A Mountain Journey – Questions & Vocabulary


1. What was Dave Conroy doing out in the wilderness? (motivation)

Dave Conroy was capturing animals for their fur in the wilderness.


2. At what point does the reader know the protagonist is in serious trouble and not likely to make it to MacMoran’s cabin? (plot)

The point where you know Conroy is in trouble is when you know he can’t make it to the cabin.


3 . What three critical mistakes did Conroy make? What are some of the things he could have done to prevent himself from freezing? (plot)

One mistake that Conroy made was having too much confidence of his ability to make it to the cabin after not stopping when he fell in the river and not realizing that he had hypothermia. If he hadn’t he could have rested and not keep walking to the cabin. Also, if he had stopped after he had fallen into the river, he still would be fine. Him not realizing that he had hypothermia was his biggest mistake because that is how he died. If he had realized this sooner, he could have made a fire before his hands became numb.


4. Determine the elements of plot in this story: exposition, complicating incident, 3 crises, climax, and the denouement.

Exposition: Conroy is outside in the wilderness and the only thing stopping him and what was in his way.

3 Crisises:

1. Conroy fell into a small river.

2. Conroy got to the cabin and saw that it was all gone.

3. Conroy tried to make a fire, but he couldn’t because his hands were too cold.

Climax: He gets to his cabin once its all gone so he decides to hike to another cabin to spend the night. While he was on the way he got tired and lied down to take a rest then he fell asleep.


5. Describe the setting – how does the setting affect the plot and the theme of the story? What is the theme – write a theme statement for this story.

The setting is in Hoodoo creek, Alberta, in the winter. The setting affects the plot by being the antagonist in the story. It also effects the theme by making Conroy try to be tough out the wilderness.


6. Find one example of symbolic setting (concrete place that represents something abstract) and explain its meaning.

The tree that was calling Conroy’s name was a symbolic setting because that is not a normal occurrence and it was a message to stop going.


7. Quote four images from the story that make effective comparisons (figurative language: simile, metaphor, and personification)

Simile: “At every step too, he had broken tail and his skis had sunk a foot in the new snow, white and soft as flour.

Simile: “That tree, like a strong and lonely woman, called to his weary body to stop.”

Personification: “The wind was rising with the sundown. It whipped snow against his face, cut through the weave of his 2 woolen mitts, set the forest moaning beside him.”

Metaphor: “The cold was an old man’s fingers feeling craftily through his clothes.”



1. eternal p.92: lasting or existing forever; without end or beginning

2. immobility p.93: the state of not moving; motionlessness

3. opaque p.93: not able to be seen through; not transparent

4. reverberation p.93: prolongation of a sound; resonance

5. momentum p.93: the quantity of motion of a moving body

6. cadaverous p.94: resembling a corpse in being very pale, thin, or bony.

7. congregated p.95: gather into a crowd or mass.

8. inundation p.95: an overwhelming abundance of people or things.

9. beggared p.95: reduce (someone) to poverty.

10. filched. P.96: pilfer or steal (something, especially a thing of small value) in a casual way.