Vol. 26, No. 3 | Winter / hiver 2011
Jen Higgins Fund carries legacy Le Fond Jen Higgins porte un hĂŠritage pages 10 / 11
Auyuittuq National Parkâ€”remote, cold and stunning
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What’s Inside... Members
10 Jen Higgins Fund carries legacy, supports dreams 11 Le Fond Jen Higgins porte un héritage, soutien des rêves 14 Bequest honours GMC’s favourite camper 24 I want to be like Fred Beckey 26 My favourite volunteer 27 Mon bénévole préféré
Mountaineering / Climbing
16 Amateur leadership course a welcome benefit 18 Challenges light volunteers’ fire 20 Auyuittuq National Park—remote, cold and stunning
28 Bon Echo dreams are worth the wait
Mountain Culture / Science 22 Ferris Neave
Editorial / National News / Awards 8 8 9 9 15 26 30 30
Short rope Notre voie de choix Route finding ACC Funds and Grants Program Nominate a volunteer Quick draws Open air À ciel ouvert
What’s Outside... Cover photo: Jen Higgins Fund recipient Sarah Hart contemplates the start of the upper headwall of The Partition 5.10b, Latok Group, Pakistan, 2007. Photo by Jacqui Hudson. Story on page 10/11. Inset photo: Paul Zizka and Meghan Ward were greeted by this inuksuk at the Arctic Circle on their multi-day ski tour in Auyuittuq National Park. Photo by Meghan J. Ward. Story on page 20.
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t happened. After 25 years and hun‑ dreds of backcountry adventures with dozens of different partners ranging from close friends to brand new acquaint‑ ances, I experienced a trip that ended in an unplanned helicopter flight. Now more than two months later, I’m tempted to forget it ever happened, but if I did that I would have no lessons to absorb—or share. The short version is that I wanted to do a particular backpacking trip badly
enough that I deliberately ignored mul‑ tiple warning signs of incompatibility and conflicting backcountry philosophies with the only person interested in joining me. No worries, I told myself, it’ll all work out on the trail. I also wanted to do the trip badly enough that I ignored the fact I’d only worn my new boots one day. Go ahead, laugh! By the end of the first 19-kilometre day, I had big, liquid blisters on the balls of both feet. I made it 10 kilometres the next day. My feet were done, and with them, my spirit. “No problem,” said C, my hiking partner. “You’ve got the SPOT.” Huh? Yes, I carried a borrowed SPOT emergency transmitter—in case of emer‑ gency. I let the remark roll by and enjoyed a relaxing afternoon in a beautiful place, followed by a good night’s sleep. Next morning, I said I’d walk as far as I could day-by-day back to the trailhead. “You’re going to walk all the way to the trailhead today then?” she demanded. Startled, I replied, “I’ll walk as far as I can. We’ve got lots of food. This is an emergency button, not an inconvenience button. Blisters are an inconvenience.” “Well, I don’t have three more days. I’ve decided to go to work Monday and
make up the money I’m losing.” I was baffled. “But you had 10 days to do this trip?” “I changed my mind.” I kept walking. This was nuts. I didn’t want to fight with her, but my trip part‑ ner could not differentiate between an emergency and plan B. After retracing our route 10 kilometres back to our first campsite, a pair of local mountain bikers rolled by on their way back to the trail‑ head. I told them I had serious blisters and asked if they would relay info that help would be appreciated to the Parks rescue wardens—with whom both the biker and I were acquainted—stressing the situation was not an emergency. First thing in the morning, the heli‑ copter arrived. “Aren’t you relieved?” C asked me. NO!!! I was thoroughly bummed I’d been so focussed on doing the trip I’d ignored potential gear problems, and worse, I’d never asked my partner about her experience handling backcountry problems. What if the situation had been a real emergency? Lesson learned! Enjoy this issue of the Gazette, filled with well-planned adventures!
Notre voie de choix Par Peter Muir
a fondation du Club Alpin du Canada, au-delà de son personnel et de son actif, existe grâce à la grande générosité des bénévoles du Club. Démontré par leur temps commis, leur support et leur effort. Je réfléchis parfois en moi même, quelques fois à voix forte que l’on doit se rappeler de leur dévotion dans toutes nos considérations ainsi que nos décisions. De temps en temps, un évènement de générosité nous rappelle comment le Club peut faire partie de la vie d’un indi‑ vidu, et comment les membres du Club peuvent valoriser leur adhésion au Club. Récemment le CAC a reçu une contribution financière remarquable. Wally Joyce, membre de la section de Toronto homme fort apprécié dans la 8 Alpine Club of Canada
communauté depuis longtemps, fit de son testament une contribution extraordinaire au fonds de dotation du Club. Le don était d’environ un million de dollars. La Présidente Honoraire, Marj Hind, a récemment présenté un don d’environ dix mille dollars qui soutiendrait la prop‑ osition de mettre la bibliothèque du Club dans un clubhouse agrandi. Membre depuis plusieurs années, Richard Guy contribua avec un don d’environ cent mille dollars pour soutenir de l’entraînement des guides amateurs à son camp général d’alpinisme, en mémoire de Louise son épouse bien aimée. Ces dons ont une plus grande valeur que simplement de l’argent. Ils nous rappellent combien les membres tiennent leur Club à cœur, leur Club, son histoire
et aussi combien les membres sont dédiés aux objectifs du Club. Ils nous rappellent comment ce Club et ses membres font un ou prennent une partie importante de la vie des gens. Le montant en dol‑ lars n’est pas la mesure de ses cadeaux. L’inspiration et la bienfaisance que cela nous donnent, que nous soyons chefs de courses, membres du personnel, ou pré‑ sidents surpassent la contribution finan‑ cière. Cela vaut la peine et je remercie chaque donneur de leur générosité. Ainsi je remercie profondément tous bénévoles du CAC et supporteurs pour tout ce que vous faite pour le Club. Soyez prudent et amusez-vous bien! Peter Muir, Président du CAC. Traduit par Nathalie Delbecq membre du CAC.
Route finding Peter Muir
ti ti o
February 17, 18 & 19 février ng festiv al a nd c o m pe
Such gifts are remarkable and appreci‑ ated. They enable the ACC to increase its service to members and to provide wellkept facilities to all users. They affirm the donor’s belief in the mission and objects of the Club. But such donations are much more than mere money. They remind us all how dearly members hold the Club, its history and activities in their hearts. They remind us how dedicated mem‑ bers are to the Club’s objects. And they remind us how this Club and its members guide or join a treasured part of people’s lives. In that respect, dollar amount is not the measure of such gifts. Financial benefit is greatly exceeded by the inspiration such beneficence give us all—trip leaders, staff members, Board members and Club Presidents. It is all worth it, and I thank each and every donor for their generosity. And I profoundly thank all ACC volunteers and supporters for all you do for the Club. Be safe and have fun out there! Peter Muir, ACC President
l a c e | I c e c li m b i
he foundation of this club, the Alpine Club of Canada, beyond its staff and its assets, is the tremendous generosity of it volunteers in time, effort and support. I reflect occa‑ sionally, and sometimes vocally, that we must remember this in all our considera‑ tions and decisions. Once in a while though, a particular event of generosity reminds us all of how much a part of a person’s life the Club can become and how dearly those mem‑ bers hold their membership. Recently, the ACC received some particularly noticeable financial contribu‑ tions. The recently passed Wally Joyce, a long-time Toronto Section member and beloved part of that community, passed, through his will, an extraordinary dona‑ tion to the Club’s Endowment Fund. The donation is in seven figures. Honorary President, Marj Hind, recently presented a five-figure donation to support a proposal to house the Club’s library in an expanded Clubhouse. And long-time member Richard Guy donated six-figure support to amateur training at his beloved General Mountaineering Camp in memory of his lovely wife, Louise.
n d’escalade su rg
The Environment Fund – provides support that contributes to the protection and preservation of alpine flora and fauna in their natural habitat. The focus of the Fund is wilderness conservation. The Jen Higgins Fund – promotes creative and energetic alpine related outdoor pursuits by young women. These projects should demonstrate initiative, creativity, energy and resourcefulness with an emphasis on self-propelled wilderness travel, and should provide value and interest to the community.
om Festival et c
hrough the generosity of many donors, the Alpine Club of Canada has estab‑ lished funds to support mountaineering related projects and initiatives. The deadline for submission of grant applications is January 31, 2012. Grant recipi‑ ents will be announced mid-March 2012.
ti ti o
ACC Funds and Grants Program
www.cesb.net Partenaires / Partners
Jim Colpitts Fund – encourages young climbers between the ages of 17 and 24 to participate in mountain related courses and programs such as wilderness first aid, avalanche training, rock/crevasse rescue and mountain leadership training. For complete info and application forms visit: www.alpineclubofcanada.ca/grants or call the ACC National Office at 403-678-3200 ext. 108.
Section Saint-Boniface du Club Alpin du Canada Club alpin du Canada
Jen Higgins Fund carries legacy, supports dreams by
he Stanley Mitchell Hut in Little Yoho Valley is very special to my family. It was one of my sister Jen’s favourite places in the world. It’s where she had her first extended moun‑ tain adventure and climbed her first peak, Mount Kerr, at the age of five. It’s also where she was going in the summer of 1997 when she was killed in a car acci‑ dent just two hours from the turn-off to Takakkaw Falls. She was 22 years old. Jen was amazing. She was the life of every party. She loved the moun‑ tains—climbing, hiking, skiing, canoeing and canyoning—from the Rockies to the Adirondacks, Bon Echo, Nahanni, Tien Shan, Australia and her home in the Gatineau Park. She was a complete enthusiast, and inspirational far beyond her years in promoting mountain and wilderness pursuits. When she died, Jen’s adventurous spirit became her legacy, and those of us close to her wanted to make sure it would carry on. Our family had been Alpine Club of Canada members since the early 1970s and enjoyed many trips in the Rockies and at ACC huts. So, we—along with more than 200 friends and family members who contributed to the seed money—approached the ACC about establishing a fund in Jen’s name. It didn’t take long to settle on the idea of the Jen Higgins Memorial Trust Fund to support young women carrying out creative, self-propelled mountain adven‑ tures. Bruce Keith, the Club’s Executive Director at the time, was instrumental in the process and very helpful in creating a link between the ACC and Jen’s family and friends. The ACC Board and then President, Mike Mortimer, were thrilled to provide a home for Jen’s fund, and helped give a strong start to what is still the only national award program that supports mountain adventures by young women. Part of the vision was for the fund to be shaped and driven entirely by women, and to have a selection committee of experienced mountain women. Julia Keenliside was appointed as the Chair and has been dedicated in this role for the last 12 years. One year, she chaired a conference call—recording minutes and all—while nursing a baby! 10 Alpine Club of Canada
A strong group of female moun‑ taineers joined Julia and me to form the initial selection committee. During the first five years of the fund, ACMG mountain guides Diny Harrison and Sylvia Forest sat on the committee, and would often find a way to join the yearly conference call via satellite or pay phone while guiding a climbing or ski trip. The group was instrumental in laying the groundwork for the early direction and success of the fund. In the first year there was no shortage of applications, but none quite fit the vision we saw for the fund. The selection committee understood the spirit of Jen’s fund, and over the course of several years developed and refined the selection criteria and fund policies to be both practical and successful. A competitive application must meet the following criteria: ●● All applicants must be young (17 to 30), female, and a member of the ACC. ●● The trip must take place in a moun‑ tain environment. ●● It must be a fully self-propelled adventure. ●● The trip should be unique and creative, offer a challenge to the participants, but need not be technically challenging. ●● The participants must have a plan to give back to the community what they have learned and experienced on their trip. These selection criteria really capture Jen’s spirit, and have resulted in the fund sup‑ porting 15 trips since 1997, with an impressive range of adventures over the years. If the trip has all the right ingredients—especially showing initiative and creativ‑ ity—it will be considered. Trips do not need to be first ascents or highly technical to qualify. Factors such as the safety and feasibility of the trip are also considered by the committee. Giving back to the community is key, whether through pres‑ entations, research or school visits.
An average of about $4000 per year has been awarded since the fund started, with a wide range of projects being suc‑ cessful. Some have been highly technical climbing trips involving first ascents or first all-women’s ascents of high altitude peaks or granite walls. Some have shown originality in other ways, such as sailing, kayaking, canoeing or biking into alpine areas to begin their trip goals of a moun‑ tain ascent or ski traverse. Others have provided leadership opportunities for young women aspiring to be guides. Today we receive yearly applications from young women planning trips in mountain regions all over the world. One thing they all share is their enthusiasm and energy. As long-time committee member, Liz Scremin said, “It’s a pleasure to award funds to the best of the applicants, knowing that the funds will make their adventures possible. In this way, the Jen Higgins Fund fosters imagination and
Continued on page 12.
Jen Higgins is all geared up—smile included—for ski touring outside the ACC’s Neil Colgan Hut, 1992. photo by her dad, Richard Higgins.
Le Fond Jen Higgins porte un héritage, soutien des rêves par
a cabane Stanley Mitchel dans la Petite Vallée de Yoho est très spéciale pour ma famille. C’était un des endroits préféré de ma sœur Jen dans le monde entier. C’est là où elle a vécu sa première aventure prolongée en montagne et atteint son premier sommet, le Mont Kerr, à l’âge de cinq ans. C’est aussi là qu’elle se rendait l’été de 1997 lorsqu’elle a été tuée dans un accident de voiture à juste deux heures du tournant pour Takakkaw Falls. Elle avait 22 ans. Jen était incroyable. Elle amenait de la vie dans chaque occassions. Elle aimait les montagnes, grimper, marcher, skier, faire du canoe et du canyoning, des Rocheuses aux Adirondacks, à Bon Echo, Nahanni, Tien Shan, en Australie et à la maison au parc Gatineau. Elle était une passionnée complète et inspirait bien au-delà de ses années la promotion des poursuites en montagne et nature sauvage. Quand elle est décédée, l’esprit aven‑ tureux de Jen est devenu son héritage et ceux de nous qui étions proche d’elle voulions nous assurer que cet esprit durerait. Notre famille a été membre du Club Alpin du Canada depuis le début des années 1970 et avons joui de nom‑ breuses sorties dans les Rocheuses et à des cabanes du CAC. Alors nous, ainsi que plus de 200 amis et membres de familles qui avons contribué à semer l’argent, nous sommes approchés du CAC afin d’établir un fond au nom de Jen. Cela n’a pas pris long pour arriver à l’idée du Fond Fiduciaire Commémoratif pour soutenir des jeunes femmes menant
à bien des aventures en montagnes créa‑ tives et autopropulsée. Bruce Keith, le Directeur Exécutif du Club en ce temps, a été instrumental dans le processus et d’une aide précieuse en créant un lien entre le CAC et la famille et les amis de Jen. Le Conseil du CAC et ensuite le Président, Mike Mortimer, étaient ravi de pourvoir un foyer au fond de Jen et a aidé à donner un bon départ à ce qui est encore le seul programme de bourse national qui soutien des aventures en montagnes entreprises par des femmes. Une partie de la vision était que le fond soit mis en forme et conduit par des femmes uniquement et d’avoir un comité de sélection consistant de femmes expéri‑ mentées en montagne. Julia Keenliside fut nommée Présidente et s’est dédiée à ce rôle pour les derniers 12 ans. Une année, elle a présidé un conférence téléphonique, prenant des notes et tout, pendant qu’elle allait un bébé ! Le groupe a été instrumental en posant la base pour la direction du début et le succès du fond. La première année ce ne sont pas les candidatures qui ont manqués mais pas une seule ne cor‑ respondait à la vision que nous avions du fond. Le comité de sélection compris l’esprit du fond de Jen et au cours des années développa et affina les critères de sélection et les polices du fond afin qu’ils soient à la fois pratique et menant au succès. Une candidature concurrentielle doit remplir les critères suivants : ●● Toutes les candidates doivent être
jeune (entre 17 et 30 ans)et être mem‑ bre du CAC. ●● Le voyage doit prendre place dans un environnement de montagne. ●● Cela doit être une aventure autopropulsée. ●● Le voyage doit être unique et créatif, offrir un défi aux participants sans être techniquement difficile. ●● Les participants doivent avoir pour projet de redonner à la communauté ce qu’elles auront appris et expéri‑ menté pendant de leur voyage. Ces critères de sélection capturent vraiment l’esprit de Jen et ont eu pour résultat de soutenir 15 voyages depuis 1997, représentant une gamme d’aventures impressionnante au cours des années. Si le voyage a tous les ingrédients, montrant particulièrement de l’initiative et de la créativité, il sera considéré. Ces voyages n’ont pas besoin d’être des premières ascensions ou être techniquement difficile pour se qualifier. Des facteurs tels que la sécurité et la faisabilité du voyage sont aussi considéré par le comité. Et redonner à la communauté est clé, que ce soit par des présentations, de la recherche ou des visites d’écoles. Une moyenne de $4000 a été décerné depuis que le fond a commencé avec une large gamme de projets mené au succès. Certains ont été des voyages d’escalade hautement technique impliquant des premières ascensions ou des premières ascensions par des femmes uniquement de sommet en haute altitude et de mur
Continué sur la page 13.
Club alpin du Canada
Jen Higgin’s Fund recipients Continued from page 10.
ingenuity, mountain skills and leadership. Over the years, a few applicants have received funding multiple times, and in those cases, it’s been especially rewarding to watch the women progress in their climbing careers.” The fund continues to grow and mature. Recently, two successful grant recipients, Jacqui Hudson and Katy Holm, were invited to join the commit‑ tee. They bring both a wealth of climbing experience and perspective as young female climbers. “Now older, and alas with far less free time but perhaps more money, I am honoured to have been asked to sit on the committee for the Jen Higgins Fund, and annually read the applications from those who are embracing the same enthusiasm and shoe-string approach I did before,” Hudson said. “Go girls!” It has been 11 years since we started the fund in Jen’s memory. Since then, nearly $50,000 has been awarded to young women who share her drive and enthusiasm. Jen’s fund continues to make a significant contribution to women’s mountaineering and to the ACC. I am inspired by the way the fund has evolved, by the young women it supports, and by the knowledge that Jen’s legacy carries on in both. Lena Rowat walks along the southwest shore of Alsek Lake in Alaska during the St. Elias and Mount Logan ski traverse, 2002. photo by K ari Medig.
2011 D enali Acute Mountain Sickness Studies. – Laura Morrison. 2010 a) Female climbing expedition to the Tasermiut Fiord, Greenland. – Jasmine Caton, Jen Olson, Kate Rutherford. b) Kayak-accessed ski tour to the Waddington Range. – Line Veenstra. 2009 W ild Ski Yin: first all-female ski traverse from Terrace to Kemano, B.C. – Lydia Marmont and Selena Cordeau. 2008 First ascent of west face of Aguja Desmochada, Argentina. – Jacqueline Hudson and Sarah Hart. 2007 First ascent of Peak 5700 metres, “Hidden Tower”, in the Panmah Muztagh Range of the Karakorum, Pakistan. – Sarah Hart, Jacqueline Hudson and Luisa Giles. 2006 One Outstanding Out-trip: a three-week self-propelled expedition (paddle, hike, climb) in the Coast Mountains, B.C. – Krystil Koethler, Ellen Morgan. 2005 First ascents on 5000- to 6000-metre unclimbed peaks in Sichuan province, China. – Aidan Oloman, Katy Holm, Katherine Fraser. 2004 Vancouver to the Aleutians: sailing from Vancouver, stopping to climb Mount Fairweather and Mount St. Elias. – Roberta Holden and Dora Repard. 2003 Vampire Spires All-Female Expedition, NWT: first ascents and first female ascents. – Jasmin Caton and Amelia Patterson. 2002 a) Vertical Ski Traverse: Reaching over Mount Logan, skiing 700 kilometres from Haines to Cordova, Alaska, traversing the length of Mount Logan and ascending mounts Vancouver and St. Elias on the way. – Jacqueline Hudson, Merrie-Beth Board, Lena Rowat and Ruby Rowat. b) Las Hermanas de Las Montanas: two sisters making a film while climbing peaks in the Cordillera Blanca of Peru. – Katy-Robin Garton and Rachael Garton. 2001 Peaks of Fire, Mexico: two women climbing Mexican volcanoes. – Nadia Bonenfant and Kathia Voyer. 2000 a) Sailing and mountaineering traverse of Cascade Inlet, B.C. – Crystal Huscroft and Elisabeth Clifford. b) Four-week canoe and mountaineering trip down the Stikine River, from Telegraph Cove to Wrangell, Alaska. – Katy Holm and Ann-Marie Conway. c) Hiking the historic route traveled by Donald “Curly” Phillips from Mount Robson northwest to Mount Sir Alexander in Kakwa Park. – Alexa Pitoulis, Jennifer Russell, Sheila Steinke and Tara Szkorupa.
Bénéficiaires du Fonds Jen Higgin’s Continué de la page 11.
de granite. Certains ont montré de l’originalité d’autre façon, tel que de voya‑ ger en voile, kayak, canoë ou vélo dans des endroits alpins pour commencer le but du voyage qui était un sommet de montagne ou une traversée à ski. D’autres ont donné l’opportunité à des jeunes femmes voulant être guide de montagne de prendre en charge un groupe. Aujourd’hui nous rece‑ vons des candidatures de jeunes femmes planifiant des voyages dans des régions du monde entier. Et toutes partagent le même enthousiasme et la même énergie. En tant que membre du comité depuis longtemps, Liz Scremin dit, “C’est un plaisir de décerner des fons aux meil‑ leures candidates, sachant que les fonds vont rendre leur aventure possible. De cette façon, le fond Jen Higgins favorise l’imagination et l’ingéniosité, les compé‑ tences en montagne et la prise en charge de groupe. Au cours des années, un petit nombre de candidates a bénéficié des fonds plusieurs fois, et dans ces cas, cela a été particulièrement enrichissant de voir ces femmes progresser dans leur carrières en escalade.” Le fond continue de grandir et de murir. Récemment deux candidates ayant reçu la bourse, Jacqui Hudson et Katy Holm, ont été invitées à joindre le comité. Elles amènent toutes deux une riche d’expérience en escalade et la perspective de jeunes femmes grimpeuses. “Maintenant plus âgée, avec hélas beaucoup moins de temps libre mais peut-être plus d’argent, je suis honorée que l’ont m’ait demandé de m’asseoir au sein du comité pour le Fond Jen Higgins, et je lis annuellement les candidatures de celles qui ont le même enthousiasme et la même ….. ( ?) approche que moi aupara‑ vant,” dit Hudson. “Allez les filles!” Cela fait 11 ans que nous avons com‑ mencé le fond en souvenir de Jen. Depuis lors près de $50,000 a été décerné à des jeunes femmes qui partagent son dyna‑ misme et son enthousiasme. Le fond de Jen continue de faire une contribution significative à l’alpinisme féminin et au CAC. Je me sens inspirée par la façon dont le fond a évolué, par les jeunes femmes qu’il soutien et de savoir que l’héritage de Jen se poursuit dans les deux. Traduit par Nathalie Roulin membre du CAC.
2011 Études du Mal aigu des montagnes Dénali. – Laura Morrison. 2010 a) Expédition d’escalade de femmes au Tasermiut Fjord, Groenland. – Jasmine Caton, Jen Olson, Kate Rutherford. b) Tournée en ski au Waddington Range en Kayak. – Line Veenstra. 2009 Ski Sauvage Yin: Première traversée en ski de Terrace à Kemano, CB. – Lydia Marmont et Selena Cordeau. 2008 Première ascension de la face ouest de Aguja Desmochada en Argentine. – Jaqueline Hudson et Sarah Hart. 2007 Première ascension de “Hidden Tower” un sommet de 5700 mètres, qui ce retrouve dans la chaîne de montagne Panmah Muztagh dans le Karakorum au Pakistan. – Sarah Hart, Jacqueline Hudson and Luisa Giles. 2006 Une excursion extraordinaire une expédition auto propulser de trois semaine (ramer,randonner, escalader) dans les montagnes de la côte ouest, C.B. – Krystil Koethler,Ellen Morgan. 2005 Premières ascensions des sommets de 5000 à 6000 mètres jamais grimpés dans la province Sichuan en Chine. – Aidan Oloman, Katy Holm, Katherine Fraser. 2004 Vancouver aux Aléoutiennes: à voile de Vancouver un arrêt pour escalader le Mont Fairweather et le Mont St. Elias. – Roberta Holden et Dora Repard. 2003 Expédition entièrement féminine des Cimes Vampire, TNO: première ascen‑ sions et première ascension composé seulement de femmes. – Jasmine Caton et Amelia Patterson. 2002 a) Une traversée en ski vertical: Parcourir le mont Logan: skier 700 kilomètres de Haines à Cordova en Alaska, en traversant la longueur du mont Logan et escaladent les monts Vancouver et St. Elias. – Jacqueline Hudson, Merrie-Beth Board, Lena Rowat and Ruby Rowat. b) Las Hermanas de Las Montanas: deux sœurs font un film lorsqu’elles esca‑ ladent les sommets de la Cordillera Blanca au Péru. – Katy-Robin Garton and Rachel Garton. 2001 Sommets de feux, Mexique: deux femmes escaladent des volcans au Mexique. – Nadia Bonenfant et Kathia Voyer. 2000 a) Une traversée à voile et en alpinisme du bras de mer Cascade, CB. – Crystal Huscroft and Elisabeth Clifford. 2000 b) Une expédition de quatre semaine d’alpinisme et de canoe sur la rivière Stikine de Telegraph Cove à Wrangell en Alaska. – Katy Holm et Ann-Marie Conway. 2000 c) Suivre la randonnée historique que Donald “Curly” Phillips a prit du mont robson vers le nord-ouest jusqu’au mont Sir Alexander dans le parc Kakwa. – Alexa Pitoulis, Jennifer Russell, Sheila Steinke et Tara Szkorupa. Traduit par Nathalie Delbecq membre du CAC.
Club alpin du Canada
Bequest honours GMC’s favourite camper by
ouise Guy loved the Alpine Club of Canada General Mountaineering Camps. Over the years she attended 31 camps and climbed dozens of mountains. Her smiling face cheered us on when the weather was cold and grey and when the sun shone she was with us on the peaks. I remember climb‑ ing the Three Blind Mice at the 1989 Fryatt Creek camp with Louise when she was 71 years old. Steep loose rock and exposure seemed not to faze her. She revelled in the heights. Louise and her husband, Richard, came to Canada in 1965 when they were almost 50 years of age. Here they discov‑ ered the Rocky Mountains. She often told me that the best years of their lives were spent in Canada. In the English Lake District they had done lots of hill walking and in Asia they had had some mountain adventures, but it was in Canada that they became climbers. Richard excelled on snow and Louise loved the rock. Despite her age, she teamed up with Eckhardt Grassman to climb the south face of Mount Yamnuska. Louise was at first intimidated by the elite attitude of the Alpine Club of Canada and climbed with friends from the University of Calgary math depart‑ ment, where Richard was a professor. In 1970, however, she went to her first ACC General Mountaineering Camp (GMC) in the Tonquin Valley, and she was hooked. Camps followed at Fryatt Creek in 1972, Mount Robson in 1974 and at Farnham Creek in 1975. In 1984 the Club was experiencing serious financial difficulty and the ACC Board of Directors was considering dropping the GMC as it had lost money that year at Glacier Circle. The GMC has traditionally been the cornerstone of the ACC—it was the first event that the Club organized back in 1906 and has been held every year since. In 1985 Brad Harrison took over the GMC, running a camp at the Wates-Gibson Hut. Louise soon stepped forward to assist Brad by promoting the camp, personally writing dozens of letters to ACC members and to clubs in the USA and elsewhere urging them to attend. This effort paid off, and by 1987, after the success of the Farnham Creek camp, the future looked very 14 Alpine Club of Canada
Louise Guy at base camp on the shore of Houston Lake, 2005 Moby Dick GMC. photo by Jordan Smith.
positive. Since then the GMC has thrived and now runs six weeks each year, with about 180 participants in total. As it was in the early years of the ACC, the GMC is still the cornerstone of the Club. Despite their growing years, Louise and Richard continued to attend the camp. Sleeping low to the ground became difficult, so Brad built a raised bunk for them. The more adventurous climbs gave way to modest climbs and hikes, but still they came. Louise became an expert on alpine flora and an expert fixer of blisters. Whenever a job needed doing Louise was the first to volunteer. She was also a wealth of information and support for Brad, who began running Canada’s largest mountaineering camp while still in his 20s. In 1996 at the Icefall Brook camp, five old timers, the Wooden Ice Axe Team, climbed Mons Peak together. Of that group—Don Forest, Wally Joyce, Ron Naylor, Louise and Richard Guy—only Richard remains. It is a lovely memory, however, and a reminder of the beauty and transience of the moment. Between 1987 and 2009 Louise attended every camp. In 2010, sensing that the end was near Louise did not come to camp. She died on September 30, 2010 at the age of 92. Despite a number of health issues over the years, she had lived a wonderful and adventurous life.
For many of us she was an example of how to live a good life and how to grow old with undiminished enthusiasm and spiritual beauty. To honour Louise and her love for the General Mountaineering Camp, Richard has donated $100,000 to the ACC to train amateur leaders. Amateur leaders have been fundamental to the success of the GMC since its inception and many of these men and women helped Louise reach her summits over the years. This donation is a way to ensure that the tradition of competent leadership at the GMC continues. In her own private way, Louise will be standing with us on our summits for many decades to come.
ACC NewsNet Stay up-to-date on the latest climbing, access and environment news via the ACC’s weekly e‑Bulletin. Subscribe to the ACC NewsNet by sending an e-mail to: NewsNet@alpineclubofcanada.ca facebook.com/alpineclubofcanada twitter.com/alpineclubcan
Nominate a volunteer
very year, the members of the Alpine Club of Canada’s Awards Committee volunteer their time to sift through numerous nominations to determine the recipients of the Club’s Volunteer Awards. Nominations are now open for outstanding Alpine Club of Canada volunteers of 2011. The following awards recognize and celebrate ACC volunteers for their contributions to the Club and its members: l A.O. Wheeler Legacy Award l Honorary Membership l President’s Award l Silver Rope for Leadership Award l Distinguished Service Award l Don Forest Service Award l Eric Brooks Leader Award For details on how to nominate a volunteer and nomination forms, visit www.alpineclubofcanada.ca/awards or call the ACC National Office at (403) 678-3200 ext. 108 to receive the informa‑ tion by mail. Deadline for nominations is December 31, 2011.
PSST! Do you wanna be a famous writer? Ok, how about just a writer? Contact the Gazette editor at firstname.lastname@example.org to have your article, story or event published in the Gazette.
Think outside. RMB is pleased to present the third edition of Summits and Icefields 1, one of our bestselling guidebooks. Researched and written by legendary alpinist Chic Scott, with the assistance of mountain guide Mark Klassen, this new volume will continue to be the bible of ski mountaineers in the Canadian Rockies. With new destinations, updated and expanded tours, stunning photography and satellite digital maps, Summits & Icefields will set a new standard for ski guides in North America. The Canadian Rockies in winter are nothing short of spectacular, and snowshoes afford a fun and exciting way to see some of the best winter scenery in Canada. Snowshoeing in the Canadian Rockies describes 61 great routes for snowshoers of all skill levels. From an easy day on flat terrain amid beautiful surroundings to magnificent views from the challenging summit of a picturesque mountain, you will find it in this spectacular new book.
Supporting the Bow Valley Since 1906
Club alpin du Canada
Amateur leadership course a welcome benefit story and photos by
aving spent many years as Calgary Section course cocoordinator, I’ve made a point of taking every course the Alpine Club of Canada has offered. I’ve always believed that one of the great benefits of ACC membership is being able to take subsid‑ ized courses to learn from the best—the ACMG (Association of Canadian Mountain Guides) guides. This past summer, a great oppor‑ tunity came up prior to the General Mountaineering Camp (GMC) for GMC amateur leaders to learn from a very experienced ACMG guide, Cyril Shokoples. This Technical Training Review took place over a three day period at the Lake Louise Alpine Centre. A total of eight students were put through the paces of what is new in the way of mountaineering - and heard a few new jokes from Cyril as well. Day 1: As the rain fell, heavy at times, we gathered in the Guide’s Room of the Alpine Centre in Lake Louise, where Cyril showed several PowerPoint presen‑ tations. We spent time learning the pros and cons of Spectra cord and webbing. Spectra is a great product, but as it is static, it can’t be used when a dynamic link is needed. Cyril also presented new information on carabineers, ropes and the latest data on the strength testing of
these materials. Did you know that short of chemical contamination or sharp rock edges there has not been a climbing rope failure in 20-plus years? That’s comforting news! Day 2: We spent the day outside at Rundle Rock in Banff. We reviewed the building of anchors and learned a great new method of setting up a multidirectional rap anchor. Station manage‑ ment was also covered, and we worked on lowering versus rappelling, and practiced rock rescue. Cryil was able to tie this rock
rescue system with his eyes closed. Try it sometime - Cyril said that if you can’t do this with your eyes closed then you need more practice! Short roping was also reviewed, since it is such a variable skill and a valuable asset in the mountaineer‑ ing bag of experience. Day 3: Another outdoor day, this time in the snow at Saddle Pass. As a group we put a snow stake through its paces and learned the weight it was able to hold was very impressive. The fact that four mostly grown adult men could not rip it out said
Technical Training Review instructor, ACMG guide Cyril Shokoples demonstrates rope rescue techniques.
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a lot about its strength. The new v-shaped snow stakes with a mid-clip cable will become the norm in the future. We also reviewed crevasse rescue. Fellow course participant Peter Findlay and I were amateur leaders dur‑ ing Week 3 of the 2011 Mount Somervell GMC. It was a great week of eating, sleeping and climbing—who could ask for anything more? Our new training was put to work under snowy and wet condi‑ tions. I would highly suggest other ACC members join the amateur leader pool for the GMC, and to take advantage of every mountaineering course offered by the Club. The course attendees—Peter Findlay, Debbie Findlay, Masten Brolsma, Danny Verrall, Tristan Rasmussen, Deryl Kelly, Ian Curran and Chuck Young—are all grateful to our course instructors, Cyril Shokoples and Matt Reynolds, for shar‑ ing their knowledge over those three days. Thanks also go to ACC Programs Director, Toby Harper, and to Brad Harrison for arranging the weekend. As well, all the participants would like to extend a very sincere thank you to Richard and Louise Guy for their very
generous donation to the Alpine Club of Canada’s amateur leader fund.
Karl Nagy Memorial Award
From left, Chuck Young, Richard Guy and Peter Findlay soak in the ambiance at the 2011 Mt. Somervell GMC.
he Karl Nagy Memorial Award was established in 2001 to assist amateur leaders and guides in the development of their leadership skills. Until his death in 2000, Karl set an outstanding example as a mentor in the mountains and was well known for his leadership, safety and success. This award provides an oppor‑ tunity for Alpine Club of Canada (ACC) aspiring amateur leaders and Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG) candidates to participate at the ACC General Mountaineering Camp. Alpine Club amateur leaders and ACMG candidates are given prior‑ ity in alternating years; 2012 is set for an aspiring guide. All applicants must be current ACC members. Deadline for applications is January 31, 2012. For more information, visit www.alpineclubofcanada.ca/grants/ Club alpin du Canada
Challenges light volunteers’ fire by
ou can find a way so that ANYONE can try rock climb‑ ing,” Mark Wellman told me over the phone as we sorted out some final details for the first ever Adapted Climbing Workshop, which took place in Edmonton, Alberta in May, 2011. He should know, he was injured in a climb‑ ing accident more than 20 years ago that left him a paraplegic, and scaled some of the most epic big walls in climbing, Yosemite’s El Capitan and Half Dome, AFTER he incurred his injury. Wellman has made a name for himself in the USA teaching people with a variety of dis‑ abilities to rock climb, which made him the perfect person to teach the Adapted Climbing Workshop. The workshop, hosted at Edmonton’s Vertically Inclined Rock Gym, was attended by rock climbing instruct‑ ors, rock guides and volunteers for the Alberta branch of the Canadian Paraplegic Association’s Outdoor Adventures Program. Workshop partici‑ pants learned how to adapt climbing for those with a variety of abilities, tested out pull-up bars attached to ascenders, rock chaps and other adapted climbing equipment, and were thrown right into the task as they assisted volunteers with disabilities to suit up and scale the gym wall for their very first time. Everyone was a little apprehensive. Looking at a person in their wheelchair, one thinks: how on earth is this going to work? They’ve got no function of their lower body, and only partial function of their upper body. Once the person was in the harness and heading up the wall however, it all came together. You really didn’t see the disability anymore, only what they were able to do. Breaking down barriers to expose people with physical disabilities to out‑ door activities such as hand-cycling, trail running with the TrailRider, canoeing, kayaking and of course, rock climb‑ ing, was my mission through the 2011 spring and summer with the Outdoor Adventures Program. The program’s development was quite authentic and came about almost by accident. As an avid outdoor enthusiast, I signed up as an Alpine Club of Canada member a couple of years ago. As I received updates about 18 Alpine Club of Canada
Margaret Conquest (has incomplete quadriplegia), is prepared for her first climb ever up the rock face at Windy Point in Nordegg, Alberta. Pieces of sleeping mats wrapped with duct tape protect her elbows from being scraped on the rock.
exciting trips and read about other mem‑ bers’ awesome adventures in ACC pub‑ lications, I wanted to get out even more. As outdoor enthusiasts are, I’m keen to bring others into this world in the hopes they will become one of the converted. So naturally, when friends and coworkers, who are wheelchair users, started asking about all this “outdoor stuff ” I do, I made it my mission to convert them. I started thinking about how they, too, could participate in the types of trips described in ACC publications. I quickly realized there are few, if any, opportunities for people with physical disabilities to par‑ ticipate in outdoor activities due to lack of knowledge, access to adapted equip‑ ment and understanding. This realization lit my fire, and gave birth to the begin‑ nings of something much bigger than I could have ever imagined. An Adapted Climbing Workshop instructed by North America’s most reknowned disabled climber, a six-week indoor climbing program and an outdoor climbing trip to Nordegg, Alberta with guides from the Centre for Outdoor Education later, and we successfully opened the gates to the outdoors, making them accessible to EVERYONE. Until we made it to Nordegg, though, no one was really sure that it was possible. Everything until that point was practiced in a safe, indoor facility complete with
padded flooring and no exposure to the elements. When we got outside it was brand new again to all of us. Climbing at Windy Point exposed us to the ele‑ ments, and an accessible climbing area meant driving through a ditch off the highway to a garden of rocks and drop‑ ping off each wheelchair user one by one in an area of brush, trees and roots. Some amazing things, however, happened. Margaret, an adventurous woman with quadriplegia climbed an outdoor rock face for the first time in her life and took in the views overlooking Abraham Lake. Brian, a paraplegic, scaled the rock face with his bare hands and no use of his legs. Ross, also a paraplegic, overcame his fear of heights and the need to “keep (his) two wheels firmly planted on the ground.” And we all discovered brand new uses for sleeping mats and duck tape. It hasn’t been easy though. It’s taken a lot of hard work and determination on the part of everyone involved, including the participants. They have fears and apprehensions those living without a disability can’t even begin to understand. They are out there, however, climbing facebook.com/alpineclubofcanada twitter.com/alpineclubcan
Margaret Conquest pulls herself up the rock with the pulley bar attached to the rope. Because of limited hand function, she has wrist straps with hooks that she uses to hook onto the pulley bar to pull down, propelling her up.
and overcoming every single one of those fears because they’ve become converted. Every single one of them wheeled away from that weekend with a thirst for more, and plans to get into the outdoors again soon. For some, these opportunities really are life changing. At one point during the weekend, a teary-eyed Margaret told me, “When I was injured at 16 years old, I contemplated suicide. I was depressed, and at the time I could not conceive how great my life would become and that I, as a quadriplegic, would ever be out here, doing all of this.” These stories keep my fire lit, and keep me working to improve access to the wil‑ derness. Able-bodied people sometimes
A volunteer helps Brian McPherson (has incomplete paraplegia), move away from his wheelchair and up on to the rock wall.
take for granted their ability to access the backcountry and participate on a level that not everyone can. Or that they have access to some of the most remote and beautiful parts of this great country, and can escape the lights, sounds and smells of urban centers. So I challenge everyone to do some‑ thing, big or small, to help those with limited access share in the wonders that the rest of us are able to enjoy on a regu‑ lar basis: become one of the converted. To learn more, contact Amy MacKinnon at 780-424-6312 or Amy.Mackinnon@cpa-ab.org Brian McPherson, tired after his second climb, shows off some very well used sleeping mats on his knees.
Club alpin du Canada
Auyuittuq National Park—remote, cold and stunning story and photos by
Meghan J. Ward
’ll admit I had some apprehensions when my husband and fellow Alpine Club of Canada member, Paul Zizka, recommended we take a five-day ski touring trip in Auyuittuq National Park on Baffin Island. The thought of skiing in sub-zero temperatures in the Arctic concerned me. I gingerly agreed, hoping that by planning our trip in April we’d encounter slightly warmer temperatures. Despite my apprehensions, as our 20-passenger plane descended into the fjords of Pangnirtung, I knew I’d found a new place to love on this planet. Through the aircraft window I could see steep rock faces plastered in snow, their upper ridges rounded from glacial retreat. Bumps on the horizon resembled the backsides of large whales rising out of the sea ice—black speckles of rock jut‑ ting up from an otherwise smooth, white, treeless surface. Blue sky greeted us to the Nunavummiut village of 1500 inhabitants a couple of dozen kilometres from the Arctic Circle. The fjords of Pangnirtung, or “Pang,” are the gateway to Auyuittuq, a 19,089square-kilometre expanse of sharp peaks, narrow valleys and huge icefields. Home to mounts Thor and Asgard, the park is a climber’s and wilderness lover’s dream. Paul and I planned to have an outfit‑ ter, Peter Kilabuk, deliver us as far north into the park as a snowmobile could access. From there we would ski to Asgard and back south to Windy Lakes Cabins—about 60 kilometres over five days.
Reality check One of our first stops in Pang was the Parks Canada office, where I quickly discovered my initial fears about spending four nights out in the arctic cold weren’t so unfounded. An average of six parties venture into Auyuittuq National Park each winter, a touring season that starts at the end of March due to harsh, cold tem‑ peratures and ends in May as the snow and ice start to melt. The area is famous for strong, biting, northerly winds. Of the parties that entered Auyuittuq the same Paul Zizka skis along a frozen riverbed on day three of his and Meghan Ward’s ski tour in Auyuittuq National Park. 20 Alpine Club of Canada
season as us, half were evacuated due to severe frostbite or hypothermia. Despite our collective experience travelling in the backcountry in harsh conditions, park staff reminded us of the symptoms of frostbite and hypothermia and encouraged us to make use of the emergency shelters located about every 10 kilometres along the Akshayuk Pass trail. By that point my confidence was reduced to an imperceptible level. The park staff half-expected us to be rescued from our trip and, based on their statis‑ tics, they had every right to. The night before our departure, we faced a conundrum: no fuel in Pang was
compatible with our two stoves—essen‑ tial to melt snow for water and prepare our freeze-dried food. Paul called Peter, who told us he’d found a small Coleman camp stove and some white gas. This meant that we would have only one stove—and no back-up—but at least our trip was a “go.” The next morning we met Peter, geared up in heavy-duty expedition suits for the snowmobile ride, threw our gear in the qamutiqs (sleds) and headed onto the sea ice. Our first stop was an inuksuk marking the Arctic Circle. Within an hour, our eyes opened up to the allure of the remote terrain as Mount Travellers are greeted by this inuksuk at the Arctic Circle.
Thor’s west face rose steadily in front of us. We stopped at one of the emergency shelters at its base for some hot chocolate and to strip ourselves of the bombproof outfits we’d been wearing on the way up. I had been dreading the moment when Peter would drive away on the snowmobile, leaving us alone in the vast wilderness. Suddenly that moment arrived, 46 kilometres from Pangnirtung. With a wave of his hand, Peter revved his motor and took off. Paul and I glanced at one another, our faces full of anxious excitement. We lifted our heavy loads onto our backs, clipped into our skis and began our day of skiing into unfamiliar territory. We only had nine kilometres until the next emergency shelter, but with our heavy packs, that was plenty. One iconic peak after another passed slowly by as we followed the riverbed that flows through Akshayuk Pass. Thor, with its impressive 105-degree overhang, stole the spotlight throughout the day. Unfortunately, pho‑ tography was difficult. The camera battery had to stay warm in my chest pocket and be inserted into the camera for each finger-freezing photo op. Just as my energy really began to fade, the Summit Lakes Cabins appeared; an orange oasis brightening an otherwise barren landscape. I had skied all day in five upper layers, including double down jackets, and never broke a sweat.
Skiing with a barbeque First on the agenda—get the stove going to melt snow to rehydrate our dinners. After two hours of trying, the only thing igniting was the lighter. With no choice, we called Peter on the satellite
The Summit Lakes Cabin was a welcome sight after a full day of skiing in arctic temperatures.
phone. He told us to “try this” and “try that” and eventually said, “I’ll be there in two hours.” Bewildered that he would make such a trip in the dark, we got cozy in our sleeping bags to fight off the chills as the mercury dipped to -30 C. The next day we would ski to our northernmost point, the stunning tower of Asgard, and we needed rest. A few hours later our outfitter, now hero, greeted us in the dark and pulled out an awkwardly large, briefcase-sized Coleman two-burner camping stove. He showed us how to use the monster and I tried to pay attention to his directions while my mind wandered to the obvious question: how are we going to carry this thing? Thankfully, Paul seemed gung-ho to carry “the barbeque,” as we called it. Our trip could continue. After filling our bottles and rehydrat‑ ing our dinners with hot water from a thermos, Peter left as quickly as he came, his snowmobile engine growing fainter in the cold, arctic air. Frozen from an even‑ ing of immobility and fruitless attempts to start the cooking stove, we returned to
our sleeping bags and shivered our way to dreamland. That was day one. Four days later we arrived back in Pangnirtung, safe and sound and frostbite free. Rocky Mountain Section Meghan J. Ward is an outdoor, travel and adventure writer. Visit her at www.meghanjoyward.com
The “barbeque” was an unplanned, but very welcome addition to the skiers’ Auyuittuq National Park adventure.
Club alpin du Canada
Hugh (left) and Ferris Neave share the Southwest Summit of Mount Colonel Foster in July, 1957. hoto by K arl Ricker. p
Ferris Neave by Lindsay
erris Neave was born near Macclesfield, Cheshire, England in 1901, the eldest of six children. He graduated in 1923 from the University of Manchester with an Honours Biology degree, then answered an ad seeking volunteers to relocate to the Prairies of Canada to help with the annual grain harvest. At the end of the season Ferris returned to Manchester to work as an entomologist at the Manchester Museum, where his Honours Baccalaureate was upgraded to Masters of Science. This allowed him to return to Winnipeg in 1925 and accept a lecturer’s position at the University of Manitoba. There, faculty member Alexander Bajkov stimulated Ferris’ interest in aquatic insects, lead‑ ing to a lifelong interest in fisheries. In the summers of 1926 and 1927, Ferris and Balkov studied, on behalf of the Biological Board of Canada, the fisheries of Jasper National Park. Through his research Ferris was elevated to the rank of assistant professor, despite his lack of a doctorate degree. 22 Alpine Club of Canada
Ferris’ love of the outdoors and climb‑ ing began back in England on the family property, The Clough, where, with three of his siblings, he climbed on local rock bluffs. After arriving in Winnipeg, Ferris began visiting the nearby rock quarries at Gunton with Alex McCoubrey, Chair of the Alpine Club of Canada’s Winnipeg Section. In March 1927, Ferris joined the Winnipeg Section Executive Committee. Ferris and McCoubrey’s first exped‑ ition was a month-long traverse in B.C.’s Purcell Mountains in 1928. After the trip, Ferris attended the ACC’s General Mountaineering Camp (GMC) at the Lake of the Hanging Glaciers, where he qualified for active membership (as required at the time) by climbing a 10,000-foot peak erroneously named Mount (David) Thompson but later officially decreed Mount Monica. In autumn, 1928, Ferris’ younger brother, Roger, arrived in Manitoba. The following year the Neave brothers headed west with McCoubrey to the Earl Grey Pass area of the Purcell Mountains, where they made several first ascents, including Mount Toby. After attending that year’s GMC, Ferris spent 10 days climbing in Banff National Park. He made three ascents of Mount Louis (including two in a single day), a new route on the east face of Castle Mountain (Eisenhower Tower) and climbed the southeast peak of Mount Peechee. In 1932, McCoubrey, the Neave broth‑ ers and a newcomer, Cam Secord, visited the Yoho Valley in Yoho National Park to investigate the area’s potential for a ski mountaineering camp. They climbed mounts Yoho, Gordon, Olive and Collie on skis and in the Little Yoho they also ascended Mount Vice President. The second leg of the trip was into Lake O’Hara, but Ferris concluded that region was inferior to the Yoho for skiing. The foray however, sparked the Winnipeg Section’s interest in establishing a hut in Little Yoho. The next year, McCoubrey con‑ vinced Ferris and Roger to attempt the unclimbed Mount Waddington in B.C.’s Coast Mountains by a route Don and Phyllis Munday had not yet tested. On June 22, 1934, Ferris and Roger Neave, Cam Secord and Arthur Davidson
started out, arriving three weeks later at the toe of the Tiedemann Glacier. From a high camp they made several attempts, but were ultimately turned back less than 150 metres below the summit: running out of daylight hours, the snow-covered, verglas-sheathed rock slowed their progress. Their epic descent forced them to bivy in an ice cave to sit out an over‑ night snowstorm. The following day they reached base camp in clearing weather, but with no supplies for a further attempt they conceded defeat. Ferris Neave took over as Winnipeg Section Chair for the 1932 to 1934 term, and then in 1936/1937 he was elevated to ACC Vice President. In 1936, in recogni‑ tion of his leadership, he was awarded the Silver Rope. Ferris remained in Winnipeg pursu‑ ing scientific studies until 1939, then accepted a position with the Fisheries Research Board of Canada in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. His acquaintance with Vancouver Island’s mountains was temporarily interrupted by WWII when he was asked by the Canadian Military to train troops for mountain warfare. With his brother, Roger, and about 15 other Club members, he reported to the Little Yoho Valley for a short course on how and what to teach the Military about climbing and survival in the mountains. Ferris recorded numerous ascents on the Island but one of particular interest was in 1957. Several strong parties had attempted Mount Colonel Foster, all unsuccessfully. In early July, Ferris circled the mountain in a small plane and deter‑ mined the southwest summit was the highest of six points. Later that month, Ferris, his brother, Hugh, and Karl Ricker forced a route up through steep wooded bluffs that eventually brought them below the Southwest Buttress. They entered a steep couloir which appeared promising, but bad weather turned them back. The next day they tried again and by 4:45 p.m. reached the top of the southwest summit. Rain and snow hampered any views, but Ferris was sure they’d reached Mount Colonel Foster’s highest point. They reached their camp in the dark, cold and wet, but elated at making this first ascent. Unfortunately, the debate about which of the summits was highest reigned for
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many years. In 1968, Mike Walsh solo climbed to what he considered the high‑ est point and in 1982 a British Columbia Mountaineering Club party retraced Walsh’s route with a carpenter’s level to verify the middle summit was indeed three metres higher than the southwest summit. Ferris Neave retired from Fisheries in 1966 and celebrated by joining the ACC’s 1967 Centennial Expedition to the St. Elias Mountains. Prior to that, he climbed Japan’s Mount Fuji and Mexico’s Popocatepetl then in the early 1970s
trekked in the Himalayas. Ferris Neave passed away on Jan. 29, 1986 at the age of 85 in Vancouver after suffering his final few years from the debilitating Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS). He was predeceased by his wife Marjorie. Friend and climbing partner, Karl Ricker, said, “Ferris passed away totally incapaci‑ tated, but likely in full comfort on what he accomplished over the span of his life.” Ferris will be remembered in the realms of mountaineering, ski mountaineering and science. Mount Ferris, in the Mount Waddington area, is named in his honour. Club alpin du Canada
ACMG guide Andrew Langsford guides clients to the summit of Mount Sir Sandford, in B.C.’s Selkirk Mountains. photo by Jim Gudjonson.
I want to be like Fred Beckey by
orty years ago, as a teenager in the summer of 1971, I spent six weeks at the Banff School of Fine Arts. Coming from the lowlands of Ontario, the mountains were overwhelming and even a little intimidating. Nevertheless, the distractions of youth prevailed, so rather than apply myself to my piano performance studies, I learned to drink coffee at the Banff Café, hiked up to the Lake Louise teahouses in flip flops and pursued hot young men who worked at the grand hotels. Around this time, Fred Beckey was in his prime, putting up route after route all over western North America and Alaska. Fast forward 40 years and amaz‑ ingly, Fred Beckey is still climbing, as he was sighted this past summer in the Bugaboos. As for me, I’m still flying out to the Rockies from Ontario multiple times a year, summer and winter, to indulge my alpine passions. The Banff Café is long gone, replaced by Evelyn’s Coffee Bar and Starbucks, the Evo mountaineering boots now stand in for flip flops, and were I to reunite with any of the men I lusted after, I assume they are now plump and middle-aged, busily tapping away on their BlackBerrys. In the last decade, something sparked and the mountains called to me in a deeply personal way. Although I lived adjacent to the Swiss Alps for a year and had many vacations in the Rockies, it was 24 Alpine Club of Canada
in my mid-40s that I began to yearn for a more profound and committing moun‑ tain experience. Luckily, I discovered Canadian mountain guides at about the same time. In the Alps of course, centuries of professional guiding have shaped the mountain experience, and I had many delightful days in the Valais, Vaud and Rhone Alps with Swiss guides. They also followed the charming tradition of clean‑ ing their guests’ boots overnight so we would have freshly scrubbed footwear the next day. I discovered professional guides in Canada on my first Alpine Club of Canada summer Wapta Icefield traverse guided by Cyril Shokoples; a great intro‑ ductory mountaineering trip although Cyril announced in no uncertain terms that he did NOT clean clients’ footwear. Although disappointed that boot clean‑ ing did not come with the Canadian experience, I recovered and joined Peter Fuhrmann’s ACC Rockies Panorama, then Mexican volcanoes with Barry Blanchard, then the ACC’s General Mountaineering Camps with various guides; so many inspiring trips, so many stellar guides over the years! I am often asked, “Why do you insist on professional guides? Surely, at this point, you must be proficient enough to get out on your own with a trusted partner. And guides are expensive!” My
response used to be, “Because I’m a mother, I can’t take risks and I have to get back to my family.” More recently however, due in large part to a conversation with Andrew Langsford and Jim Gudjonson after we summitted Europe’s Mont Blanc, my answer today is about professional guides helping me get what I want in the mountains. Andrew pointed out that it takes many years for amateur alpinists and climbers to achieve sufficient skills, experience and confidence to tackle alpine objectives safely and successfully. “Assuming clients are physically and mentally capable, the chances of getting what they want are very high when they go with a professional guide,” Andrew volunteered. “Because guides provide leadership in safety, route finding and technical skills, this frees the client to enjoy the alpine experience to a greater extent.” From the client’s perspective, it doesn’t mean I relinquish all responsibility; I still have to maintain my mountaineering, rock and ice climbing skills and overall fitness. After all, there’s no satisfaction in being a client who is dragged and hoisted around the mountains. Thinking back to Andrew’s com‑ ments, it struck me that what we had Mount Sir Sandford was one of numerous peaks the author successfully climbed under the guidance of Andrew Langsford. photo by Jim Gudjonson.
accomplished together was pretty extra‑ ordinary given that I’m a middle-aged woman with a desk job who lives most of the year thousands of kilometres from any significant mountain range. In the space of five years, Andrew successfully guided me on Bugaboo and Snowpatch spires in the Bugaboos, the Tre Monts route on Mont Blanc, Marmolada and Sella Tower in the Dolomites, Sir Donald, Uto, Tupper and Hermit Mountain in B.C.’s Glacier National Park, Mount Sir Sandford, Mount Edith Cavell and Mount Victoria’s North Summit, as well as numerous ice and rock routes. Sadly, we lost Andrew earlier this year to illness, but he and other guides are the reason why I continue to make the Canadian Rockies my preferred alpine destination. A word of warning to my ACMG guides - if Fred Becky can climb at 88 years old, then you can count on guiding me for another 30 years! Margaret Imai-Compton is a member of the ACC Toronto Section.
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Enzo JackEt and Pant Ian McIntosh, Photo: Adam Clark
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Club alpin du Canada
My favourite volunteer by
e’s quiet. He doesn’t say much. He’s not flashy about the things he does. He’s not often one to take the lead. But when you need a ready and willing volunteer and one who you know will get the job done, he’s one of my favourites. Glen Philips has been an active mem‑ ber of the Saskatchewan Section of the Alpine Club of Canada for more than 15 years. He’s taken part in Club trips, attended many training and social events and helped out in almost every adventure race the Section has ever hosted. On top of that, for the past six years Glen has also taken on the huge and thankless task of poster distribution for the Saskatoon showing of the Banff Mountain Film Festival. Neither sleet nor rain nor the most bitterly cold and windy January day in Saskatchewan will keep Glen from poster delivery! One of my favourite memories with Glen comes from a much more pleasant weather day. In preparation for a Prairie Pitch Adventure Race, a few of us headed out the day before the race to set up the course. My husband, Andrew McKinlay, was the race director and he and I had scoped out checkpoints for the canoe
section several weeks before. Glen and I had the best job of the day—kayaking along the South Saskatchewan River, stopping to set up the markers and hav‑ ing great conversation along the way. “I always counted on Glen to be in charge of some part of the races I organized,” says Andrew. “Whether it was registration or tabulating results or something else, I knew I could depend on him.” Myrene Mollison, who, along with her husband John, heads up our Banff Mountain Film Festival show, says, “Glen has always answered the call for volunteers. He willingly offered to look after poster distribution, taking the time to look for new posting opportunities, coordinating distribution and docu‑ menting locations. He is conscientious about attending and participating in organizational meetings, and is unfail‑ ingly cheerful and gracious. His contribu‑ tions are very much appreciated.” Glen worked with the Canadian Ski Patrol for eight years at Blackstrap ski hill and taught telemark ski clinics for Saskatchewan Section wanna-be back‑ country skiers. I suspect he still smiles when he thinks about our beginner
Glen paddles along the South Saskatchewan River as one of the safety boats during the 2007 Prairie Pitch Adventure Race. photo by Don Chodzicki.
antics—desperately flailing arms and legs and face-plants in the snow. The Alpine Club of Canada is not the only organization that has had the good fortune to have Glen as an active volun‑ teer. He was a member of the Saskatoon Canoe Club for 20 years, leading week‑ end trips and playing an active role on the executive as equipment manager (no small task!) for almost 10 years. Thank you Glen!
team of Alpine Club of Canada members and staff installed a weather station on Mount Des Poilus in Yoho National Park in early September, as part of a project led by BEES, the ACC’s Backcountry Energy Environmental Solutions program, to gauge whether the area could support a wind turbine suitable for a potential hut at the site. The station, which will be dismantled next summer, will be monitored over the winter months by a technician.
s part of the ACC’s ongoing backcountry hut mainten‑ ance program, this summer the Asulkan Cabin at Rogers Pass in B.C.’s Glacier National Park received a new coat of stain on the outside walls, as well as renovations to the kitchen. 26 Alpine Club of Canada
On the Rockies’ Wapta Icefield, both the Rob Ritchie (Balfour) and Scott Duncan huts received new bed plat‑ forms and renovated kitchens, plus new venting and fresh air intake systems. In the Bugaboos, the Conrad Kain Hut now has new siding and a newly renovated kitchen. In Jasper’s Tonquin Valley, the Wates-Gibson Hut had its roof re-sheeted, while in B.C.’s Elk Lakes Provincial Park, the Elk Lakes Cabin will soon be improved to accommodate increased bed space. To book your next ACC hut stay, visit www.alpineclubofcanada.ca/facility
hile the Banff Mountain Book & Film Festival will be underway around the time this Gazette lands in your mailbox, with the film competition winners
being announced on Sunday, Nov. 6, ACC member Jenny Crompton, greatgranddaughter of Club co-founder A.O. Wheeler, is thrilled that a film by Canmore filmmaker Glenn Crawford, compiled from archived footage of Wheeler and artwork created by 10 Bow Valley artists to celebrate Wheeler’s his‑ toric Banff summer home, Claremount, was selected as a BMFF finalist in the Mountain Culture category. Prior to Parks Canada’s demolition of the house in the summer of 2011, the art‑ ists, including musician Cori Brewster, were invited to create impressions of the home and its historical significance to Banff, the Rockies and the ACC. Copies of Crawford’s film will be avail‑ able on DVD, with a launch scheduled for Jan. 14, 2012 at The Edge Gallery in Canmore, with all proceeds going toward an artist grant. Visit www.edgegallery.ca
Mon bénévole préféré par
l est tranquille. Il ne dit pas grand chose. Il ne se vante pas des choses qu’il fait. Il n’est pas souvent celui qui veut être à la tête. Mais quand tu as besoin d’un bénévole et d’un qui tu sais va terminer le travail, il est un de mes préférés. Glen Philips est membre actif de la Section du Club Alpin du Canada du Saskatchewan depuis plus de 15 ans. Il a pris part à des sorties du club, a participé à bien des cours et événements sociaux et aidé à presque toute les courses aventures que la Section ait organisé. En plus de cela, les six dernières années Glen a aussi pris sur lui l’immense et ingrate tâche de la distribution des posters pour la présen‑ tation du Festival du Film de Montagne de Banff à Saskatoon. Et ce n’est pas la neige fondue ni la pluie et encore moins le jour de janvier le plus froid et le plus venteux du Saskatchewan qui va empêcher Glen de livrer des posters ! Un de mes souvenirs préféré de Glen vient d’un jour où le temps était bien plus plaisant. Pour préparer une Course Aventure Prairie Pitch, quelques uns d’entre nous sommes partis le jour avant la course pour en préparer le tracé. Mon mari, Andrew McKinlay, était le directeur de la course et lui et moi étions allés explorer des points de contrôle pour la section de canoë bien des semaines auparavant. Glen et moi avions le meil‑ leur travail du jour : faire du kayak sur la rivière South Saskatchewan, s’arrêter pour mettre des marques et profiter de bonne conversation au long du chemin. ‘’J’ai toujours compté sur Glen pour prendre en charge une partie des courses que j’organisais’’ dit Andrew. ‘’Que ce soit pour l’enregistrement des participants, pour compiler les résultats ou pour d’autres choses, je savais que je pouvais compter sur lui.’’ Myrene Mollison qui, avec son époux John, chapeaute notre représentation au Festival du Film de Montagne de Banff dit : ‘’Glen a toujours répondu aux appels pour des bénévoles.
Il a gentiment offert de s’occuper de la distribution des posters, prenant le temps de chercher des possibilités d’affichage, coordonnant la distribution et docu‑ mentant les endroits. Il est consciencieux d’aller et de participer aux réunions organisationnelles et ne manque jamais d’être de bonne humeur et de bonne grâce. Ses contributions sont vraiment appréciées.’’ Glen a travaillé 8 ans avec la Patrouille de Ski Canadienne à la station de ski Blackstrap et donné des cours de ski télé‑ mark pour ceux qui veulent être de vrais skieurs de randonnée. Je pense qu’il sourit encore quand il pense à nos pitreries de débutants, agitant désespérément leurs bras et leurs jambes et atterrissant la tête la première dans la neige. Le Club Alpin du Canada n’est pas la seule organisation qui a eu la chance d’avoir Glen comme bénévole actif. Il était un membre du Club de Canoë de Saskatoon pour 20ans, prenant en charge Karve 1_3SQ les EN week-ends ACC Gazette.pdf d’organiser des 16 sorties et 1
Glen maintains a studious watch at one of the riverside checkpoints during the 2007 Prairie Pitch Adventure Race. photo by Don Chodzicki.
jouant un rôle actif à l’exécutif comme Chef d’équipement (pas une petite tâche !) pour presque 10 ans. Merci Glen ! Traduit par Nathalie Roulin membre du 10/3/11 CAC. 5:22 AM
Recycle this Gazette Pass it on to your belayer Club alpin du Canada
Bon Echo dreams are worth the wait story and photos by Terry Lipovski
heard about the climbing at Bon Echo years in an old Canadian Alpine Journal. Back then I lived in Calgary so it seemed funny that there was anything worth climbing in Ontario. I wasn’t anti-East, but I just couldn’t imagine rock worth climbing east of the Rockies. I recall the CAJ article described multi-pitch routes and an accompanying photo of a climber leading far above a clear lake burned itself into my mind. I was climbing classic routes in California, Utah, B.C. and Alberta. So why was I so intrigued by this wall in Ontario? Life tends to meander like a river, and the road trips my wife and I enjoyed soon gave way to raising two awesome daughters. We moved to Ottawa in 2002 and went camping at Bon Echo, across the lake from the cliffs. We all thought the campground was gorgeous, but I was focused on that big stone. I scored a climber’s guide and studied it intently, picking out five-star routes and making notes. A few years went by until my buddies, Scott and Geoff, and I dusted off our gear and blasted some easy single-pitch routes
Scott Day and Geoff Bossi gear up to go climbing at ACC’s Bon Echo Hut at Lake Mazinaw, Ontario.
Scott Day tops out on a gorgeous multi-pitch traditional gear route at Bon Echo, Ontario. Rock climbing doesn’t get any better than this!
near Ottawa. We followed that with some winter ice climbing and planned a road trip to Bon Echo in the spring of 2011. As I finally looked across picturesque Mazinaw Lake, my jaw was open. Bon Echo Rock is huge; two kilometres wide and 100 metres high, rising poker straight out of a deep blue lake. It is the largest cliff in southeastern Ontario. If Bon Echo were in B.C. it would be as popu‑ lar as Squamish. Imagine pink granite with bomber face holds, hero cracks and intimidating overhangs with more than 120 routes up to five pitches. Picture your‑ self on a hanging belay, lashed in beside an ancient cedar, watching peregrine falcons glide on thermal drafts as canoes drift by slowly, hundreds of feet below. The ACC custodian picked us up in a boat and we made our way to the
Alpine Club of Canada hut across the lake. Maintained by the ACC’s Toronto Section, the hut is a cross between Elizabeth Parker Hut and a traditional Ontario cottage. Members camp in tents and use the hut to cook and socialize. Inside the hut I met ACC members who could have been teleported from Wheeler or Stanley Mitchell huts. Alpine Club members are the same wherever you go: great characters, tall tales and lots of wine. As the night wore on, our new friends offered route beta. The next morning, after a quick breakfast we were on the approach to the rock—in the boat! The “Bon Echo Experience” is like no other. The custodian drives the boat to the spot along the cliff where your route begins, you step onto tiny holds, rope up and climb. In many places it is just water
Canadian Alpine Journal Submissions Deadline for submitting articles for the upcoming Canadian Alpine Journal is February 1, 2012. For more information, visit: www.alpineclubofcanada.ca/caj/guidelines.html 28 Alpine Club of Canada
meeting wall. The custodian monitors your climb with binoculars until you rap‑ pel. Then he scoops you up with the club boat. It’s like having your own floating Sherpa. The climbing is superb. Route find‑ ing is easy although route grades can be a sandbag. Sandbagging grades is an eastern trend that likely came from tough, talented guys such as Helmut Microys who figured, “it’s all 5.7 until you fall off.” Bring your guidebook and a grain of salt. Scott, Geoff and I roped up and Scott linked two pitches up a wonderfully exposed ridge to a foot-wide ledge and two solid bolts. We swapped leads and I stretched out two more pitches. Jamming my hands into granite cracks for the first time in years felt great and before I knew it I was up, staring far below to the deep blue waters of Mazinaw Lake. I watched the falcons glide below me, and as I belayed in rope calmness overtook me. As my focus eased my mind opened
and I truly appreciated exactly where I was, sitting on top of the wall that I had admired for years. We rapped off and were chauffeured by boat to another five-star route. We stormed a long right-facing dihedral with fist jams and turned a roof on large jugs to a hanging belay. A long, exposed face climb led to the top of the cliff directly below the tourist observation deck. As we poked our heads over the railing, hikers were shocked to see us emerge. The boat ride back to the hut was bittersweet; I had wanted to climb this face for so long and now it was done. As the boat drifted past the face we traced other routes high on the wall. That night, over a fire, we made plans to return. I had waited a long time to climb at Bon Echo, but I don’t want to wait long to return. An ACC member since the 1980s, Terry Lipovski lives in Ottawa with his adventure partner, Doreen, and their two beautiful daughters, Samantha and Kristen.
Geoff Bossi climbs the first pitch of Birthday Ridge, at Bon Echo, overlooking beautiful Mazinaw Lake.
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Club alpin du Canada
Open air by Toby
À ciel ouvert
pen air” is a bit of a misnomer this issue as I write from a national office hidden in the Bow Valley’s mist and rain. One of the great things about being Canadian mountain enthusiast, however, is the sheer size of our country—there’s always better weather somewhere; for example, the Niagara escarpment is a pleasant 20 C at this moment! There are Alpine Club of Canada sections across this great land, from Montreal to Vancouver Island, and now in the Yukon. While plenty of Yukoners have been ACC members in the past, at last there’s a territorial section of the Club to serve them locally. While I have a personal bias in favour of the Yukon, it is also home to Canada’s tallest peak, Mount Logan, 5,959 metres, (first ascent by a joint ACC/American Alpine Club expedition led by A.H. MacCarthy in 1925, as reported in that year’s Canadian Alpine Journal), and an enormous alpine wilderness. There has been plenty of climbing activity, especially by the Toronto Section, in the St. Elias range over the years, including the 2006 Yukon Centennial Camp—did you know the Yukon has a range of mountains named after the past presidents of the ACC? The ACC’s contributions to exploring the Yukon’s mountains will soon be featured in Parks Canada’s new visitor centre at Haines Junction. All mountain enthusiasts living in the Yukon are encouraged to affiliate their ACC membership with the YT Section. The ACC will host the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival in Whitehorse on Nov. 19, and there plans to unveil the Section’s strategic plan. Please join and support them—nourish‑ ing the vibrant mountain culture of the North. Together, the ACC sections com‑ prise Canada’s mountain club, and the opportunities they provide for Canadians from sea to sea to sea, to get out and be active on the weekends, or get together for slideshows, storytell‑ ing and hiding from the weather, are among the greatest benefits of ACC membership. 30 Alpine Club of Canada
ciel ouvert” est un peu un abus de langage cette semaine alors que je vous écris à partir d’un bureau national caché sous le brouillard et la pluie de la vallée Bow. Mais, un des grands avantages pour un canadien pas‑ sionné des montagnes est la vastitude de notre pays. On est certain qu ‘il fait beau en quelque part au pays. Comme par exemple, l’escarpement du Niagara nous propose quelques 20c agréables aujourd’hui! Il y a des sections du CAC tout au travers ce grand pays, de Montréal à l’île de Vancouver, et maintenant au Yukon (YT). Alors que beaucoup de Yukonnais sont déjà membres du CAC, il y a doré‑ navant une section locale du club pour les servir et rassembler. Malgré mon penchant personnel envers ce magnifique territoire, il reste qu’il abrite également le plus haut sommet du Canada (Mont Logan, 5,959m, la première ascension par une expédition CAC / American Alpine Club dirigé par AH MacCarthy en 1925, comme indiqué dans le Canadian Alpine Journal de cette année-là), et nous pro‑ pose un énorme terrain sauvage et alpin. Il y a eu beaucoup d’activités de grimpe en montagne dernièrement, par‑ ticulièrement celles organisées par la sec‑ tion de Toronto, dans la chaîne St. Elias au fil des ans, et vous vous souvenez peutêtre du Camp du centenaire au Yukon en 2006 - saviez-vous qu’il y a une chaîne de montagnes là-haut nommé pour les anciens présidents du CAC? À noter que la contribution du CAC à l’exploration des montagnes du Yukon sera bientôt en vedette dans le nouveaux centre de Parcs Canada à Haines Junction. Pour tous les passionnés de montagne qui vivent au Yukon, nous vous encour‑ ageons à affilier votre adhésion CAC avec la Section YT. Elles seront co-hôte du Festival International des Films de Montagne, à Whitehorse, le 19 novembre prochain. Ils dévoileront le plan futur de la Section. Nous vous encourageons de vous joindre à eux et de les soutenir - enrichissant davantage la culture des montagnes du grand nord. Les sections du CAC, toutes ensem‑ ble, forment notre club et Le Club des montagnes du Canada. Les possibilités qu’ils offrent pour les Canadiens d’un
Pelly Mountains, Yukon. photo by Toby Harper.
océan à l’autre (Atlantique, Pacifique et maintenant Arctique!), de sortir et être actifs les week-ends, ou se réunir pour des diaporamas, des récits d’aventure et pour se cacher de la météo parfois moins favorable, sont parmi les plus grands avantages d’être membre du CAC.
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NOTICES Upcoming Meetings Executive Committee meeting: ●● April 14 - 15, 2012 in Canmore Board of Directors meeting: ●● May 26 - 27, 2012 in Canmore Annual General Meeting: ●● May 26, 2012 in Canmore facebook.com/alpineclubofcanada twitter.com/alpineclubcan
Photography: Gabe Rogel
Location: Jackson Hole
| Athlete: Mike Leake
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Respect the mountain. Repeat the epic. Remote zones have epic potential. But they can also be dangerous. Our mission is to provide insight on how to push the limits without exceeding your boundaries. No matter your level or ability, knowledge is the best tool for crossing the line.
Enzo JackEt and Pant Xavier de Le Rue, Photo: Tero Repo
Watch our new snow safety videos at: thenorthface.com/knowboundaries