Glen was born in St.Stephen, New Brunswick, in 1934 and moved to Calgary in 1953. As a child all his spare time was spent either drawing, taking part in sports or roaming the woods. In 1957 he was persuaded to go climbing by fellow worker mountain climber Heinz Kahl, a native Bavarian. With Kahl and English climber Brian Greenwood he was introduced to the more difficult side of climbing, by 1960 he began to take it seriously.
Glen has taken part in many facets of mountaineering from expedition climbing to mountain rescue and since the early days, he has climbed in the St Elias Range of the Yukon and Alaska, the Alps of Europe and extensively in the Rockies and the Interior Ranges of British Columbia, summiting close to 600. His first love though are the Canadian Rockies where he has topped out on over 450 peaks including many new routes and first ascents. During this time his pencils, pens and brushes had to take a back seat.
Also an avid skier, he has enjoyed cross country skiing, ski mountaineering as well as downhill skiing over the years. He spent 13 years on the Canadian Ski Patrol System and is now a member of the Ski Friends program at the Lake Louise ski area.
Glen is now retired after spending thirty five and a half years with the City of Calgary Waterworks Engineering Division, the last eighteen years as the Waterworks Planner. He has been married to his wife Elizabeth since 1965 and resides in Cochrane, Alberta. Since retiring, he has resumed his interest in art, drawing in pen and pencil and painting with water colours and acrylics.
From his mountaineering experiences, Glen has also developed a keen interest in photography and writing as well as art, these have evolved as enjoyable sidelines. Over the years he has built up a large collection of mountain photos in both colour and black and white to work from.
Glen is the author of a book titled “Glen Boles My Mountain Album“. This book of his black and white photography and his art was published in 2006.
He was also co-author with Bill Putnam and Roger Laurilla of two editions of “The Climbers Guide to the Canadian Rockies-South” and “Place Names of the Canadian Alps”, renamed “Place Names of the Canadian Mountains” for the second edition. He attributes his enjoyment in the mountains to the freedom to explore, to keep fit and to think young.
Glen is an Honorary Member of the Alpine Club of Canada, the American Alpine Club and the Calgary Mountain Club. He acted as honorary president of the Alpine Club of Canada from 2005-2009. During the Banff Mountain Film Festival of 2005, Glen received the Bill March “Summit of Excellence Award” for his contribution to Canadian mountaineering.