Wirth Institute Presents a One-of-a-Kind Screening of Hans Gmoser’s “Vagabonds of the Mountains”


Video provided courtesy of the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, Banff, Alberta, Canada, www.whyte.org.


To celebrate International Mountain Day 2016, the Wirth Institute at the University of Alberta organized a one-of-a-kind, on-campus, screening of the 1959-60 Hans Gmoser ski classic, “Vagabonds of the Mountains”. The rare film, showing retro ski glamour over a backdrop of breath-taking footage of Canada’s mountain national parks, was digitized and reassembled by the Whyte Museum in Banff, Alberta.

Dr. Joseph Patrouch, director of the Wirth Institute for Austrian and Central European Studies, introduced the film with a brief synopsis of Gmoser’s early life in Austria, and the political and economic context of the time.

Vagabonds of the Mountains follows Gmoser, and his skiing friends and clients, as they cut powder turns on the Vice President in Yoho National Park, ski-traverse the Illecillewaet Glacier in Roger’s Pass, and make a dangerous mountaineering ascent along the knife-edge east ridge of Canada’s tallest peak, Mount Logan. It’s a mix of panorama mountain views, ski tour camaraderie, and a full-color parade of fashionable knitwear not seen in the ski movies of today.

The Wirth Institute, founded in 1998, is an interdisciplinary group of programs in the fields of Central European, Habsburg, and Austrian, history, society, and culture. The Institute hosts a monthly Central European Cafe series for social, cultural, and intellectual exchange. The series is free to attend, and all are welcome! See the Wirth Institute’s Facebook page for details on the series speakers. WirthInstitute_CEC 2016 Postcard.

The Hans Gmoser Film Collection 10 DVD boxed set are available for purchase at the Whyte Museum Shop, shop@whyte.org.

This event was part of the Canadian Mountain Network’s 2016 Mountain Festival, made possible through the generous support of the University of Alberta faculty of Science, the University of Alberta faculty of ArtsNSERCCampbell Scientific CanadaFirst Air, and Marmot Basin. Search #IMD2016CMN to find live-tweets and posts from the 2016 Mountain Festival!

See the Canadian Mountain Network's YouTube channel for more Mountain Festival videos!