North Rockies Man


Natural Heritage Books / Dundurn - March 2009

Eldest son of a Macedonian immigrant family, George Evanoff set his roots deep in the mountains of northwest Canada. The Mountain Knows No Expert tells the story of a man raised in Depression-era rural Alberta who, in his spare time, went on to become a ski patrol leader, ski guide, avalanche specialist, conservation advocate, mentor, and pioneer in ecotourism in Canada’s northern Rocky Mountains. A product of the 1930s, George Evanoff first embraced Canada’s wild places through what he knew best from his youth—skiing, fishing and hunting. Over time, his interests broadened and he became increasingly concerned with conserving wild spaces and wildlife. Evanoff understood the mountains and nature, knew how to enjoy being there, and could stimulate others to a similar awareness, encouraging them to tread lightly on the land. Although widely regarded as an expert in the outdoors, he resisted that label, and ironically lost his life in a tragic encounter with a grizzly bear in 1998. His honours include the naming of Evanoff Provincial Park near Prince George, British Columbia.


"With plenty of rich detail describing the wild beauty of the backcountry, Nash describes a man bent on challenging himself to stand with nature... [he] skillfully paints a picture of a true renaissance man—one who could excel as a family man, a friend, and a pretty darn good cook. While [Evanoff's] life was ended suddenly, during an encounter with a grizzly in his beloved backcountry, Nash’s work will long serve as a testament to a local hero." Prince George Citizen

"Evanoff was not just the discoverer and first explorer of the cave, but a tireless proponent of wilderness conservation. Fang [Cave] is the reason that there are northern cavers at all—there’d have been no NBCCC without it—and the book’s account of the discovery and exploration of Fang makes for enthralling reading." BC Caver

"Evanoff, while an expert on snow conditions, avalanche formations, and other forms of outdoor intelligence, always maintained a wary respect for the power and unpredictability of nature that some of today’s outdoor enthusiasts could stand to learn from." Chetwynd Echo

"Nash deserves ample praise for walking the reader into the varied and ever unfolding mountaineering journey of George Evanoff... The title, The Mountain Knows No Expert, is a fit and fine guide for the biography. Evanoff was killed by a grizzly bear in 1998. Many other mountaineers with the highest qualifications have died in the mountains from a variety of accidents. The mountains always have the final say and sway, and even experts are not immune from the unpredictable nature of the wild and untamed backcountry—truly a basic lesson one and all should heed. The Mountain Knows No Expert is the sort of book that will hold the reader throughout the day and night. It’s hard to put down." North Call

"Evanoff offered leadership in the Alpine Club of Canada as [a] founding member of the Prince George Section, and his vision brought much needed leadership to the growing industry of ecotourism in the area he called home." 2009 Canadian Alpine Journal

Finalist in the Mountain Literature category in the 2009 Banff Mountain Book Festival

Banff Essay

YouTube Preview!

Meet the author, slide show, readings, book signing.

Private Events:
To arrange a club or other group function, please email or telephone Mike Nash directly:

Past Events:

  • Prince George - Nechako Branch of the Prince George Public Library
  • Prince George - University of Northern BC Creative Writing Class
  • Banff, Alberta - international 2009 Banff Mountain Book Festival
  • Banff, Alberta - Banff Centre: Book Signings - sponsored by the Banff Mountain Book Festival and Banff Mountain Film Festival
  • Vancouver - sponsored by the British Columbia Mountaineering Club
  • Prince George - Yellowhead Rotary Club
  • Vernon - sponsored by The Vernon Outdoors Club
  • Prince George - Book Launch at The Art Space and Books & Company
  • Prince George - Month-long George Evanoff Photo display in Café Voltaire (Books & Company)
  • Hudson's Hope Library - sponsored by the N.E. Library Federation
  • Dawson Creek - sponsored by the Dawson Creek Public Library
  • Chetwynd Library - sponsored by the N.E. Library Federation
  • Tumbler Ridge Library - sponsored by the N.E. Library Federation
  • Fort St. John Library - sponsored by the N.E. Library Federation
  • Prince George Public Library - Bob Harkins Branch - sponsored by The Friends of the Prince George Public Library

    More about the book:
    The Mountain Knows No Expert is a substantial work of 320 pages that was ten years in the making. The 6X9-inch trade paperback includes 57 photos; six maps; contents; acknowledgements; prologue; fifteen in-depth chapters covering George Evanoff’s life story; epilogue; four appendices (mentoring - backcountry affiliations - land and resource planning in B.C. - tributes); notes; bibliography; and index. Toronto: Natural Heritage Books / Dundurn Press (2009).
    Price $28.99 - £16.99; ISBN: 978-1-55002-868-3.

    Distributed by:
    The Canadian Distribution Centre, University of Toronto Press,
    5201 Dufferin Street, Toronto, Ontario, M3H 5T8, Canada.
    Phone: 416-667-7791 or Toll Free: 1-800-565-9523
    Fax: 416-667-7832 or Toll Free: 1-800-221-9985
    EDI (through Pubnet): SAN 115 1134
    Web site:

    Publisher's Web Site - Book

    Publisher's Web Site - Author

    Author's Web Site

  • Mike Nash is the author of Outdoor Safety & Survival, published by Rocky Mountain Books in 2012; Exploring Prince George - A Guide to North Central B.C. Outdoors, published by Rocky Mountain Books in 2004 and reprinted in 2007; and Outdoor Safety and Survival in British Columbia's Backcountry, self-published in 2007.

    For more information about the author:
  • Consulting
  • Biography
  • Bibliography

    Purchase a copy of the book - details on home page
    Return to Home

  • © Michael Nash, March 2012


    British Columbia, CANADA

    Dezaiko Range at sunrise with George Evanoff's hallmark walking stick in the foreground,
    looking towards the peak on which the book's cover photo was taken (photo by Mike Nash)