“The Wolverine Way,” by Douglas Chadwick

“The Wolverine Way,” by Douglas Chadwick

Throughout my years ski touring in British Columbia, I’ve often crossed or followed wolverine tracks and marveled at their ability to negotiate challenging terrain during the winter season. Only once was I fortunate enough to actually see one, from a distance, as it ascended a steep couloir, traversed a complex ridgeline, then disappeared, descending a steep north-facing chute. A journey that would have taken us hours, the wolverine made in minutes.

Admiring the vast distances they travel in rugged terrain under adverse conditions, I’ve often felt the wolverine is nature’s ultimate ski mountaineer.

An elusive animal, and sometimes misunderstood, it faces numerous threats from human activity and climate change. Fortunately its story is finally being told by Douglas Chadwick in his book “The Wolverine Way.” Chadwick, a wildlife biologist, journalist, and frequent contributor for the National Geographic Society, was a volunteer with the Glacier Wolverine Project—a five-year study of wolverines in Montana’s Glacier National Park. In a July 2019 article in National Geographic, Chadwick writes:

In the five years that I volunteered with a groundbreaking study in Montana’s Glacier National Park, I tracked one radio-tagged male as he climbed 1,500 feet straight up an ice-packed chute on a sheer mountainside and crossed the Continental Divide. The ascent took him less than 20 minutes. Another male scaled the park’s highest summit—10,466-foot-high Mount Cleveland—in January, when the peak was a towering ice sculpture. He covered the last 4,900 feet in 90 minutes. Within the next 10 days he climbed other crests to the west, turned north into British Columbia, loped east across the divide and on through Waterton Lakes National Park.

“The Wolverine Way” is a fascinating read that I hope many will take the time to enjoy. Purchase it from Patagonia in paperback or as an Ebook. You also might enjoy the PBS documentary, “Wolverine:  Chasing the Phantom.”


Backcountry skiing has provided Paul Rogers with incredible happiness, lasting friendships, and the opportunity to traverse the snowscape across Europe and North America. He founded Powder Cloud to help others safely find the same.


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