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The Alpine Club of Canada

The Alpine Club of Canada. The Club did not hold its annual summer climbing camp as such in 1967, but was the prime organizer of the Yukon Alpine Centennial Expedition, in celebration of Canada’s Centenary, which in the end combined the Club’s summer camp with that of the expedition. The first phase of the expedition was the climbing of “Good Neighbor Peak” (Mount Vancouver’s boundary summit) by a team of four Canadian and four American climbers. Coincidentally, this climb was also to mark the centenary of the purchase of Alaska from Russia by the United States. The second phase was the climbing of 13 virgin peaks in the Centennial Range of the St. Elias Mountains, one peak being named for each province and territory in Canada and one called Centennial Peak to represent the Centennial Expedition. All peaks were climbed except Mounts Manitoba and Saskatchewan. A team of four climbers was assigned to each peak, making a total of 52 climbers in all. The third phase was the two general camps of two weeks each from July 15 to August 13 with 182 people participating. In spite of poor weather for the first camp, much climbing was done, and one ascent was made of Mount Walsh. The weather during the second camp was much better, and in spite of heavy clouds to the south of the Steele-Walsh ridge, it was mostly sunny at camp. Three more ascents were made of Mount Walsh, two of Mount Steele, and one of Mount Wood. The first ascents were fairly evenly divided between the first and second camps. Altogether, 19 peaks were climbed from the main camp, of which 14 were first ascents. The expedition climbed 33 peaks, of which 27 were firsts. It was supported by fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, a new accomplishment in mountaineering for an expedition of this size. Personnel and supplies were all airlifted from “Mapel” station on Quill Creek to the main campsite beside Steele Glacier. The entire expedition was a resounding success with everyone doing his part to make it so. No accidents occurred during the expedition either from climbing or with the aircraft. With 250 people involved in the St. Elias Mountains, this is surely a record to be proud of.

The annual ski camp was held at the Wates-Gibson Memorial Hut at Outpost Lake in Jasper National Park. The weather was not ideal, but the skiing was generally good. Trips were made to Eremite Valley, Amethyst Lakes, and the Fraser Glacier, while ascents were made of Mounts McDonnell and Thunderbolt. Perfect conditions of weather and snow on the last two days of camp were responsible for the most memorable powder-snow skiing in many years.

W. C. Ledingham, Club Manager