Bea and Mark at the Kain Cairn Memorial in Wilmer, BC
by Mark Buzinkay

Where the Clouds Can Go book review

Austrians Mark Buzinkay and his wife Bea Tinsky are on a 15 month ski odyssey around the Pacific Rim. In April they swung through Wilmer, BC on their way back from a ski tour across the Wapta Icefield in Banff/Yoho parks with a couple of friends from the Conrad Kain Centennial Society. Mark picked up a copy of Kain's biography, Where the Clouds Can Go, and wrote a nice review of it for his German-speaking friends back home. 

You can find the review on their website,, and once there, check out ski stories and pics that they've posted on this and previous journeys. 

Translation of Mark's review:

Conrad Kain is in his Austrian homeland not a celebrity. But after good 500 pages I clearly can see the man as he climbs mountains as maybe very few have done it. In a very natural way, Kain reads a face and finds his route, which brings him and later his many clients (or as he calls them “tourists”) to the top, many of those as first ascents.

Amongst the mountain literature are very few good books, many mediocre (from excellent mountaineers, but unbelievably boring written) and some of it garbage. This book, whose first addition was published in the 1930s, is a splendid exception. It captivates, because it retells the live-story of a unique character, mostly as a diary entry by Conrad Kain himself, supplemented by the many voices of his tourists and employers.

I was most fascinated by Kain’s way of seeing the mountains, how he ascends, what drives him toward it, how he can handle hardship and how joyful he can live life, despite his often realistic depressing situation. But more important, Kain is not a romantic of the mountains, as many of his contemporaries of the cities are, but an unconditional friend of nature, who also hints, describes, deplores the negative sides of the life of a mountain guide and later the life of a trapper, organizer of hunting expeditions, and above all, a simple man caught "In Between Wartimes”.

It is a book that not only exposes the splendor of the mountain world, but also leaves room for the inseparable daily life in the valley. The book invites you to dream, but it gives us the necessary push to stay with reality.

The book contains Conrad Kain’s ascents, and is for every mountaineer a true treasure of information, also (historic) comparision possibilities, how routes have changed, how one can evaluate his own abilities. A wonderful book, which should not be missed in any mountaineering library.