The Alpine Club of Canada. The Alpine Club of Canada celebrated its 90th Anniversary in 1996 with an anniversary dinner that also honored four Canadians who had contributed to Canadian mountaineering and who had reached the summit of Mount Everest. Those four are Laurie Skreslet, Sharon Wood, Pat Morrow and Dwayne Congdon. Glen Boles received Honorary Membership during the celebrations, which was deemed an excellent choice by those present.
The premier event for the ACC, the Mountain Guides Ball, was held in May in conjunction with the Association of Mountain Guides, who were celebrating 100 years of guiding in Canada. At The Top: 100 Years of Guiding In Canada was published by the ACC to celebrate this anniversary. In conjunction with the Banff Festival of Mountain Books, the club launched its latest publication, A Mountain Life: Stories and Photographs of Bruno Engler. Edited by Bob Sandford, V.P. of Publications, it is a chronicle of memorable stories from Bruno’s eventful life. Also published was a member’s handbook, which contains information on current club operations and historical detail along with a list of members. The Publications Committee also sponsored an Alpine Art Weekend at the Elizabeth Parker Hut at Lake O’Hara. Donna Jo Massie, a well- known watercolor artist, instructed at the workshop, and Bob Sandford presented a detailed look at the history of landscape painting in Western Canada. Owing to the overwhelming response to the event, additional workshops are being planned for 1997.
The Elizabeth Parker Hut underwent two weeks of major renovations aimed at restoring the hut to its more historical character and improving the visitor experience at the hut. The roof of the main hut was completely removed and replaced. Restored original windows replaced the existing windows, and the interior logs were cleaned. The work was done by many club volunteers and with the assistance of Parks Canada. Phase Two of the Canadian Alpine Center and International Hostel in Lake Louise opened in May, increasing the capacity of the Center with 40 more beds in the new building. The Board of Directors approved the renaming of the Great Cairn Hut to the Great Cairn-Benjamin Ferris Hut.
The short form of the Wilderness Ethics Statement was approved by the Board of Directors, with the longer version expected in 1997. The Bow Valley Study was released and is expected to provide a model environmental document, not only for Banff National Park, but for other national parks in Canada as well. The ACC was a member of a number of the round table discussions that worked with the Task Force to produce the study.
The club continues to monitor the efforts by the national parks to operate on a cost-recovery basis. Members are now faced with an overnight backcountry fee whenever they stay at an ACC hut located in a national park. Rescue fees will most likely be instituted in 1997, but the method of collection has yet to be determined by Parks Canada.
The Okanagan Section was welcomed into the ACC, bringing the total location sections across Canada to 16.
The Sport Climbing Committee has developed a three-year business plan and continues to maintain its database of sports climbers and their competition standings.
Fundraising in late 1995 for the Library Conservation Fund enabled the club to hire a conservator to begin conservation and preservation work on the library collection. Donors to the fund received a copy of the holdings of the library collection.
The club’s Internet site (www.culturnet.ca/acc/) continued to be enhanced, and visits to the site averaged 3,000 per month. It is hoped that membership applications and book orders will be processed from the site in 1997.
Please note the club’s new mailing address: P. O. Box 8040, Canmore, AB T1W2T8.
Beverly Bendell, Rocky Mountain Section Chair