AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

The Alpine Club of Canada

The Alpine Club of Canada. For the Alpine Club of Canada, the year saw several major events. A re-enactment of the first ascent of Mount Lefroy and the commemoration of the Abbot Pass Hut took place August 2. A party composed of representatives of the ACC, Canadian Pacific Hotels, the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides, Parks Canada and the media re-enacted the first ascent to mark the 100th anniversary of the 1897 ascent. The commemoration of the Abbot Pass Hut (built in 1922 by mountain guides under the sponsorship of the Canadian Pacific Railway) as a National Heritage Site was celebrated at the Chateau Lake Louise.

The 30th anniversary of the Yukon Alpine Centennial Expedition was held in conjunction with the Mountain Guides’ Ball in October. Dave Fisher, who played a major role in the organization of the YACE, was patron of the Guides’ Ball and organized the reunion, which more than 60 original Expedition members attended.

In 1925, during the first ascent of Mount Alberta by a Japanese expedition, an ice axe was left on the summit. American members of the next successful climb of the peak in 1948 discovered the axe frozen into the ice at the summit. It was accidentally broken into two pieces when they tried to remove it. Then in 1965 another Japanese climbing group found the bottom part of the axe and took it home. It was not until the summer of 1997 that it was realized that both parts still existed—one piece in Canada at the Yellowhead Museum in Jasper, AB, and the other in Japan. In December, at the invitation of the Japanese Alpine Club, Mike Mortimer, ACC President, and Bob Sandford, VP for Publications, attended the Annual Meeting of the JAC, where the two pieces of the ice axe were fitted together. A 75th Anniversary Climb in the year 2000 is being planned, at which the two pieces of the ice axe will be rejoined on the summit.

These three events mark important milestones for the ACC and its members, and an initiative similar to the Mount Lefroy ascent is being planned for a centennial ascent of Mount Athabasca in 1998.

The club approved plans for the Heritage Club Program to recognize 350 longtime members. The Heritage Club will recognize three levels of membership service: 25-34 years, 35-49 years and 50 years. The ACC has 48 members with more than 50 years of service, who will be enrolled in the Heritage Club along with more than 300 others with 25-49 years.

The club approved the formation of a Whistler Section, bringing the number of sections across Canada to 17. Total membership stands at 6,000 members. A major membership drive is planned for 1998.

In the area of leadership, a major initiative has started to train leaders at both the national and sectional levels. The committee’s report to the Board of Directors emphasized the development of a training syllabus using the 1986 syllabus as a foundation and aimed at meeting both national and section requirements. Initial summer and winter leadership training weeks at the national level are being established for 1998. Many sections, especially those in the Alberta Sections group, already offer similar courses to their members. A surcharge of up to $25 will be applied to national camps participants to support leadership development.

The ACC provided financial support through its Endowment Fund for several expeditions. These included two section expeditions: the Toronto Section expedition to the Slaggards area in Kluane and a Saskatchewan Section expedition to Cho Oyu. The 1997 International Expedition to Lhotse and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Mount Logan Expedition to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the RCMP were supported as well.

1997 Awards: Distinguished Service Award —Ruth Oltmann; Silver Rope for Leadership—Robert Stirling, Phil Youwe and Marg Saul; A. O. Wheeler Legacy Award—Ken Hewitt, and Richard and Louise Guy.

Beverley Bendell