather factors such as topography, pressure cells, chinooks and glacial winds. Items on the windiness at Waterton, recent climatic change, the annual weather pattern, forecasting and northern lights. Table of climatic data for 72 localities, with comparison data for centres outside the region. Pages 204-219
Ecoregions
Ecoregions and life zones
The ten major ecological units of the region, with explanation of differences in plant and animal communities based on elevation and geographic location. Discussion of treeline. Ecoregion map. Pages 220-229
Ecological
Ecological communities
Photos of 30 different plant/animal communities--everything from caves to alpine meadows--with typical species listed for each. Classic locations for viewing. Pages 230-247
Plants
Plants
Descriptions of 660-plus Rockies trees, shrubs, wildflowers, grasses, ferns, horsetails, clubmosses and bryophytes, illustrated with color botanical drawings. English and French common names, scientific names, ranges, blooming periods, habitats, physical descriptions and interesting facts. Listing of plant families. The extensive wildflower listings are organized by color, for ease of use by amateurs. Alpine wildflowers are listed in their own section, as are water plants. Pages 248-403
Lichens
Lichens
What lichens are and how they live. Descriptions of common Rockies lichens that grow on trees, on the ground and on rocks. Photos. Pages 404-411
Mushrooms
Mushrooms
Descriptions of 70 common Rockies fungi, including mushrooms, club-like fungi, coral fungi, shelf (bracket) fungi, cup fungi, puffballs and earthstars, with items on slime molds, snow mold, witch's butter and ephemeral cyanobacterial colonies that resemble fungi on the ground. Color drawings and photos. Pages 412-433
Bugs
Bugs
Insects, spiders and other arthropods of the Rockies. Descriptions and illustrations of 130 typical species of water invertebrates (including a few molluscs), water insects, mayflies, dragonflies, mosquitoes, other kinds of flies, bees, wasps, hornets, ants, aphids, beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, cicadas, thrips, ticks (with info on preventing and treating tick bites), spiders, butterflies, skippers, moths and caterpillars.
There is a special section on the amazing snow worms, ice insects and "watermelon snow" of the high Rockies. Pages 434-477
Fishes
Fishes
Biological information--not fishing advice--about the 42-odd species of Pisces in the Canadian Rockies, including the tropical fish in the Banff Hot Springs. Illustrated with drawings and photos. Pages 478-497
Amphibians
Amphibians and reptiles
All known "herptiles" of the Canadian Rockies, including salamanders, toads, frogs, snakes and turtles, with illustrations by the great Robert Stebbins. Sidebar on recent population losses in frog species. Pages 498-505
Birds
Birds
Detailed info on 198 Rockies species, including official name in English and French, scientific name, family, viewing period, habitat, range, physical description and habits, nesting and life cycle, wintering grounds. Bird entries are grouped for easy look-up by beginners. Recommended birding localities. Bird-family classification table and rare list. Excellent color illustrations by Matthew Wheeler, mostly of Rockies specimens. Pages 506-591
Mammals
Mammals
Detailed write-ups on the 69 species of mammals in the Canadian Rockies, including Homo sapiens. Bats, shrews, mice and voles, lemmings, wood rat, chipmunks, ground squirrels, northern pocket gopher, tree squirrels, porcupine, beavers and other water-dwellers, snowshoe hare, pika, weasel family, skunk, raccoon, cat family, wolves and other canids, bears, deer family (elk, etc.), bighorn sheep, mountain goats, bison--and a humorous item on our own species. This chapter also includes essential safety information on bears and elk, and at the end you'll find drawings of skulls, tracks and scats. Pages 592-669
Seasonal
Seasonal ecology
New in this edition of the Handbook, the author has outlined his own method for investigating the natural history of any particular place. It's a powerful technique that is surprisingly easy to master, explained in this chapter by using the montane ecosystem of the Canadian Rockies as an example. Step-by-step instructions, with photos. Pages 670-685
History
History
An outline of human activities in the Rockies, from the earliest evidence of human occupation 11,000 years ago to the present. Organized by date, for easy lookup. Names, places and events are fully indexed. Historical photos, population table, extensive reading list. Pages 686-713
Recreation
Recreation
Places to go and things to see and do. Auto-touring, bicycle touring, ski touring, hiking, back-packing, mountaineering and river-running. Recommended equipment, clothing and food for adventures in the Rockies.
Descriptions of outstanding hikes, climbs, ski tours, bicycle tours and boat trips. Wheelchair-accessible outings. How to contact guides, sign up for natural-history courses, reserve space in youth hostels. Comprehensive list of recent recreational guidebooks. Many photos. Pages 714-759
Safety
Safety and emergencies
How to avoid trouble in the Rockies, and what to do if it arises anyway. Sections on trip-planning, accident response, first aid (includes recommended kit contents), searching/getting lost, storms and lightning, avalanches, mountain sickness, frostbite, hypothermia, animal attacks, giardiasis. How to use a compass. Pages 760-781
Afterword
Afterword
Some thoughts about the value of the Canadian Rockies, and how to better protect the region. Pages 782-784

Atlas
Hypsometric maps of the entire region, from Glacier National Park, Montana, to Liard River, Yukon, at a scale of 1:1 000 000. Enough detail to pick out cities and towns, major roads, rivers, larger lakes, mountain massifs. With index of place names and list of selected larger-scale maps. Pages 785-803

Index
A 4600-item index makes every topic in the Handbook readily accessible. From "Abbot, Philip," to "Zygadenus," if it's in the Handbook, it's in the index. Pages 804-831

Inside front cover
Metric/SAE conversion tables. Rulers in centimetres and inches printed along outside edge.

Inside back cover
Star charts for winter and summer at latitude 52°.


Worth noting:
  • Every chapter has a reading list of relevant publications, most of them currently in print.
  • There are many cross references, which take the reader from one spot in the book to another.
  • Sidebars throughout the book, highlighted in blue, detail interesting and important material.
  • Common names of plants, fish, herptiles, birds and mammals are given in both English and French.
Copyright ©2012 Corax Press. All rights reserved.