Page 1

Vol. 28, No. 1 | Spring / printemps 2013

Alps climb completes unfinished business page 6


# 40009034

IFSC Bouldering World Cup Canada  page 21


Avalanche Beacons | shovels and saws | Probes | snow Analysis | Avalanche Airbags | snowsports Gear and rentals |

mEC is A ProuD PArtnEr oF thE ALPinE CLuB oF CAnADA.

The Alpine Club of Canada

Publications Mail Agreement No. 40009034 Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: The Alpine Club of Canada Box 8040, Canmore, AB Canada T1W 2T8

Phone: (403) 678‑3200 Fax: (403) 678‑3224

Executive Committee Peter Muir President Gordon Currie Secretary Neil Bosch Treasurer vacant VP Access/Environment Zac Robinson VP Activities Carl Hannigan VP Facilities Isabelle Daigneault VP Mountain Culture vacant VP Sections David Foster VP Services & Athletics vacant Honorary President Lawrence White Executive Director Publication Lynn Martel Gazette Editor Suzan Chamney Layout & Production Marie-Andrée LeBlanc Translator Submissions Submissions to the Gazette are welcome! For submission guidelines e-mail your idea to the Gazette Editor at Advertising Advertising rate sheet available on the website or by request. Please direct all advertising inquiries to Suzan Chamney, National Office by e‑mail to:

What’s Inside... Mountaineering / Climbing

6 Alps climb completes unfinished business 14 Slesse Mountain 20 Mercedario 21 Climbing rocks! 21 IFSC Bouldering World Cup Canada 24 Australian Alpine Walking Track a memorable march

Mountain Culture / Science

26 Book ends 28 Everest book celebrates climbing, publishing firsts


10 Les aventures d’une famille au chalet de Elk Lakes 12 Family shares adventures at Elk Lakes Cabin


18 VI Section celebrates centennial ascent 22 What my ACC means to me 23 Ce que mon appartenance au Club alpin signifie pour moi 29 ACC member assists Bangladeshi’s dreams 30 Remarkable women

Editorial / National News / Awards

4 Short rope 4 ACC Board restructured 5 Restructuration du Conseil d’administratio 8 We are having an election!!! 8 Elfrieda BOCK 9 Sandy WALKER 11 Quick draws 30 ACC Honorary President passes 30 Sarka Spinkova 31 Open air

What’s Outside... Cover photo: Byron Caldwell moves onto the summit ridge of Dent de Geant, climbed via the normal route from Torino Hut on the Italian side of the Mont Blanc Massif. Photo by David Hollinger/Alpine Guides UK. Story on page 6. Inset photo: The 2013 IFSC Bouldering World Cup will take place June 1 – 2 in Hamilton, Ontario. Photo by Ruby Photo Studio. For more info, look for the Summer 2013 issue of the Gazette. Details on page 21.

Corporate Partners The Alpine Club of Canada thanks the following for their support, and encourages you to consider them and the advertisers in this newsletter the next time you purchase goods or services of the type they offer.

Corporate Sponsors

Corporate Members Backcountry Access Black Diamond Equipment Devonian Properties Forty Below Jardine Lloyd Thompson Ortovox Canada Osprey Packs

Outdoor Research Patagonia Petzl Rocky Mountain Books Scarpa Yamnuska Zaui Software

Club alpin du Canada


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2013  3

ACC Board restructured by

Peter Muir, President, Alpine Club of Canada

A Lynn thoroughly enjoys another flat light, no powder ski day on an ACC RMS Section trip.  photo by Lara Seward-Guenette

Short rope by Lynn



couple of months ago, I moved. While moving involves plenty of work, I love opening up that box or drawer and finding a treasure I’ve totally forgotten about. This time, I found a stack of letters my sister wrote me when she was 20-some‑ thing and working at a waterslide in Australia or waitressing in Maui or Banff. The best part is she wrote them on the many sides of restaurant napkins and the backside of paper placemats bearing pan‑ cake and sausage menus. Rediscovering these letters, we shared a good belly laugh, and a special moment thinking of how deeply our friendship has endured. It also made me think of the Alpine Club of Canada Gazette. This issue features stories of several generations of Club members sharing dream trips in the mountains. One member describes the personal meaning the ACC has brought to her life. It contains bids by two longterm members and dedicated volunteers who hope to give even more to their Club by serving in the newly-created Board position of Vice President for Sections. What all these stories have in com‑ mon is you—fellow ACC members. The Gazette is a unique and special place where all Club members from coast to coast to coast are welcome to come together and share their ACC experiences. Some stories describe Club-organised trips, while others relate the joys and challenges of individual dream trips. The Gazette features stories by ACC members who voluntarily sit down and write their 4  Alpine Club of Canada


Spring 2013

fter an extended period of stra‑ tegic planning and governance review, at its October 2012 meet‑ ing, your Alpine Club of Canada Board of Directors voted to alter the composition of the Board. In its simplest terms, the Board shrank from a body of 29 seats to a Board of nine voting positions. A Section Council was created, comprised of one representative from each of our 22 sections. The fundamental reason for the change was to create an effective gov‑ ernance model to capture the essential needs of the Club. The smaller Board will meet multiple times through the year via a combination of teleconference and in-person meetings, to concentrate specif‑ ically on national issues. The Section Council will meet semi-annually in person to provide a forum for sections to share their initiatives, create solutions to section concerns, and provide input and feedback to the Board on issues and policies that affect the mem‑ bership. The newly-created Board position of Vice President for Sections will ensure Section-to-Board communication and will help plan quality programming for Section Council meetings.

The National Board itself, for which the latest nominees were published in the Fall/Winter Gazette prior to the meeting, will have a transitory stage during the elections of 2013. Neither nominations nor the process by which members can nominate candidates will change, but the Board terms will now be staggered. The President, Vice President for Access and Environment, Vice President for Mountain Culture, and the Secretary elected in spring 2013 will hold their positions until 2014, and thereafter Board elections will occur every year for desig‑ nated positions. Your Board members carefully con‑ sidered and debated these changes over an extended period and it is a testament to their dedication to the Club that they would take such a bold step. Their good judgement will allow for better opportun‑ ity to focus on matters essential to each level of the Club for the betterment of the whole. A copy of the new ACC Bylaws is on the website at: bylaws.html

stories and select photos to illustrate them. Many members are especially generous when answering my questions and requests for more photos and fewer words, and then trusting me to polish their words so that in the end, all ACC members enjoy a news magazine we all deserve and feel proud of. That’s the Gazette’s purpose—to cele‑ brate the shared experience of belonging to the ACC, three times a year. For some it means the tangible pleasure of discov‑ ering the new issue in a home mailbox or a rural post office box. For others it means excitedly opening an e-mail—it’s your Gazette, your choice, just like your choice of mountain activity, from bouldering to alpine climbing to glacier traverses or hut trips with toddlers. For a handful of lucky members, it also means savouring the added thrill of finding that a photo you snapped, or a photo of you, has made the coveted cover spot.

For me, compiling the Gazette with a great team, especially Suzan Chamney who makes your stories and words look so great, is a wonderful privilege. I’m especially grateful to the many members over the years who’ve taken the time in huts, on trails or at the Saint-Boniface ice tower to share their comments and feelings about the Gazette. It’s your Gazette. You can pass your paper copy to your neighbour over your backyard fence, or post the link on Twitter or to your Facebook page. E-mail me at to pitch a story idea, share your feedback or even a complaint. I welcome meeting you! And I hope, many years from now, when packing for a move, purging your Inbox or answering the call of a spring cleaning fit on a rainy weekend, you discover a very special copy of the ACC Gazette among your treasured belongings.

Restructuration du Conseil d’administration par

Peter Muir, Le président du Club alpin du Canada


près un long processus de révision de notre planification stratégique et de notre gouvernance, le Conseil d’administration du Club alpin du Canada a voté en faveur d’un change‑ ment de composition du Conseil lors de sa réunion d’octobre 2012. Pour l’es‑ sentiel : le nombre de sièges du Conseil d’administration est passé de 29 à neuf postes votants, et un Conseil des sections

composé d’un représentant de chacune de nos 22 sections a été créé. La raison fondamentale de ce changement vise à créer un modèle de gouvernance efficace qui répondra mieux aux besoins essentiels du Club. Ce Conseil réduit se réunira à plusieurs reprises au cours de l’année par le biais de téléconférences et de réunions en per‑ sonne, et se concentrera particulièrement

Alpine Club of Canada





Join us for the trip of a lifetime!

Photo: Pat Morrow

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Make the move from the gym. Skip a grade. With Will Stanhope, Jen Olson

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Women-only, hut-based, leading and mountaineering camp in the Bugaboos

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55+ Climbing and Trekking - Aug 24-30, $1,595

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10 Peaks in 10 Days - Aug 30 - Sept 8, $2,295

sur les enjeux nationaux. Les membres du Conseil des sec‑ tions se réuniront deux fois par année en personne. Ces réunions fourniront aux sections un forum pour partager leurs initiatives, trouver des solutions à leurs problèmes, et fournir au Conseil d’administration une contribution et une rétroaction sur les enjeux et politiques qui affectent les membres. Le nouveau vice-président des sections siégeant au Conseil, dont le poste vient d’être créé, assurera les communications entre les sections et le Conseil et aidera à élaborer une programmation de qualité pour les réunions du Conseil. Le Conseil national lui-même, dont les nominations les plus récentes ont été publiées dans le numéro Automne/Hiver de la Gazette avant la réunion, vivra une période de transition jusqu’aux élections de 2013. Ni les nominations ni le processus de nomination des candidats par les membres ne changera, mais le mandat du Conseil pourra changer. Le président, le vice-président à l’accès et à l’environne‑ ment, le vice-président à la culture de la montagne, et le secrétaire, qui seront élus au printemps 2013, resteront en poste jusqu’en 2014. Par la suite, les élections aux divers postes occupés au Conseil d’administration auront lieu chaque année. Les membres de votre Conseil d’ad‑ ministration ont consacré énormément de temps à élaborer ces changements et à en discuter, et l’ampleur même de ceux-ci est une preuve de leur engagement. Les décisions éclairées qu’ils ont prises per‑ mettront de mieux nous concentrer sur les enjeux essentiels à chaque palier du Club afin d’améliorer l’ensemble de notre organisation. Vous trouverez une copie des nou‑ veaux règlements (en anglais) sur notre site web au bylaws.html

Peak bagging in the Valley of the 10 Peaks. Half-trip option available

Recycle this Gazette Leave it in your climbing gym Club alpin du Canada


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2013  5

Alps climb completes unfinished business by

Gord Currie


verything. Dump it all out.” My climbing partner and I had just met our guides and were gathered in the courtyard of my hotel in Zermatt. They wanted to vet every item in my pack. “There’s something in here,” Tim said, feeling the pockets of my anorak. “Gloves and a toque,” I replied. “Okay, they can stay.” By the time they were done, I was down to a daypack—some warm clothes, food and water, harness, crampons and ice axe. Twenty-six years earlier, when we were at the peak of our prowess, my buddy Byron, also an ACC member, and I had set out to climb the Matterhorn, but turned around at the Solvay Hut, about halfway up. The exposure was more than I’d bargained for. But the Matterhorn, one of the most recognizable mountains in the world, had been on my mind ever since. I thought I owed it to Byron to try one more time before we grew too old. To ensure our best chance of success, we retained a pair of British mountain guides, Tim Neill and Dave Hollinger, to lead the way— and keep us out of trouble. With nice, light packs we strode through town toward the gondola that Byron Caldwell moves carefully along the traverse of the Aiguille d'Entreves, climbed from Torino Hut on the Italian side of the Mont Blanc Massif.  photo by David Hollinger /Alpine Guides UK

Byron Caldwell gains the summit ridge—and some warm sun rays—on the Dent de Geant.  photo by David Hollinger /Alpine Guides UK

would take us to Schwartzee. In fractured German I attempted to get the same discount price that our guides got, to no avail. From Schwartzee we hiked for 90 minutes toward the Hörnli Hut at the bottom of the Hörnli Ridge, arriving in early afternoon. The Hörnli Hut sits at 3,260 metres (10,700 feet elevation), and the summit of the Matterhorn is 1,200 metres (3,937 feet) higher. Although it was late August, prime time on the Matterhorn, the hut was not full. There were about 40 guides and clients, from all sorts of places, including Jamaica! We were enjoying a beer inside when the hut suddenly emptied as people rushed outside to watch a helicopter rescue. Four climbers were plucked from high up on the mountain, dangling below the helicopter on a long line, and dropped delicately on the deck of the Hörnli Hut. They weren’t injured, so maybe they just ran out of time or energy. It had to be embarrassing, not to mention expensive— not something we wanted to emulate. After dinner we turned in early. The official wakeup call at the Hörnli Hut is 4 a.m., but people began to stir at 3:45. I heard someone say it was raining, and thought maybe our climb would be over before it even began. We ate a light breakfast, watched other parties gear up, and walked out the door at ten to five. The rain had stopped. After training hard all spring and summer, determined that fitness would not prevent me from succeeding on the Matterhorn, I had legs of steel. But did I have nerves of steel? “How hard could it

be?” I asked myself (over and over again). If Sir Edward Whymper could climb it in 1865 using hemp rope and hobnail boots, surely I could climb it in 2012 with mod‑ ern equipment and guides. The climbing on the lower part of the mountain was no more difficult than any number of scrambles I had done in the Rockies, but it steepens up as you go. With hearts pounding, and breathing hard in the thin air, we nevertheless reached the Solvay Hut in two and a half hours, well within the allotted time. Even on the top half of the mountain the climbing was easy, but relentless. There was no stopping to eat or to admire the views. I have never worked to hard on so little food. We encountered a chilly party of two descending after spending an involuntary night out on the Hörnli Ridge. For a few moments I shared a stance with another British guide who referred to it as the “Shatterhorn”. When I told him we were from Canada, he said, “oh well, you’re used to it then,” referring to our famous Rockies limestone. I actually thought the route was pretty clean. At some point we climbed into a cloud which blocked any views. Reaching patches of snow, we paused just long enough to strap on crampons. They make for scratchy, annoying climbing, but came into play on the upper slopes, which were completely snow covered. At some point I heard Dave, our head guide, say it was only another 100 metres; I knew I was going to bag the Matterhorn! To Tim I deadpanned that I could not go any further. He stared at me, speechless, until

What’s in your pack? New VOLT / VIVA SERIES

he realized that I was pulling his leg. Dave and Byron tagged the top first, and then backed off to a safe spot to wait for us. Tim and I passed them, placing each foot carefully on a summit ridge that’s only shoulder-wide, stop‑ ping where it rolled over and began descending toward Italy. At that point Tim confessed it was also his first ascent of the Matterhorn. We shook hands and backtracked to join our friends for foggy summit photographs. After five and a half hours of almost non-stop effort to reach the summit, the descent was equally relentless. Good guys though they were, our guides drove us like rented mules. We had a 10-minute break in the Solvay Hut, time to take off our crampons and swallow a couple of hand‑ fuls of trail mix before continuing down. We met a pair of Spanish climbers still on their way up, well below the sum‑ mit, late in the day. In halting Spanish I suggested they might want to try again the next day, but they were undeterred. There was no way they could get up and down again in daylight. Down, down, down we went, alter‑ nately lowering and down-climbing. The air grew thicker and the temperature warmer. I was pretty happy to see the Hörnli Hut again. It meant the danger was over and our quest was almost complete. We had one more objective; to avoid a long walk back to Zermatt by catching the last gondola at 5 p.m. After another short stop we shoul‑ dered packs again and carried on. “Come on lads, give it all you’ve got!”

Dave exhorted, conscious of the time. Byron had contracted a cold and was puffing like a plough horse behind me. I was out of gas, but we plodded onward, reaching the gondola with two minutes to spare. It had been 12 hours and eight minutes of almost non-stop effort. Back in Zermatt we enjoyed burgers and beer before driving to Chamonix, France’s equivalent of Banff, to indulge in two days of R&R before returning to Canada.

David Hollinger of Alpine Guides UK signs the register on the summit of Tour Ronde, after guiding ACC members Gord Currie and Byron Caldwell via the southeast arête route. In the background, the Aiguille du Midi towers above the Glacier du Geant.  photo by Byron Caldwell

Byron Caldwell and Gord Currie honour their Club on the summit of the one and only Matterhorn, which they climbed via the Hörnli Ridge from the Hörnli Hut near Zermatt, Switzerland in August.  photo by David Hollinger /Alpine Guides UK

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1/31/13 6:28 PM

Twenty-six years after our first attempt on the Matterhorn, in our late 50s, we had finished it off. Scratched that itch. Gord Currie is a Calgary Section member of the ACC, and past Treasurer who currently serves as the Club’s Secretary. Bureau de la Cie des Guides, in Chamonix, France— the world’s first professional guiding company, established in 1821.  photo by Byron Caldwell

Club alpin du Canada


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2013  7

We are having an election!!! by

Peter Muir, President, Alpine Club of Canada


s you know, the structure of the National Board has changed. In its simplest terms, the Board is now nine voting positions, the section representatives are a Section Council and a new Vice President for Sections will facilitate board to section communica‑ tion and plan quality programming for the semi-annual Section Council meetings. The late October timing of the changes did not allow the Nominations Committee to recommend candidates for the new position because of bylaw requirements and Gazette publishing dates. However, I am pleased to report that two candidates have been nomin‑ ated by members for the position and a vote of the members will fill the VP for Sections position. This is an exciting opportunity and development for the Club as it continues to refine its governance. You will find each candidate’s statement on these two pages and a tear-out ballot; both are also available on the website. Please exercise your franchise and mail your ballot to the National Office. The envelope must be postmarked no later than April 10, 2013. On behalf of the members I thank former ACC President Ken Hewitt and Yamnuska Mountain Adventures owner Len Youden for agreeing to act as independent tellers for the election. The result of the election will be announced by the Club Secretary at the Annual General Meeting on May 11, 2013.

Elfrieda BOCK


hen Elizabeth Parker and Arthur Wheeler founded the Alpine Club of Canada (ACC) more than 100 years ago, they shared a love of Canadian mountains and a vision – but there were no thoughts given to a mission statement, values and goals let alone a strategic plan and governance. Today the ACC Board of Directors has to address: marketing plans; fundraising; positioning the ACC in a competitive marketplace; reputation management and visibility; environmental advocacy. The ACC is the national voice for moun‑ taineering in Canada. The ACC offers a range of services – hut and hostel accom‑ modation; mountaineering camps and mountain trips; leadership development; publications. The ACC Board must look at how the ACC can operate effectively and efficiently in a changing world and move forward in its second century of operation. If I am elected I commit myself to working as a member of the ACC Board of Directors on behalf of the Sections as well as Club members. The Sections are where Club members are engaged and participate in outdoor adventures. Under the new bylaws, while members are repre‑ sented and championed by their Section Representative on the Section Council, the voice of the Sections on the ACC Board is the Vice-President for Sections. It is important that the Vice-President for Sections supports, represents and articulates the views of Sections as well as acting as a resource and a mentor for Sections concerning best practices for Section management and operation. I 8  Alpine Club of Canada


Spring 2013

commit myself to listening to Sections and will represent and articulate their interests at the National level in the best interests of the Club. I have been an active ACC Ottawa member for more than ten years and have served on the Executive – as Chair, Section Representative, e-Letter Editor and Summer Camp Organizer. I was the ACC Ottawa Section Representative for six years. I have seen the Ottawa Section change to meet the evolving needs of our members. I have witnessed the positive evolution of the ACC. Change is driven by members, by the ACC Board and by ACC stakeholders – our insurance provider, customers, sponsors, donors, suppliers, different levels of government. The ACC must be responsive to the needs of our members and must ensure it maintains working relationships with our stakeholders. The Vice-President for Sections must be consultative, innovative, collaborative, an advocate, a problem-solver, and a communicator. The Vice-President for Sections must be accountable to Club members and to stakeholders in the out‑ door community. I bring to the position my professional experience as a manage‑ ment consultant where my strengths include: results-driven analytical prob‑ lem-solving; dealing innovatively with complex issues; consensus-building; developing and supporting high-per‑ formance and self-regulating teams; leading organizations through change. We live in a challenging world of distractions. Our day-to-day life has been taken-over by instant communication,

social media, unlimited graphics and instant gratification. Many of us carry this ‘world’ in our pockets – constantly recharging its batteries. For many of us there is an inherent need to recharge our personal batteries. We find being in the mountains and the outdoors invigorates and sustains us; and allows us to distance ourselves from day-to-day distractions. The ACC nourishes old friendships and encourages new friendships through activities and trips. The ACC is the ‘doorway’ to positive health and personal growth. I want to ensure that the ACC continues to provide these opportunities for generations to come. I am passionate about the ACC’s philosophy and vision and I want to be involved in its future. It would be an honour and a privilege to serve ACC members as Vice-President for Sections. I am asking you to vote for me. —Elfrieda Bock



y name is Sandy Walker and I have put my name forward for the new position of Vice President for Sections. When I first became a member of the Alpine Club of Canada in 2001, several ACC members took me under their wings and patiently introduced me to the world of back‑ country skiing and climbing. Since I will never be able to adequately return the favour to those people, I chose back then to “pay it forward” by volunteering for the ACC wherever possible so that others, like me, could be introduced to the won‑ ders of the backcountry. I have a fairly unique history with ACC that has provided me with the skills necessary to carry out the responsibilities of this role. Over the past 12 years I have been Treasurer, Chair and Section Camp Coordinator for the Calgary Section; Vice Chair, Section Rep, and ROCK Program Coordinator for the Rocky Mountain Section; and Chair of the Alberta Sections. Throughout I have been a leader for alpine, rock, and ski trips for those Sections; Camp Manager for several National Camps; and an amateur leader at the General Mountaineering Camp. In addition to my volunteer involvement in the ACC, I worked at National Office for 4 years as the Director of Club Services which gave me a breadth of knowledge of the bene‑ fits and services offered by all Sections across the country. For all of these con‑ tributions, I was awarded a Distinguished Service Award from the Alpine Club of Canada in 2010 through a joint nom‑ ination from the Calgary and Rocky Mountain Sections. More importantly, this level of involvement has allowed me to experience, first hand, the challenges ACC Sections face in finding and using volunteer and financial resources; the incredible commitment from volunteers and leaders; the positive impact Section and National activities have on members; and the value that training programs have for our leaders. I would like to hold the position of VP for Sections since it would provide me with an interesting challenge and a productive means of increasing my involvement with the ACC and is the next logical progression in my volunteer commitment to the ACC.

What I will do as VP for Sections If elected, my goal for effectively carrying out the role of VP for Sections is to use these accumulated skills and experiences to represent the Sections’ interests on the Board of Directors. Based on what I have experienced first hand and heard from Sections over the years, my four immediate goals would be: 1. Ensure Sections are represented on the board after discussing with them the challenges they face and the assistance they require. 2. Assist Sections in implementing programs that will attract volunteers and trip leaders. 3. Seek out ways for Sections to share positive and challenging experiences easily throughout the year to avoid duplicating efforts. 4. Facilitate ways for Sections to attract and retain members, respecting the unique nature of each Section.

Bernadette McDonald winner of The Boardman Tasker Prize, The Banff Grand Prize, The American Alpine Club Literary Award and The 6th Kekoo Naoroji Book Award for Himalayan Literature

Thank you for taking the time to read my bio and I hope that I have convinced you to vote for me, Sandy Walker, in the upcoming election for VP for Sections. Merci d’avoir lire ma biographie et j’espère que je vous ai convaincu de m’élire à la position de v-p des Sections. Je vous souhaite une bonne et sûr saison d’esca‑ lade et du ski! —Sandy Walker

Club alpin du Canada


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2013  9

Les aventures d’une famille au chalet de Elk Lakes par Tanya



bris de neige, lampes au propane, sièges de toilettes extérieures glacés, et eau qu’il faut puiser en cassant la glace : voilà un weekend ordinaire dans l’arrière-pays ! Ajoutez-y trois tout-petits de moins de quatre ans, et ce weekend devient une véritable aventure. Bien sûr, nous aurions pu laisser les enfants chez leurs grands-parents et attendre l’été pour visiter le chalet de Elk Lakes du Club alpin du Canada, mais où aurait été l’aventure ? Ce chalet, maintenu par le CAC, se situe dans les régions sauvages du Parc provincial de Elk Lakes, en ColombieBritannique. L’été, des petites routes de campagne permettent de se rendre en auto jusqu’à 500 mètres de la porte d’entrée, mais l’hiver la seule façon de s’y rendre est d’y aller à pied à partir du Peter Lougheed Provincial Park (PLPP) dans le comté de Kananaskis, en Alberta. Le départ se fait du stationnement de Elk Pass, à Kanasnaskis Lakes et il faut ensuite faire cinq kilomètres en ski ou en raquettes pour se rendre au sommet de Elk Pass. De là, une descente de 4,2 km le long d’une ligne à haute tension nous conduit en Colombie-Britannique. Par le passé, nous avions toujours skié jusqu’au chalet à partir de Elk Lakes, car les cinq premiers kilomètres se font sur les pistes de ski de fond bien entretenues du Peter Lougheed Provincial Park. Mais cette fois, comme nous emmenions deux enfants d’âge préscolaire et un tout petit, nous savions qu’il serait plus facile de le faire en raquettes. Nous avons décidé d’y aller en avril en compagnie d’une famille qui nous avait partagé la plupart de nos aventures depuis la naissance de notre fils, quatre ans plus

The great outdoors is child's play at Elk Lakes Cabin. 

tôt. Nous pensions que ce début de print‑ emps serait assez chaud pour le premier voyage d’hiver de nos enfants dans l’ar‑ rière-pays. Nous ne nous doutions pas qu’il neigerait la plupart du temps et que le froid contraindrait les enfants à rester emmitouflés dans leurs traineaux pendant la presque totalité du voyage. Le voyage en raquette nous a paru bien plus long que lorsque nous y allions en ski; pas surprenant, puisqu’il nous fal‑ lait non seulement marcher pour grimper les collines, mais aussi pour les descendre ! Et dans mon cas, ce fut encore pire car l’une de mes raquettes s’est brisée avant même que je franchisse le Elk Pass. Mais, grâce à Dieu, la neige était bien tassée et j’ai pu descendre assez facilement du col vers le chalet. Habituellement, quand nous allons à Elk Lakes nous essayons de louer tout le chalet; ce n’est pas difficile, puisqu’il suffit de réunir 14 personnes. C’est un excellent

Mark Koob heads home along the trail from Elk Lakes Cabin. 

photo by Tanya


photo by Tanya


choix pour les familles qui planifient un voyage entre amis. Nous avons découvert péniblement que les gens qui voyagent sans enfants ne sont pas très contents de voir arriver un groupe avec des petits qui sonnent le réveil à 6 heures du matin et sont souvent bruyants (Eh oui ! Après avoir passé quatre heures immobilisés dans un traineau, ils sont tout heureux de courir partout en jouant à la « tag »). Nous sommes bien d’accord que nos enfants sont souvent bruyants; et comme l’un d’entre eux peut se mettre à crier à tout moment, nous apportons partout une certaine dose de chaos. Au fil des années, nous avons loué une douzaine de chalets et refuges du CAC, et avons toujours beaucoup apprécié l’ex‑ périence, avec ou sans enfants. Poêle de camping, vaisselle, casseroles, matelas, et tente – tout l’équipement habituellement nécessaire dans l’arrière-pays – peuvent rester à la maison. Depuis que nous avons un enfant, il est de plus en plus important pour nous de voyager léger, et habiter un chalet du CAC est de loin la meilleure façon de passer la nuit dans l’arrière-pays. Pour nous, les voyages dans l’ar‑ rière-pays avec notre fils sont devenus une priorité. Chaque année, nous tentons de faire avec lui un ou deux voyages qui comprennent une nuit. Même si nous aimons bien le camping standard, nous trouvons que rien ne vaut l’expérience de se trouver à des kilomètres de la route la plus proche et de devoir nous rendre à pied à notre destination en transportant tout

Quick draws notre bagage. Les défis supplémentaires que comporte le camping en arrière-pays rendent aussi l’expérience encore plus enrichissante pour ceux qui nous accom‑ pagnent. Au final, lorsque nous choisissons de visiter un chalet ou un refuge du CAC, nous vivons toujours des moments uniques. C’est notre récompense. À Elk Lakes, nous étions si excités de découvrir près du chalet des abris et tunnels de neige qui ne demandaient qu’à être explorés. Je suis allée courir dans les champs de neige tout autour pour photographier les enfants qui rampaient dans les tunnels et j’étais aussi excitée qu’eux de vivre cette expéri‑ ence fantastique. Notre famille a l’intention de faire de ces visites hivernales au parc provincial Elk Lakes une véritable tradition. La prochaine fois, nous apporterons les skis et raquettes des enfants pour qu’ils puissent mieux participer à l’aventure. Je rêve du jour où ils se rendront en raquettes jusqu’au premier lac Elk à partir du chalet. Et s’ils y arrivent, il ne fait aucun doute que je les précèderai avec ma caméra pour prendre des centaines de photos de leur première expérience de raquettes dans l’arrière-pays. Finalement, il s’agit bien de cela : les premières expériences en montagne. J’ai dû attendre d’être adulte pour faire mon premier voyage dans l’arrière-pays, alors que mon fils partage nos aventures depuis qu’il est bébé. Quand il aura mon âge, il aura déjà vécu d’innombrables expérien‑ ces qui iront bien au-delà de tout ce que je peux imaginer. Nous voulons exprimer notre grati‑ tude au Club alpin du Canada d’avoir Kilimanjaro  Africa’s Highest Mountain  5895 m / 19340 ft.

Hueniken achieves NA first Kudos to Alpine Club of Canada member Sarah Hueniken for becoming the first North American woman to climb the exceptionally demanding mixed climbing grade of M11 in December. With Canadian ice climbing legend Will Gadd belaying her—and no doubt offering plenty of high-energy support and encouragement— Hueniken climbed Neolithic, a steep route with tricky moves in Haffner Cave in B.C.’s Kootenay National Park. Not resting for long, while in Montana, where she placed second in the women’s lead category at the Bozeman Ice Breaker competition, Hueniken followed up with a smooth ascent of the M11 route Northwest Passage at the popular Hyalite Canyon area.

UIAA announces Mountain Protection Award The UIAA (the international association of alpine clubs, of which the Alpine Club of Canada is a member) Mountain Protection Commission recently announced a new award to help support and promote mountain conservation activities that lead to improvements in mountain tourism practices. Selection criteria demand that the project is linked with mountain-related activities; takes place in mountain regions; and focuses on 1) protection of flora and fauna, 2) energy and resource consumption, 3) waste and management disposal or 4) conservation and biodiversity. For more info or to apply, visit

Canadian wins international ski mo event Revelstoke, B.C. based Melanie Bernier achieved an impressive win in January by crossing the finish line a solid 12 seconds ahead of the second place skier at the sixth annual Dynafit Ski Touring Courchevel competition in Courchevel, France. Bernier’s fellow Alpine Club of Canada ski mountaineering team member, Reiner Thoni, also from B.C., placed fourth in the men’s division on the 3.2-kilometre, 500metre elevation gain/descent course. Both continue to put in solid performances at ski mountaineering competitions across the Alps this winter. For more info, visit créé un réseau aussi extraordinaire de chalets et de refuges dans l’arrière-pays. Je suis absolument certaine que, grâce au CAC, mon fils se rendra dans des endroits qui surpasseront tout ce que je pourrai atteindre ou expérimenter dans ma vie. Nous formulons de grands rêves pour lui et avons tellement hâte qu’il s’inscrive à son premier voyage vers des sommets,

qu’il nous accompagne à son premier General Mountaineering Camp, ou même qu’il fasse avec nous l’expérience du Wapta Traverse, quand il sera un peu plus vieux et qu’il pourra habiter dans certains des chalets favoris de ses parents. Tanya Koob est membre de la Section de Calgary du CAC et tient le blog

DIK DIK H o t e l & To u r s Individual safaris in Tanzania Kilimanjaro climb & Safari Specialist Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Tarangire, Manyara Holidays in Zanzibar It is the Swiss family’s Vision & Commitment to provide top quality accommodation, food and service in a friendly atmosphere. Club alpin du Canada


p  rintemps

2013  11

Family shares adventures at Elk Lakes Cabin by Tanya



now caves, propane lanterns, out‑ houses with ice-cold toilet seats and ice fishing for water—just another winter weekend in the backcountry! Add three small children under the age of four, however, and now you have an adven‑ turous weekend in the backcountry. We could have left the kids with grand‑ parents or waited until summer to visit the Alpine Club of Canada’s Elk Lakes Cabin, but what kind of adventure would that be? The ACC maintains this cabin deep in the wilderness of B.C.’s Elk Lakes Provincial Park. In the summer you can drive within 500 metres of the cabin’s front door on back roads, but in the win‑ ter there is only one approach and that’s on foot from Peter Lougheed Provincial Park (PLPP) in Kananaskis Country, Alberta. You start near the Kananaskis Lakes from the Elk Pass parking lot and ski or snowshoe five kilometres to the top of Elk Pass. From there it’s another 4.2 kilometres down along a power line into B.C. In the past, we had always skied to the Elk Lakes Cabin since the first five kilometres is on PLPP’s groomed cross-country ski trails. This time though, we figured we might have an easier time of it on snowshoes since we would be towing two preschoolers and a toddler. We chose April for our trip with another family who has accompanied us on most of our adventures since our

Mark and Tanya Koob make the trek on snowshoes to Elk Lakes Cabin.  photo by John Koob

son was born almost four years ago. We thought spring would be a nice warm time to get the kids out for their first winter backcountry trip. Little did we know it would be snowing off and on most of the weekend and it would still be cold enough that we had to bundle and zip them in their sleds for much of the journey. The walk in to the cabin was a lot longer on snowshoes than I had remem‑ bered it being on skis—not surprising, I suppose, since we had to walk both up and down the hills. The trip was even more challenging for me than expected because one of my snow‑ Noah and Makenna dig for fairy dust in Elk Lakes Provincial Park in the shoes broke before even British Columbia Rockies.   photo by Tanya Koob reaching the pass. Thank God the trail was hardpacked and I had few problems hiking down from the pass to reach the cabin.  We generally try to rent the full cabin when we go to Elk Lakes which is easy to do since it only sleeps 14. This is a great option for families wanting to plan group trips with friends. We’ve discovered the hard way at other huts that folks without children are not always so pleased to see us show up en masse with 12  Alpine Club of Canada


Spring 2013

our 6 a.m. alarm clocks and noise makers (read: toddlers who run around the room playing loud games of tag after riding in a sled for four hours). We know and admit that our kids can be loud. One will always be crying at any given moment; as such we bring a certain amount of chaos to any place we visit. We’ve stayed in a dozen ACC huts and cabins over the years and love them with or without kids because you don’t need the whole collection of camping gear typically required in the backcountry. You can leave the stove, dishes, pots, sleeping mattresses and tent behind. Since having a child, being able to travel light has become increasingly important to us and staying in an ACC hut is by far the easiest method of spending the night in the backcountry. We make backcountry travel a prior‑ ity with our son and make the effort to tackle at least one or two overnight trips per year. As much as we love roadside camping, we find that nothing beats the experience of being kilometres away from the nearest road and having to journey on foot with our gear to reach our destination. The additional challenges that accompany backcountry camping make the experience that much richer for everybody on our trips. In the end, we are always rewarded with unique opportun‑ ities when we choose to visit an ACC hut or cabin. At Elk Lakes we were thrilled to find snow caves and tunnels outside

Mark your calendar !

Lotteries for the 2013/2014 winter at Kokanee Cabin and Fairy Meadow Hut open April 15 and run until May 15. $925.00 / week (including helicopter access to the hut) Find out more at the cabin just waiting for us to explore and play in. I ran around the snowy field outside the cabin snapping photos of the kids crawling through the tunnels, equally as excited as they were for the cool experience they were having. Our family plans to make visiting Elk Lakes Provincial Park in winter an annual tradition. Next time we’ll bring our children’s skis and snowshoes so they can better join the adventure. I have a dream that they will walk to the first Lower Elk Lake from the cabin on their snowshoes. If they manage to reach the lake I have no doubt that I will be running ahead with my camera snapping a hundred photos of their first backcountry snow‑ shoeing experience. In the end, that’s what it’s all about— first experiences in the mountains. I had to wait until I was an adult to embark on my first backcountry trip; meanwhile my son has been out sharing our adventures with us since he was a baby. By the time he’s my age, he will have had a full life‑ time of experiences beyond what I can even fathom. We want to express our gratitude to the Alpine Club of Canada for creating

such an amazing network of backcountry huts and cabins. I’ve no doubt that my son will reach places through the ACC that will forever be out of my reach and experience. We have big dreams for him and can’t wait to see him signed up for his first summits trip, join us on his first

General Mountaineering Camp, or even experience the Wapta Traverse with us when he’s a little bit older to stay at some of his parents’ favourite huts. Tanya Koob belongs to the ACC Calgary Section and writes an award-winning blog at photo by Tanya

Greta Duncan and her daughter Kinsey enjoy lunch break at Elk Pass.  

Club alpin du Canada


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2013  13

Slesse Mountain

First light emerges at the Propeller Cairn.  hoto by Travis McClinchey p

Travis McClinchey and Saar Moisa climbed the prominent ridge leading to the highest point. The very small piece of snow to the left of the ridge is the Bypass Glacier. The snow at the very bottom is formed as the glacier avalanches over the summer.  photo by Travis McClinchey by Travis



n July 2011, I moved to Vancouver from southern Ontario for reasons Gazette readers can appreciate. In their book Fifty Classic Climbs of North America, Steve Roper and Allen Steck included Slesse Mountain, which happens to be the closest of the 50 to Vancouver. Among the general public, it’s known for a 1956 plane crash, which killed all 62 on board. When climb‑ ers think of Slesse, they think of its Northeast Buttress first climbed by Fred Beckey and partners in 1963. One of the reasons it is so renowned is the Bypass Glacier, which forms over winter as snow avalanches from the east face onto the slab below. Some years it melts slowly into the valley, others it

Travis McClinchey makes his way toward Slesse’s summit.  photo by Saar Moisa

releases in one massive slide. Depending on the season and conditions, the approach leads directly over or under the glacier. Most parties wait until the glacier has completely slid. With the glacier lingering longer than usual in recent years, few attempts have been made. To safely climb this route, the stars must truly align. By mid-Sept. 2012, the glacier appeared to be gone, and despite recent snowfall, the weather looked perfect for an attempt. At the trailhead, Saar Moisa and I sorted gear, packed our bags then began the one-hour approach to camp, hurrying to arrive before dark to study Bypass Glacier’s condition. Arriving just in time, the glacier appeared very small; time spent under it would be minimal. We decided to cross at first light—the coldest, most inactive time of day. Hunkered in our bivouacs, we prepared ourselves physically and mentally for the following day. Our alarms sounded at 4 a.m., and after a quick bite we hiked to Propeller Cairn, where the route finding begins. Arriving in darkness, we waited for more light before scrambling fairly far up the slabs without any risk. Finally we chose our crossing point and made a hasty 20-second sprint traverse below the glacier. Once across we exhaled in relief. Fuelled by adrenaline, we continued up a third- and fourth-class ramp filled with bushy trees and grassy ledges, gaining the buttress in good time. We climbed un-roped up more fourth-class shrubbery with the occasional low fifth-class move, until it became more difficult. Building an anchor on a nice ledge, we prepared for

the technical climbing. This was the first time we had stopped moving since the Propeller Cairn, and certain thoughts started settling in my mind. We were at the base of one of the most coveted alpine climbs in North America and I was becoming excited. We were making good time and I was ener‑ gized for what the day would bring. We had just crossed an active pocket glacier, which many climbers would compare to playing roulette. Viewing the remnants of Bypass Glacier from above proved how deceiving it can be from below; it was huge! Some very large chunks rested precariously on the slab. Although we had made it across safely, I began recon‑ sidering our decision. Alpine climbing involves its risks, but having crossed at a carefully chosen place at first light and sprinting like Usain Bolt, I felt confident in our decision. The first two pitches were fun and rewarding. On pitch three I had the pleasure of leading a fantastic hands and thin-hands crack to the base of the crux pitch. Heading straight up a headwall then traversing under roofs, Saar led, breezing up the daunting, yet stellar pitch. The gear is thin, but the rock solid. Two more pitches from the crux brought us to a spacious bivouac plat‑ form, where some parties stay a night. Admiring the spectacular views I considered it a shame not to spend the night—until I remembered such an evening would require climbing with overnight gear and additional food and water. Fast and light is my preference!

From there we climbed 200 metres of fourth- and fifth-class terrain un-roped to the base of a headwall. Having snowed on Mount Slesse a few days earlier, the northern side of the buttress had occa‑ sional snow patches on the ledges, but they were easily managed. It was noon by then and I worried a bit about our time. The descent off Slesse is very long and the thought of doing it in the dark crept into my mind. Six pitches later, at 3:45 p.m. we summitted. The final pitches were steep, sustained and enjoyable on good rock with excellent protection. We enjoyed a quick snack break—our first since roping up at 7:45 a.m. A longer break would have been nice, but with a heinous descent ahead of us, we savoured the moment. With perfect weather, the summit views were incredible. We signed the register and started down, finding Jeremy Frimer’s description of the Crossover Pass descent invaluable. Following obvious cairns down a short gully to our first rappel, several more rappels and an easy traverse led to easier terrain. Finally at our last rappel, we reached Crossover Pass as the light faded. Heading down a grassy ledge system we quickly realized we’d erred—it was too steep. Quickly re-reading the description, we traversed under the Wooded Stump, in our tiredness realizing it was not actually the stump we’d expected, but a sub-peak. Soon plunging down a scree Travis McClinchey climbs toward the crux moves.  photo by Saar Moisa

slope, we reached the subalpine by 9 p.m. Relieved to be in benign terrain, I turned off my brain and entered zombie mode. For 15 hours I’d been mentally alert, making sure every step I made and every rock I pulled on was solid and I would not fall or slip into the abyss. Physically, I felt great, but my mind had thrown in the towel. I suspected Saar felt the same. The trail was difficult to navigate, forcing us to backtrack several times. At one point, a grouse-marmot Centaur-type creature ran in Saar’s direction, spooking him; he mustered enough energy to sprint uphill out of harm’s way. Observing the creature from afar, we debated its identity but never reached consensus. Eventually the trail grew less faint, more obvious and steeper. Sparse and slowly disintegrating flagging tape soon turned to reflectors; a welcomed change for two headlamp adorned climbers stumbling about in the dark. Reaching camp 18 hours after set‑ ting out, sleep came quickly. Well-rested in the morning, we hiked out, retrieving two victory beers we had stashed in Nesakwatch Creek. Finally reaching the truck, we popped them. Slesse had been my most committing,

remote and adventurous climb to date. I loved every minute of it. Travis McClinchey and Saar Moisa are ACC Vancouver Section members. Read a more detailed version of this story in the Nov. 2012 issue of Avalanche Echoes newsletter at Saar Moisa climbs above the Pocket Glacier, whose loose blocks he and partner Travis McClinchey sprinted underneath to gain the terrain above.  photo by Travis McClinchey

Club alpin du Canada


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2013  15

The Largest Network of Backc


ountry Huts in Nor th America

THINK AGAIN ! Get cozy. Stay overnight. Stay for a week.

.3200 x 0 |

VI Section celebrates centennial ascent by Lindsay



nce known as the Strathcona Matterhorn, 2,194-metre Elkhorn Mountain is the second highest mountain on Vancouver Island and the quintessential mountain of the Alpine Club of Canada’s Vancouver Island Section. The Section was formed in the winter of 1912 and chaired by William “Billy” Foster, then B.C.’s Deputy Minister of Public Works. Following meetings with the provincial government, Foster finalized a deal to ensure funding for an expedition to the newly established Strathcona Provincial Park. As experts in the field of mountaineering, ACC mem‑ bers were considered to be well qualified to provide opinions on the alpine attrac‑ tions of B.C.’s first provincial park. In August 1912, a large ACC party made its way from Victoria to Campbell River and then into the heart of the island, establishing a base at Drum Lake. Reginald Thomson, the park’s chief engineer whom the government had asked to oversee the party, spoke of a striking peak called the Matterhorn of Strathcona Park. In his Canadian Alpine Journal account, A.O. Wheeler wrote that Thomson “… dared the Alpine Club to make its ascent.” We replied: “Lead us

within striking distance.” The answer was “I will.” After viewing the mountain from a bench high on Crest Mountain, on Aug. 20, a party of nine, including Edward Wheeler, Arthur Wheeler, “Jimmie” Wilson, A.R. Hart, James Robertson, Francis Robertson, David Gillies, Herbert Frind and Albert MacCarthy, left Drum Lake and started up the Elk River. By the end of the day they had established a camp high on the west ridge. Starting early the next morning all nine eventually reached the summit of the Strathcona Matterhorn where the contents of an emergency brandy flask served to christen the peak Elkhorn. The triumphant climb‑ ers returned to Drum Lake the following day and were welcomed with an enthusi‑ astic reception by the rest of the party.


In the winter of 2012, VI Section members began their centennial cele‑ brations, one of many events being a commemorative ascent of Elkhorn. On Aug. 20, eight climbers rendezvoused at the trailhead, and after organizing gear we hiked up the Elk Valley to the junc‑ tion where the climber’s route up Elkhorn begins. With the fording of the Elk River behind us we picked up the flagged route

and began the steep climb into the upper hanging valley. Eventually we reached the side stream we had to follow to gain the lower west ridge. Half-way up we arrived at a rock slide where some old ropes hung down. While everyone stopped for lunch, Mike and I climbed up and attached a new rope; having been exposed to the elements for several seasons the old ones were frayed and of dubious worth. By mid-afternoon we had arrived in the alpine and set up our tents beside an alpine tarn, the last source of water on the mountain. Just after first light we were moving up the ridge toward our goal, however, the weather wasn’t what we had hoped for; the summit was in mist and moisture was in the air. We hoped the rain would hold off. At the base of where the climb‑ ing begins we put on harnesses, but didn’t rope up. Although the rock was steep everyone felt comfortable soloing until the final pitch below the gendarme. With a toprope secured, everyone was brought up to where we could see the route around the prominent gendarme. An airy traverse on a narrow ledge system angled around the south side where we safeguarded the route by fixing a hand-line on each of the three sections. Once we were all back on the ridge we un-roped and all moved together over the loose scree toward the summit. We arrived on the summit of Elkhorn at almost the same time as the first party back in 1912. Everyone was jubilant, especially those who were on Elkhorn for the first time. It didn’t matter that there was a light drizzle beginning to fall, but the summit photo was hastily arranged. Care was required on the descent now that the rock was damp and when we arrived at the top of the gendarme we found an alternate route down that avoided the airy Participants of the ACC’s Vancouver Island Section centennial ascent of Elkhorn Mountain share the summit on Aug. 21, 2012. Back row, from left, Tak Ogasawara, Lenka Visnovska, Janelle Curtis, Lindsay Elms. Front row, from left, Mike Morris, Dave Suttill, Valerie Wootton, Roxy Ahmed.  photo by Valerie Wootton

Ski Plane

Climbers on the centennial ascent of Elkhorn rappel carefully through thick mist.  photo by Dave Suttill

to your next backcountry ski adventure in the coastal mountains. e: t: 250 238 0177 At Yamnuska, we know that food is a critical part of any trip to the backcountry.

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Adam Greenberg PHOTO

traverse, first by wriggling between the rock and the icefield on the north side and then rappelling the névé ice to the scree below. To speed the descent of the rockwall we set up several long rappels that eventually reached the easy ridge below. The final walk back to camp seemed to take longer than the ascent, but who was watching the clock! The climb had been a success and all that was left was the descent to the Elk Valley and the walk out on the trail to the vehicles the next day. Later the following afternoon, after the hike out, we all met at a pub in Campbell River for the final celebration, a crowning of our centennial ascent of Elkhorn Mountain. Vancouver Island Section members celebrated their centennial by climbing 118 peaks in 2012. Lindsay Elms is credited with being the most “social climber” with 32 fellow summiteers.

• Packaged and prepared in our commercial kitchen. • Experience developing nutritious and light weight meals. • We can ship anywhere in Canada, or you can pick your order up at our office in Canmore, Alberta. 200, 50 Lincoln Park, Canmore | 1-866-678-4164 |

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Club alpin du Canada


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2013  19

Mercedario by

Gordon Hopper


he longest mountain chain in the world, the Andes is comprised of the highest mountains outside the Himalaya and Karakorums, 46 of which are higher than Alaska’s Denali. The High Andes is the region in the vicinity of a line drawn from Santiago, Chile to Mendoza, Argentina. It includes South America’s highest, 6,961-metre Aconcagua, as well as three other of the Andes’ top 25 summits: Mercedario, Tupungato and Cerro la Ramada. In total, the range boasts 15 peaks above 6,000 metres, and they are the most southerly 6,000-metre mountains in the world. After a successful trip in 2006 when we climbed Aconcagua and three mountains just under 6,000 metres at nearby Vallecetos, Elizabeth Tertil and I hatched an ambitious plot to climb the three other giants of the region. Some of these mountains, such as Tupungato, are volcanoes, but most are of folded rock. Mercedario and Ramada, like Aconcagua, are entirely in Argentina, whereas Tupungato sits on the Chile/Argentina border. Our first objective was 6,570-metre Tupungato. Because of large rivers on the Argentine side, this mountain is physic‑ ally easier to access from Chile. However in practice, it is not so simple, as one requires three permits and two liability waivers from the governmental depart‑ ment La Dirección Nacional de Fronteras y

Gordon Hopper savours his moment, and the spectacular view, from the summit of Mercedario.  hoto by Elizabeth Tertil p

Límites del Estado, the Chilean Army and the electric company AES Gener, which owns the access road. We obtained the first two but because of a major storm in the area just before we arrived, the electric company would not grant us access. Thus on arrival in Santiago on Jan. 10, 2012, we took a bus to Uspallata near Mendoza, Argentina. From there we hitched a lift on a back road to a small town called Barreal, our base for Mercedario and La Ramada. There we discovered an unusually large amount of snow in the mountains and the weather was still very stormy high up. However, after securing transport by 4WD, we drove for two hours up a very dramatic dirt road in the Valle de Callingasta to the start of the Mercedario climb, a seven-day ascent.

South America’s highest peak, Aconcagua (top left), is clearly visible from the summit of Mercedario.  hoto by Gordon Hopper p

Because of the acclimatisation process, our hiking was limited to two to five hours each day. The weather continued to be very unstable high on the mountain with lots of snow and gale-force winds. As the high camp was very exposed, we spent three nights at 4,956 metres waiting for the weather to improve. It did not, so we retreated to Barreal for a few days to relax in the warm Argentine summer sun and enjoy the good food and excellent local wines. Four days later we returned to the mountain. This time, as we were already acclimatised, we were able to climb to high camp at 5,653 metres in three days. Next morning, summit day, dawned very cold and clear with lots of frosted condensation on the tent wall which fell on our faces each time the wind blew. The climb, on snow and scree, was 1,100 metres in altitude gain, and five to six kilometres in distance, one-way. Route finding in these mountains can be quite tricky but a group from the Cordoba Mountaineering Club preceded us by a few hours. The views to the north continued to improve as we made our way up the mountain in slow motion, as is the norm at these altitudes. Reaching the summit at 7 p.m., the low sun still had warmth in it and there was not a breath of wind. The views were stunning, with Aconcagua 100 kilometres to the south; La Ramada, La Mesa and Pico Polacos nearby; and the very scenic Cordillera Ansilta to the north. There is great controversy about the altitude of this mountain (and many other Andean summits), with the official Argentine one

Climbing rocks!


re you a crimp-pimping boul‑ derer? A no-bolts trad climber? A steel-nerved and muscled alpinist? Or maybe a 5.14 gym climber, easy-route scrambler, fly-weight skimo racer or a twice-a-season standard route mountaineer? Can you finish this sentence: Climbing rocks because…? The Alpine Club of Canada Gazette is your magazine, featuring stories and photos all about you and your fellow ACC members. And the Gazette wants to share your stories about why you climb and what you love about your style of climbing. For details about photos, deadlines and how to submit your story, contact

IFSC Bouldering World Cup Canada


ith 80 top athletes from 15 countries, including Canadians Sean McColl, Sebastien Lazure, Josh Muller, Thirza Carpenter and Stacey Weldon competing, Canada’s second IFSC Bouldering World Cup, running June 1-2 in Hamilton, Ontario and sanctioned by the ACC, IFSC federation member, promises a thrilling event. Weekend passes will be for sale through the ACC website. Read more in the Summer Gazette.

Ayou Sopeju practices at Underpass Park, Toronto, Ontario.  

Photography: Andy Mann I Expedition: The Incan Odyssey


Athlete: Mick Follari

photo by

Ruby Photo Studio •

being 6,770 metres. Our GPS read 6,726 metres, while John Biggar’s The Andes, a Guide for Climbers, the most comprehen‑ sive guidebook to the Andes, places the height at approximately 6,700 metres, based on SRTM surveys from NASA. After a three and a half-hour descent, some in darkness, we were glad to reach our tent on the edge of the Ollada glacier. It took another two days to return to Barreal and unfortunately there was not enough time to climb La Ramada (a-nine-day round trip). Instead, we spent the last few days visiting the World Heritage Sites of Ischigualasto (Valle de la Luna, Argentina) and Talampaya with their incredible rock formations and fossils from the Triassic Period of 245 to 208 million years ago. Alpine Club of Canada Calgary Section members Gordon Hopper and Elizabeth Tertil are prolific travellers with a special fondness for South America’s mountains. Guanacos keep a wary eye on a couple of climbers.  photo by Gordon Hopper

Marmot Insulated Collection

Club alpin du Canada


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2013  21

What my ACC means to me by

Christine Mazur


orn and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, I’d never heard of the Alpine Club of Canada until after returning from finishing a law degree in Alberta. Funny, too, since Winnipeg is where it all began in 1906, and Alberta is where the mountains are. Shortly after returning to Winnipeg in 2001, I met a young man through my sister’s circle of friends who invited me to join him at a local indoor climbing gym. Then he invited my sister and me to the Winnipeg leg of the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour, and finally, one spring day, we headed east to some gran‑ ite cliffs in the Kenora, Ontario area with a group of his friends. My friend, Simon Statkewich, who was—and still is—chair of the ACC’s Manitoba Section, tied a figure eight knot on my borrowed harness. In reply to my nervous, “what do I do?” he said, “go up.” A man of few words, that Simon. I looked up. Way up. Then I faced the rock immediately in front of me and addressed the task one little spur of rock at a time. Mid-way up that first climb, I heard someone below say, “wow, obviously she’s done this before.” Yeah—once before! Indoors! After that first day of climbing outdoors, I was hooked. The process of moving with hands and feet up a rock face was so relaxing and meditative, and spending a summer’s afternoon outdoors with good friends was an incredible experience. On my own, I joined the ACC and soon started going on Manitoba Section climbs. Some of the people I have

met since then have become and remain among my closest friends, our lives now intertwined far beyond basic Club activities. Potlucks, classical music concerts, birthday and family celebrations, sup‑ porting each other in times of both joy and misfortune; these are all part of the rewards I’ve been so fortunate to have experienced through my association with the ACC. Personally, I have been inspired by my involvement to stretch and grow my skills in ways I’d never imagined. I could even possibly lay the blame for my quitting the legal practice in pursuit of other dreams at the foot of the ACC. A brand new club member, I was sitting at such an angle at my first annual general meeting so as to be unable to avoid eye contact with Peter Muir who was calling for someone to step in and take over the position of newsletter editor. For the next few years I put together the Section’s quarterly bulletin, Cliff Notes, and one day had an idea: so many of our Club members have some incredible stories to tell, and the kicker is, they live in Manitoba. Yet they live and breathe climbing. What if we put together a com‑ pilation of their stories in a book? That opportunity arose when the ACC put out the call for special project proposals to celebrate the Club’s centennial year in 2006. Simon and I, together with hist‑ ory scholar and climber David Relkoff, got our first taste of book editing and publishing when we created Manitoba Climbers: A Century of Stories from the Birthplace of the Alpine Club of Canada.

Summer Leadership Course for ACC Volunteers Twice a year, ACC sections from across the country send their leaders to

22  Alpine Club of Canada


Spring 2013

photo :

2013 Location - Scotch Peaks (Purcells)

Cyril ShokopleS

The North Face–ACC Leadership Course

Christine climbs at the popular ACC destination, Panorama Cliff, in northwestern Ontario.  photo by Richard Wood

The book project was just one of many other little influences of the ACC on my decision to quit law. Afterwards I enrolled in a creative communications course where I learned the art of video shooting and editing. An assignment for a television documentary film course resulted in a short film which I submitted to the Banff Mountain Film Festival. The Banff Centre invited me to enroll in the Adventure Filmmaker’s Workshop, which I did, having the experience of a lifetime, spending the week of the 2009 BMFF in Banff. What an incredible experience, learning from professional filmmakers about shooting the activities I’d come to love doing. The sense of adventure I’ve discovered within myself from taking part in ACC activities has fuelled my travel addiction, and though I’m currently not as active with the Club as I’ve been in the past, I always look for opportunities to climb things no matter where or for what rea‑ son as I travel in the world. Manitoba Section member Christine Mazur, who also belongs to the St. Boniface Section, has been an ACC member since 2002. She volunteers with the Manitoba Section’s BMFF Committee.

Ce que mon appartenance au Club alpin signifie pour moi par


Christine Mazur

e suis née et j’ai grandi à Winnipeg, et avant d’y revenir après avoir terminé mes études de droit en Alberta, je n’avais jamais entendu parler du Club alpin du Canada. Amusant, puisque même si les montagnes se trouvent en Alberta, c’est bien à Winnipeg que fut fondé le CAC en 1906. Peu de temps après mon retour dans cette ville en 2001, j’ai rencontré un jeune homme qui faisait partie du groupe d’amis de ma sœur, et qui m’a invitée à l’accompagner au club local d’escalade intérieure. Par la suite, il nous a invitées, ma sœur et moi, à la section de Winnipeg du Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour. Et finalement, un jour de printemps, nous sommes partis vers l’est escalader des falaises de granit dans la région de Kenora, en Ontario, en compagnie de ses amis. Lors de notre première sortie, mon ami, Simon Statkewich, qui était – et est encore – président de la section du Manitoba du CAC, a attaché un nœud en huit au harnais que j’avais emprunté. Comme je demandais nerveusement « et maintenant, qu’est-ce que je fais ? » il m’avait tout simplement répondu « monte ». Un homme de peu de mots, ce Simon ! J’ai regardé en haut. Tout en haut. Puis j’ai regardé le rocher, juste là, devant mes yeux, et j’ai commencé à gravir la paroi, un petit bout de rocher à la fois. Au milieu de cette première montée, j’ai entendu quelqu’un, plus bas, qui disait : « Wow, c’est évident qu’elle a déjà fait ça. » Oui, une fois ! À l’intérieur ! Dès cette première journée d’escalade extérieure, j’étais devenue accro. Bouger

n’t ut! o D so s mi

mains et pieds pour me déplacer sur une face rocheuse était si relaxant, si médi‑ tatif; et partager un bel après-midi d’été en plein air avec de bons amis, quelle expérience unique ! J’ai donc décidé par moi-même de joindre le Club alpin du Canada et, très vite, j’ai commencé à aller grimper avec les membres de la section du Manitoba. J’y ai rencontré des gens qui sont devenus et demeurent mes amis les plus proches, et nos vies s’entremêlent bien au-delà des activités du Club. Les rencontres à la fortune du pot, les concerts de musique classique, les anniversaires, les fêtes familiales, et le soutien que nous nous apportons dans la joie comme dans les moments difficiles, sont quelques exemples de tout ce que j’ai eu la chance de vivre dans le cadre de mon appartenance au CAC. Du point de vue personnel, j’y ai également trouvé l’inspiration pour améliorer et même dépasser mes capacités au-delà de ce que j’aurais pu imaginer. Je pourrais même mettre sur le compte de mon apparten‑ ance au CAC ma décision d’abandonner ma pratique du droit pour poursuivre d’autres rêves. J’étais toute nouvelle au CAC lorsque j’ai assisté à ma première réunion générale annuelle, et d’où j’étais, je ne pouvais éviter le regard de Peter Muir, qui demandait un volontaire au poste d’éditeur du bulletin. Au cours des années suivantes, j’ai donc été éditeur du bulletin trimestriel des Sections, Cliff Notes. Un jour j’ai eu une idée : tant de membres de notre Club (de véritables mordus d’escalade !) ont des histoires incroyables à raconter, et ils habitent au Manitoba. Pourquoi ne pas réunir leurs

histoires en un livre ? L’occasion s’est présentée lorsque le CAC a lancé un appel de projets spéciaux pour célébrer le centenaire du Club en 2006. Simon et moi, de concert avec l’historien et alpin‑ iste David Relkoff, avons ainsi fait nos débuts en tant qu’éditeurs de livres en publiant Manitoba Climbers: A Century of Stories from the Birthplace of the Alpine Club of Canada. Ce projet de livre fait partie de toutes ces expériences que j’ai vécues grâce au CAC et qui ont influencé ma décision d’abandonner la pratique du droit. Je me suis inscrite à un cours de création en communications et dans le cadre d’un cours j’ai réalisé un court métrage que j’ai soumis au Banff Mountain Film Festival. Le Banff Centre m’a alors invitée à m’inscrire à l’atelier intitulé Adventure Filmmaker’s Workshop, et j’ai passé une semaine fantastique au BMFF 2009 à Banff. Apprendre de cinéastes profession‑ nels à filmer les activités que j’avais appris à aimer fut une expérience unique ! Le sens de l’aventure que j’ai décou‑ vert en moi en participant aux activités du CAC a alimenté ma dépendance à l’égard du voyage. Et même si je suis un peu moins active auprès du Club que par le passé, je suis toujours à la recherche d’endroits à escalader ou que ce soit et pour quelque raison que ce soit, lorsque je voyage à travers le monde. Membre de la Section du Manitoba, Christine Mazur, qui fait également partie de la Section de St-Boniface, est membre du Club alpin du Canada depuis 2002. Elle agit à titre de bénévole au Comité du BMFF de la Section du Manitoba.

In the Scotch Peaks area of the Purcell Mountains 2013 GENERAL MOUNTAINEERING CAMP Six week-long camps from July 6 - August 17

Photo: Roger Laurilla

Photo: Roy Millar

Photo: Roger Laurilla

Photo: Roger Laurilla

Fantastic mountaineering on granite peaks in close proximity to camp Club alpin du Canada


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Australian Alpine Walking Track a memorable march by

Michael Teekens


he Australian Alpine Walking Track (AAWT) is a demanding walk covering a distance of 683 rugged kilometres through Australia’s highest mountains from Walhalla in Victoria to Tharwa Visitor Centre near the nation’s capitol, Canberra. Passing through tall forests and stunted snow gum woodlands, the track follows ridges and crosses high plains of the Great Australian Alps, Australia’s highest points, in the country’s southeastern corner. Our group of 12 started from Dead Horse Gap near Thredbo and hiked to the Benambra road, deep in Victoria’s alpine area, a distance of 116 kilometres. A Youth Hostels of Australia (YHA) trip, our adventure began with an early mor‑ ning drive on Boxing Day to Corryong, in northeastern Victoria. Arriving at midday, we visited the local coffee shop for our last taste of good cappuccino. We then rendezvoused with two transporta‑ tion company drivers who ferried us in vans to our start point. There the drivers brought out a table with delicious food and drinks. At 3 p.m. we started out with heavy packs, walking on the easy track for eight kilometres to Cascade Hut. Before long, dark clouds heralded rain and hail, but soon afterward the sun dried us with a brisk cool wind. After walking on an easy 4WD track we reached our destination and set up our tents while some cooked inside the hut. The second day brought an easy 18-kilometre walk to the Tin Mine Hut. Day three delivered the highlight of our trip; in the distance we could hear a pack With the Tin Mine Huts closed, Michael Pianelli, left and the author, right, pitched their tents nearby.  photo by Bruce Meinke

24  Alpine Club of Canada


Spring 2013

A hiker walks through a forest of snow gums, a sturdy variety of Eucalyptus tree which becomes gnarled and twisted by the ravages of harsh climate and gale-force winds.  photo by Michael Teekens

YHA icon who has been leading trips for of dingos howl just like wolves do, an decades. By the time we reached our des‑ interesting experience that was new to tination some members of the group were me. On that day we climbed the highest suffering terrible blisters that required a peak of the trip, The Pilot. Walking on bit of TLC, while we all endured mossies 4WD tracks, we left our packs at an inter‑ section to walk up the easy slope to Pilot’s that evening. 1,830-metre summit. From the summit, Our sixth day—the last day of the which bore a large cairn, year—was a 20-kilo‑ we enjoyed superb views metre hike with many of New South Wales’ ups and downs. The highest range, the Main map showed our Range, which reaches final campsite near 2,230 metres. Half an Buenba Creek to be hour later we descended marshland, but in to our backpacks to reality it was very dry. feast on lunch, then We finished all of our continued on to our food, making walking camping destination on New Year’s Day a at Cowombat Flats. bit lighter, something Arriving there we saw we were grateful for many wild horses, called after a bit of a party. brumbies. This area is We began our the source of Australia’s final day at 6:30 a.m. longest river, 2,995-kilo‑ for the 22-kilometre metre Murray River. walk, a wise decision With Australia being well-known for The fourth day we that allowed us to its plentiful numbers and varieties of woke up to heavy frost on avoid the heat of the snakes, the author preferred not to the ground and the tents. sun. Then came the hike in the lead.  photo by Bruce Meinke Walking up a plateau, we long steep climb of witnessed parts of the fuselage and wings 250 metres up a spur to reach Johnnies from a DC-3 scattered around, remnants Point at 1,566 metres, where we rested and enjoyed the discovery of a new water from a plane crash in 1953. The 4WD track tank to fill our bottles. From there wellcrisscrossed several creeks, which were fortunately not deep, but we were on con‑ marked AAWT signs on tree trunks made stant alert for snakes. After many ups and the going easy and the Beloka Range downs on the tracks we camped in a large was quite pleasant to walk. At one point open field in a valley called Stoney Creek. we followed an indistinct route with The following day we walked to many fallen trees and dense foliage, then Buckwong Creek on mainly 4WD tracks, the trail descended steeply and opened which at points required the navigational up with rocky terrain easing off gently. talents of Bruce, our master tracker and Suddenly I heard cars in the distance and



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knew the end was near; at the road two vans picked us up. My toes were rejoicing. Our trek totalled 116 kilometres, plus extra for The Pilot and a few other excur‑ sions. Arriving at Corryong campground by 6 p.m. we shared great anticipation for well-deserved showers after spending

eight days in the wilderness, but to our disappointment we had to contend with cold water. Thankfully, it was a hot day! Alpine Club of Canada member Michael Teekens belongs to the Calgary Section, but is currently living in Melbourne, in the Australian state of Victoria.

ACC member Michael Teekens, far right, stands with his trip mates against a backdrop of snow gum trees at Johnnies Top.  photo by Jeff Barker

Shovel Pass

Backcountry Lodge Skyline Trail

Jasper National Park, AB

Hiker accommodation located mid way on the famous Skyline Trail at 7,000 feet.

1-888-852-7787 Club alpin du Canada


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2013  25

Book ends compiled by Lynn


Summits and Icefields: Alpine Ski Tours in the Columbia Mountains

by Chic Scott and Mark Klassen With pages and pages of large, full-colour photos, line after line of accurate, detailed and concise route information, clearly drawn topo maps and a whole lot of excellent background information by two great masters of their terrain, the only thing backcountry skiers need to add to this book are the stupendous alpine vistas they’ll enjoy from the top of a col or peak, or the cheek bursting smiles they wear after skiing one of these slopes in deep, fluffy powder. From Über popular day trips in the Rogers Pass area to the classic Bugaboos to Rogers Pass or lesser travelled but highly-praised Northern Cariboo traverses, this volume is a backcountry lover’s soft and fluffy dream book. Published by Rocky Mountain Books, .

A Beginner’s Guide to Snowshoeing in the Canadian Rockies

by Andrew Nugara There’s hardly a winter activity better suited to beginners than snowshoeing, and prolific guidebook author Andrew Nugara knows how to help lure even the most timid winter explorers beyond the parking lot. Complete with photos of snowmen, air bubbles sealed in a frozen lakebed, silly humour shots, babies in back‑ packs and enticing, short-sleeves-on-a-sunny-spring-day images, this guidebook highlights more than 40 accessible snowshoeing destinations ideal for the whole family. Making everything one step easier with an appendix organised by difficulty level, and valuable hints for the first-time snowshoe shopper, Nugara is a pro at sharing all the reasons snowshoeing is “fun, great exercise” that “allows you to travel into places of surreal beauty that would otherwise be inaccessible during winter and spring”. Published by Rocky Mountain Books, .

Bear 71

Cold Matters: The State and Fate of Canada’s Fresh Water

by Bob Sandford Having immersed himself in fresh‑ water science and policy issues since 2005, Sandford has become an inter‑ nationally respected authority on matters of water availability and the effects of climate change. In Cold Matters, he describes the research, researchers and results of long-term scientific studies of cold regions hydrology, glaciology, meteorology and climatology in western and northern Canada— the exact playground where ACC members love and live to climb and ski tour. This book shares, in easy-to-understand terms, the basic principles that govern hydrology and glaciology in Canada, the rapid changes to rivers, snow, glaciers and permafrost that scientists have observed over the past several decades, and the implications of those findings not just for the future of Canada’s invaluable natural landscapes, but also for those who recreate in the alpine environment. Published by Rocky Mountain Books, .

Becoming Water: Glaciers in a Warming World

by Michael Demuth Mom, where does a glacier come from? If you’ve ever fielded this question, this book holds the answer. Written by one of Canada’s most respected glaciologists, Mike Demuth, Becoming Water takes readers on a tour of our country’s great—and dimin‑ ishing—glaciers, describing how they formed, how they function and what their future will likely look like. From Canada’s high Arctic to the mountains of B.C. and Alberta, this book explains, in climber-friendly terms, how varied and complex our glaciers really are, how they are measured and how they figure in the national and global story of inescapable climate change. From a mountain recreationist’s point of view, Becoming Water opens an entirely new and fascinating look at the glaciers we love to explore. Published by Rocky Mountain Books, .

by Leanne Allison and Jeremy Mendes Not a book, this innovative NFB (National Film Board of Canada) interactive documentary tells the story of a Bow Valley momma grizzly bear killed by a train on the Canadian Pacific railroad tracks east of Canmore. The 20-minute film incorporates a digital landscape map with still and video images captured by sensor-triggered cameras installed on backcountry trails throughout the Rockies’ mountain parks. Navigating by keyboard or mouse, the viewer passes over lakes, forest, rivers, the railroad and highway encountering wolves, bears, cougars, deer, lynx, ravens, wolverines and humans. Pullout segments share individual animals’ stories—the name researchers gave it, the distances it travelled, how it crossed over or under the highway, how many young it raised. One option invites the viewer to become part of the picture, literally, via their own desktop camera. To experience the multi-award-winning Bear 71, visit or check out . 26  Alpine Club of Canada


Spring 2013



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to ways



Everest book celebrates climbing, publishing firsts by Lynn



wo skilled climbers and talented writers, two distinctly different expeditions and one very big mountain comprise the key ingredients of the innovative “coffee tablet” book, Everest: High Expectations. Written by Pat Morrow, who sum‑ mitted Mount Everest as a member of Canada’s 1982 expedition two days after teammate Laurie Skreslet became the first Canadian to reach that pinnacle, and Sharon Wood, who became the first North American woman to reach that same point in 1986 with teammate Dwayne Congdon via a difficult new and never repeated route, the book itself represents several firsts. In a narrative sense, it’s the first publication to tell the story of how the preparation, unfolding, tragedies and successes of the 1982 expedition spurred the particular planning, execution and triumph of the 1986 expedition. But its production as an electronic book designed specifically to take advan‑ tage of the iPad’s unique technological capabilities sets a new standard for illus‑ trated books by combining the tradition of splendid coffee tables books with multi-media innovation. With 142 full-colour photographs illustrating its 140 pages, the book con‑ tains chapters by both authors. Each describes their personal histories and apprenticeships that led to their inclu‑ sion on their respective teams in an era when the only people climbing Everest were highly-skilled climbers invited by their peers. Subsequent chapters detail

their respective climbs, and the book concludes with afterwords by each of them, in which Wood and Morrow share insightful comments on the mostly lamentable state of Everest as over‑ crowded and disrespected, with Morrow writing, “Adventure tourism has turned one of the world’s great mountains into a crowded playground. Admission is costly, and sometimes fatal.” Both Morrow and Wood’s writing styles are engaging and captivating as they describe the adventures and experiences that defined and celebrated that particular chapter of each of their life stories. At the same time, the book’s equal triumph is in its multi-media 3D presentation facilitated by the iPad’s technology. A flick of the finger on any photo expands the image to fill the screen. Numerous photos have two, three or as many as 10-full colour and sharply tex‑ tured images accessed as interactive slide shows, each bearing captions that share additional details about the climbs’ events, personalities and state of the mountain. Not stopping at still photos, the hybrid book also incorporates video and audio footage from both the ’82 and ’86 expeditions, which literally bring the story to life—including breathless commentary by Skreslet as he films an avalanche thundering down a not-verydistant slope, adding an extra dimension of drama and depth to the story. You can feel the cold in Skreslet’s voice.

ACC/ACMG Guides Ball Patrons Sharon Wood (2004) and Pat Morrow (2010), teamed up to produce Everest: High Expectations, the first multi-media iBook.  submitted photo

The book also includes links to external resources including a one-hour documentary, as well as electronic foot‑ notes providing valuable information of key people and story elements that can be accessed later without interrupting the text. Beyond the high-tech bells and whis‑ tles though, Everest: High Expectations masterfully shares a story from a perspective that’s never before been recorded—how the circumstances of the 1982 expedition, during which a large team intent on making a uniquely Canadian stamp on Everest by climbing a new, technically challenging route, fractured after the tragic deaths of three Sherpas and a cameraman, regrouped and ultimately succeeded in its goal of placing the first Canadian on the summit— inspired and guided the planning and execution of the self-sufficient, smaller Everest Light 1986 expedition. To produce the publication to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the ’82 climb, Morrow teamed up with pub‑ lisher Frank Edwards, with whom he first worked in 1975 when Edwards was editor of Canadian Geographic magazine. For her part, Wood said she valued the opportunity to write about the ’86 exped‑ ition from her perspective as one member of the team and to express how the ’82 expedition influenced and inspired her.

continued on the bottom of page 29.

ACC member assists Bangladeshi’s dreams by Lynn



or Wasfia Nazreen, visiting the Canadian Rockies in December and meeting Alpine Club of Canada member Pat Morrow meant con‑ necting with one of her biggest heroes. A Bangladeshi native who’s lived in Dharamsala, India (the Dalai Lama’s home in exile) Nazreen was introduced through the Canada Tibet Committee’s Calgary branch president. “I’ve been reading Pat’s stuff since I was in university and picked up a book in the library,” Nazreen said. “He’s like a legend in my world.” Nazreen’s visit—which involved snow‑ shoeing in deep powder and dragging heavy tires across a frozen lake—helped her prepare to climb Antarctica’s Mount Vinson, which she accomplished on Jan. 5, as part of her project to climb the highest peak on the seven continents. Morrow, who lives in Wilmer, B.C., was the first person to complete the Seven Summits in 1986. The idea for her project, Bangladesh on Seven Summits: Women Reaching New Heights, came to her while snow‑ bound in a remote Nepali village for seven weeks in 2010. “I decided I wanted to do something for my country,” she said. “Whenever I would say I was from Bangladesh, people would say, ‘oh, you guys get a lot of floods,’ or they’d mention the poverty. While that is true, we’ve also come a long way.” Raised in an affluent Muslim family, she defied her father’s wishes and bor‑ rowed money from an uncle to attend

university in the US and the UK. After graduating, she returned to Asia to work for aid organizations, including CARE Bangladesh, helping sex workers, traf‑ ficked women and efforts to stop violence against women. Motivated to mark her country’s 40th birthday—March 26, 2011—she launched her Seven Summits project on Europe’s highest, Mount Elbrus, but bad weather prevented her from summitting. She climbed Africa’s highest, Kilimanjaro, via its least travelled route with a female guide/friend from Alaska. A month later she became the first Bengali to climb South America’s Aconcagua, summitting on Dec. 16, 2011, the 40th anniversary of Bangladesh’s Victory Day. Having climbed to nearly 7,000 metres, she decided she was ready for Mount Everest. Sharing logistics with another company, her climbing team con‑ sisted of two Sherpas, whose language she speaks. Climbing with just one Sherpa on summit day, twice he used the rope he carried to set a route circumventing the long queue of climbers. Since summitting, her life has irrevoc‑ ably changed. “I couldn’t get off the plane. It was a whole national thing—thousands. Twenty buses from my village,” she recalled. “Now I can’t even walk in the street. Fathers call, ‘I want my daughter to learn from you.’ But it’s a positive thing. You just say a few lines and change their lives.” Thirty and single—an anomaly in her country—she’s sold her property and slept on couches. Rejected by 16

continued from previous page.

More than just a book, Everest: High Expectations is a well-written, intro‑ spective and thoughtful story artfully told in a 3D multi-media experience. As such, Morrow said he feels confident that while many fans of mountain literature may not own or use iPads, with 600 million current iPad users projected to rise to 100 million, he expected the book’s captivat‑ ing stories of adventure combined with its high production values have the potential to reach a large audience, including those who might discover mountaineering as reading genre. At the same time, he added, the book could potentially be

“I really enjoyed writing about how I was very moved to witness my peers facing such hardship and rising to it, and also by how different individuals rose to those challenges in very different ways,” Wood said. “The ’82 trip was very much an inspiration for me, and I wanted a chance to rise to a challenge the way they did.” With both the ’82 and ’86 climbs being ground-breaking Canadian mountaineer‑ ing accomplishments, it’s only fitting the book that links their connection should be too.

Bangladeshi climber Wasfia Nazreen tows a heavy load of tires and wood planks across the frozen Columbia River Wetlands near her hero Pat Morrow’s home.  photo by Pat Morrow

companies, for Vinson she partnered with BRAC, a Bangladeshi NGO. In exchange she’ll be their goodwill ambassador for a year. Her ambitions include establishing an institution for girls to lead non-trad‑ itional lifestyles, with its students including victims of violence. “It’s not just about climbing the mountains; it’s about getting the Bangladeshi community together and celebrating where women have come,” she said. “I’ll really think I’ve climbed a mountain when I see 10 other girls from my country benefit. “And Pat has been so supportive. He’s been really lovely.” made suitable for other electronic readers. “Mountaineering is a natural fit for electronic books, so many expeditions have video and audio components,” Morrow said. “Keep in mind; this is only version two of this software. We’re just at the dawn of iBook publishing. The iPad itself is underutilized. Our book stands a chance of opening eyes to what’s possible.” Everest: High Expectations is down‑ loadable on the iPad by searching for the title, authors’ names or at the iTunes book store for $9.99. Club alpin du Canada


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2013  29

Remarkable women

ACC Honorary President passes

Among the many things of which the Alpine Club of Canada is especially proud, is that women were welcomed as members from the Club’s inception in 1906, even if, as Marj Hind recalled, section trips in the 1950s involved, “one female to each car, and she was respon‑ sible for the food—buying, cooking, etc. Everyone helped pay.” We have, as they say, come a long way. My own Canadian-born grandfather forbade my grandmother from working (she was an operating room nurse) after they married in the 1930s. When he died in the 1970s, she didn’t know how to write a cheque—like many of her generation. While they were welcomed as ACC members, for Marj Hind and Sarka Spinkova to have travelled across oceans as unmarried women in their era was exceptional. The ACC is fortunate to have included women of such character among our ranks. While women in general, including aspiring mountain‑ eers, continue to face oppression and discrimination in India, Afghanistan and Bangladesh (see page 29), in Canada women such as Marj and Sarka helped break trail for Sharon Wood to become the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides’ (ACMG) first female assistant alpine guide in 1983, and Diny Harrison the ACMG’s first female full mountain guide in 1992. This winter, ACC member Melanie Bernier became the first Canadian to win a European ski mountaineering competi‑ tion, and fellow ACCer Sarah Hueniken the first North American woman to climb M11 (page 11). As 2013 marks the ACMG’s 50th birthday, (more in upcom‑ ing issues of the Gazette), among its 800 members, three of its full mountain guides are mothers. And very soon, one of two exceptionally qualified women will serve as this Club’s first Vice President for Sections (pages 8-9). Thanks Sarka and Marj! —Ed.

aving been born in Calgary within sight of the Rockies in 1925, Marj Hind came by her love of mountains honestly. As a teenager she joined the Canadian Youth Hostel Association (now Hostelling International Canada), and participated in hiking and skiing adventures. In 1943 she travelled to Switzerland—a remark‑ ably bold adventure for an unmarried woman of that era—where she climbed the Matterhorn by the less-travelled Furggen Ridge route, setting a speed record with her guide. In 1947 she gradu‑ ated from nurse’s training at Calgary General Hospital, where she later served as head nurse in the maternity ward. But first, after her graduation, she lived in the UK for 13 months, where she hiked and climbed. Since WWII had recently ended and goods were still rationed, she bought a bicycle for transportation. Upon returning to Calgary she joined the Alpine Club of Canada’s Calgary Section, and with her husband, Bob Hind, (ACC president 196466), whom she met on a Club trip, climbed many peaks and attended many General Mountaineering Camps. With him she raised five children, two from his previous marriage. When she died in October, 2012 at the age of 87, Marj Hind was a devoted grandmother and great-grandmother, and the ACC’s Honorary President. Read more about Marj Hind in the 2013 Canadian Alpine Journal.

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Marj Hind 1925 – 2012


Sarka Spinkova 1920 – 2012


s an Alpine Club of Canada Life Member, Sarka Spinkova made a lasting impression on Canada’s mountain community. Born in Prague, Czechoslovakia (as the country was then known) in 1920, Spinkova immigrated to Canada in the early 1950s. Educated at Paris’s Sorbonne, for many years she worked as a highly respected teacher of French and German at Toronto’s Leaside High School. She was a talented pianist, choir member, and supporter of arts and Sarka Spinkova stands on the 3954-metre theatre. A keen skier and adventurous summit of the King of the Rockies, Mount traveller, she visited China and hiked in Robson, with Hans Gmoser (left) in 1975. the Alps and the Tatras. But it was in the Canadian Rockies where her passion for the alpine blossomed after meeting Hans Gmoser. With him she climbed Mounts Assiniboine and Hungabee, and in 1957, Mount Robson. At that time, the peak had not been climbed for many years, and had not been guided since 1939. The following summer Gmoser guided Spinkova to the summit of Mount Alberta; it was only the third ascent of the peak, and the first by a woman. An enthusiastic supporter of the ACC, Spinkova contributed to the Canadian Alpine Journal and donated to the construction of the Boswell Cabin at the Canmore Clubhouse. She died in March, 2012 at the age of 91.


Climbing and walking trips for men and women, with Dan Mazur. All ages and abilities, expert to novice. Everest summit climbs, training climbs, and treks, Mount Elbrus, Ama Dablam, Cho Oyu, Baruntse, North Col, Lhotse, Everest Glacier School, Island Peak, Muztagh Ata, Mera Peak, Shishapangma, Aconcagua, Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya. Charity Service Walks near Everest, Seattle Glacier School during summer and Canada-USA Friendship winter climbing school (free, no charge). 360-570-0715 Skype: summitclimb

B&B Vacation

in the French Pyrenees

Trekking, hiking, climbing and skiing based at the Bel Arrayo B&B run by mountain enthusiast Laurent Ortega. Location : Cauterets, a few minutes walk from the Parc National des Pyrénées. Access  : Lourdes railway station or airport. Rates  : doubles between 70-90 €uros with breakfast. Contact Laurent at : < > . Site web : tel 011 33 Ø5 62 91 74 24 (from Canada).

NOTICES Upcoming Meetings Board of Directors meeting: ●● May 11, 2013 in Canmore Section Council meeting: ●● May 11, 2013 in Canmore Annual General Meeting: ●● May 11, 2013 in Canmore

Classified Ad Rates: $30 plus $1 per word + taxes E-mail your ad to:

Open air by


Rick Gardiner

n his 1958 book, Building in the Mountains: Architecture and History, Mario Cereghini wrote, “We are all agreed that hiking, mountaineering and skiing are schools of hardihood but we do not see what good it is to anybody to sleep badly and eat worse, or to have to spend hours and days of bad weather deprived of the most elementary conveniences.” In Canada, we can thank Herb and Pat Kariel for pointing out in their book, Alpine Huts in the Rockies, Selkirks and Purcells, the all-too-obvious, but sometimes taken for granted, need for huts in our mountains. But what we mustn’t forget is that the foundation of these huts is built upon the Alpine Club of Canada’s partnerships with Parks Canada and BC Parks. Our partnerships extend back to the beginnings of mountain exploration in Canada, which is evident in the longevity of our collaboration with Parks Canada. In his book, J. B. Harkin: Father of Canada’s National Parks, E.J. (Ted) Hart wrote, “James Harkin was thirty-six years old in 1911 when he became commissioner of the new Dominion Parks Branch (Parks Canada). His first visit to Canada’s western parks and reserves occurred in 1912, and included a sojourn with the Alpine Club of Canada’s Vermilion Pass Camp, an experience that stimulated in him a deeper appreciation of the positive effects of wilderness.” According to the Kariels, “In 1907 the ACC had applied to the Dominion Government for a lease on two acres of land on the south shore of Lake O’Hara, east of Opabin Creek, as a site for a future hut. This was granted in 1912, and the site was used as both a main and auxiliary site for several annual camps. In 1931 the ACC surrendered the original lease on the lakeshore in exchange for a lease of one acre around the buildings on the meadow. A contemporary account by ACC member Edna Greer tells about the acquisition of the two cabins there (Elizabeth Parker and Wiwaxy Cabins). An important link in the chain of cabins available to club members was forged when the Canadian Pacific Railway generously donated to the Alpine Club of Canada the comfortable cabin originally

the main building of the bungalow camp in the meadows at Lake O’Hara.” So, from the very beginning, the ACC has been very fortunate to be allowed to play a significant role in the history of North America’s largest hut system. We’ve been creating and operating huts from the very beginnings of our asso‑ ciation. We’ve also been influential in helping those in the parks’ agencies to realize their potential in regards to the creation of this hut system. Partnerships are not new territory. They’ve always been a means to an end of achieving something perhaps out of the realm of one organisation’s abilities when standing alone, that become ever-sopossible when two, or more, organisations share a common objective. Could Parks Canada and BC Parks have built, and operated, North America’s largest hut system alone? Perhaps. Could the ACC have built and developed this extensive array of huts throughout western Canada by itself ? Not likely. In some respects, the ACC can be seen as the go-between glue that helps bring together two parks agen‑ cies’ assets, along with our own unique assets, to create the synergies that allow a more extensive hut system than any of the three organisations alone may have been able to muster up. Because the mandates of all three organisations so closely align, and because those three organisations have a rich history of intertwined cooperation, we all enjoy our mountain huts. Take away the shared mandates, and take away the cooperative spirit of all the stakeholders and you weaken the very foundations of the huts we all enjoy. For the sake of all who venture into the “open air”, it’s up to us to ensure that never happens. Rick Gardiner is the ACC’s unabashed hut-loving Facilities Director.

PSST! Do you wanna be a best-selling writer? Ok, how about just a writer? Contact the Gazette editor at to have your article, story or event published in the Gazette. Club alpin du Canada


p  rintemps

2013  31

phOTO: Cory riCHArdS

eXPediTion: BiG wALL CLiMBinG


Less weight. More pitches. The North Face Athlete Emily Harrington works the 5.13a crux moves of her 5-pitch first ascent “Call Me Maybe” on the Sail, Crimea, Ukraine. The Verto Micro Hoodie keeps her comfortable in a range of conditions on the wall and lets her focus on pumpy sections of the difficult fourth pitch.

litho tee 1oo% Merino wooL

3.6 oz / 105 g


satellite pant TnF APeX AeroBiC FABriC

14.8 oz / 420 g


verto micro hoodie 800 FiLL down + PerTeX quAnTuM

9.1oz / 255 g


total weight CoLLeCTion

27.5 oz / 780 g

View the collection + expedition / VERTOCLIMB

2013 Spring Gazette  
2013 Spring Gazette  

Newsmagazine for ACC Members