Living the high life and living on the edge.

The Kootenay Mountaineering Club Celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2014

Celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2014 with hree one-week hiking camp sessions and the Kokanee Glacier ski week

  • May. 22, 2014 5:00 p.m.

Submitted

Rossland News

The Kootenay Moutanieering Club (KMC) existed as a section of the Alpine Club of Canada (ACC) for its first five years, but went its own way when it could not or would not persuade sufficient numbers to sign up with the ACC. Today, KMC has over 300 members and schedules more than 100 outdoor trips and activities every year.

Its membership resides primarily in the West Kootenay with most members residing within the Rossland-Trail-Castlegar-Nelson corridor.

Fifty years ago the KMC’s constitution stated the objectives of the club were to:

1) Maintain a program of climbs during the summer season and ski touring trips in the winter and spring,

2) Serve as a nucleus for people interested in mountaineering and wishing to associate with others of similar interests, and

3) Maintain records of pertinent information on trips in the Kootenay area.

The club still does all of this, but 50 years ago the logging industry had not cut many roads into the mountains and access to some of the most beautiful Kootenay country was difficult. The early years of the club saw much effort directed into cutting a trail into Mulvey Basin in the Valhallas from where, if not a first summit, then second or third ascents could be launched. Many trails were cut in the KMC’s early years and first ascents were made throughout the Kootenays by KMC members.

Weekly rock climbing classes were conducted and early records abound with accounts of very technical climbs. Ski touring and hiking in Kokanee Glacier Park was and still is popular. The old Slocan Chief cabin, built in 1896 to service mining operations in the Kokanee Glacier area, hosted many KMC winter and summer outings. The cabin still exists but today it houses historical information displays and the luxurious Kokanee Glacier Lodge has become the main destination for overnight trips in the park since it was built 10 years ago. The KMC also manages and maintains the four huts on the famous Bonnington Traverse.

Highlights of the KMC’s year are the three one-week hiking camp sessions and the Kokanee Glacier ski week. Both are so much in demand that the club holds lotteries to select the participants. The club’s semi-annual socials are always popular for meeting friends and viewing members’ slide shows of some of their more exotic or adventurous trips.

Some things have changed in 50 years. While the KMC frowns on motorized, off-road back country recreation, the back country is becoming increasingly crowded with quads, snow mobiles and commercial cat- and heli-skiing operations. The club doesn’t instruct technical climbing anymore, now relying on certified instructors to provide its members more advanced training.

When the KMC isn’t in the back country having fun, some challenges of a different nature are taken on. In the early years, the club lobbied successfully for preservation of Kokanee Glacier Park and the formation of the Valhalla Provincial Park and the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy. Today, the KMC is actively trying to keep the Jumbo Valley ‘wild’ and is rallying opposition to the resort’s development.

Another concern is that, while access to the back country is better than it was in the 60’s thanks to logging roads, today many of the forestry roads are being decommissioned and some of the favorite hiking and climbing destinations are once again becoming difficult or impossible to access.

On June 7, at 8:00 p.m., the KMC will celebrate its 50th anniversary, and, along with the Federation of Mountain Clubs of BC, hopes to fill the 200+ seats in the Old Castlegar Theatre to hear guest speaker, Dave Quinn, the ‘Outdoor Guy’ on CBC Radio West talk about conservation issues and his outdoor adventures in the Kootenays. Tickets are available at 7:30 p.m. at the door for $5.

Check us out at:       www.kootenaymountaineering.bc.ca

 

Just Posted

Trail area homicide investigation continues

Jan. 14 marked one year since Jordan Workman was discovered in the trunk of a burnt car

Updated: Outbreak prompts advisory for visitors to extended care wing in Trail hospital

A respiratory infection has been active in Poplar Ridge Pavilion since Monday, advises IH

RDCK moves ahead with Castlegar rec complex upgrade plan

Board approves grant application for $13 million from provincial, federal governments

Scammers using Castlegar home for rental fraud

Local realtors say the problem is happening more frequently with their properties

Trail police seek to ID more loot recovered during weapons search

Trail RCMP recovered numerous weapons and stolen items after search at Fifth Avenue residence

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

B.C. dangerous offender in court for violating no-contact order, sends letter to victim

Wayne Belleville was shocked to see a letter addressed to him from his shooter, Ronald Teneycke

Crowsnest Pass RCMP seek help locating missing male

58-year-old Stuart David Duff was last seen on Jan. 6, 2019.

Judge denies requests from Calgary couple charged in son’s death

David and Collet Stephan wanted $4 million to pay for past and future legal bills

Explosion sends B.C. firefighter to hospital

Kelowna fire crews responded to a blaze at Pope’sGallery of BC Art & Photography on Friday

Ex-Mountie investigating ‘Surrey six’ murders pleads guilty to obstruction

Derek Brassington entered his plea in B.C. Supreme Court on Friday

Man blames his loud car radio, sirens for crash with B.C. ambulance

Tribunal rejects bid to recoup ICBC costs after crash deemed 100-per-cent his fault

RECALL: Salmon Village maple salmon nuggets

Customers warned not to eat product due to possible Listeria contamination

More than 100,000 toxic toys named in Canada-wide recall

Plastic doll contains levels of phthalates over allowable limit and may pose chemical hazard

Most Read