The Wardens latest release Thousand Rescues featuring climbing legend Tim Auger who died on August 9, 2018 at age 72, is gaining popularity has already has over 10,000 views and climbing.
The video tells the story of Auger, who was the Banff National Park mountain rescue specialist that took part in over a thousand rescues.
“Tim saved countless lives in his thirty year career,” says The Wardens Scott Ward who penned the song. “I worked directly for him for 17 years and had the utmost respect.”
Auger established many routes over difficult terrain with sheer faces and frozen waterfalls. At age 18, he completed the second ascent of the Grand Wall route on Stawamus Chief Mountain, a granite massif towering 700 metres above the mill town of Squamish.
He was one of a few climbers to complete the first ascent of a route along a 300-metre crack system extending up the Chief’s rock face. It was named University Wall, he should of been at college at the time instead of climbing and he would famously tell his mother he was, “At University.”
Other notable feats during Auger’s life included an ill-fated Canadian Mount Everest Expedition in 1982, climbing the famous El Capitan in California’s Yosemite National Park, and surviving a 600-metre fall during the descent from the East Ridge of Yukon’s Mount Logan. He was also one of three climbers to ascend Keeler Needle on Mount Whitney in 1972.
“He was one of the top five climbers in Canada from the early 1960s for 20 years. He pushed the disciplines, he was a generalist and that was what made him such a great Search and Rescue technician,” said Gripped Magazine Editor Brandon Pullan, who climbed with him many times.
Since the pandemic The Wardens, well know in western Canada for their riveting live shows, have been on hold. Combining rich storytelling, stunning onscreen imagery and fantastic musicianship, the band felt their work wasn’t something they could recreate in a live-stream environment.
Instead the band found a way to fuse their storytelling folk music with moving pictures. Their new studio release Sold Out at the Ironwood (January 2021) paired with music videos have helped maintain the energy and momentum they had before the guillotine dropped on live music and forced them to return home mid-tour from Montana a year ago.
In the video for the song A Thousand Rescues, Ray Schmidt, the bands bassist and producer of the new video dug deep and retrieved some lost archival footage of Tim Auger in action performing rescues and throwing explosives out of helicopters to trigger avalanches.