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ACCVI Executive:

Chairman – Robert McCaw

Secretary – Gordon Cameron

Executive Committee – Margaret Cowell, Jennie McCulloch, Francis Robertson, Horace Westmorland, William Everett, William Drewry


January 9 – Club talk at the Y.M.C.A. given by William Alldritt on his prisoner-of-war experience.

March 26 – Club 14th annual banquet at Brentwood Hotel.

April 25 – Club trip to Big Saanich Mountain.

December 6 – Club meeting at the home of Gordon Cameron.

December 18 – Club talk given by Julia Henshaw at the home of Arthur Wheeler on the International Alpine Congress held in Monaco.

Section members who attended the ACC general camp at Mt. Assiniboine: Arthur and Clara Wheeler, Stanley Mitchell, Edward Wheeler (Mt. Assiniboine), Horace “Rusty” Westmorland, William Foster (Mt. Assiniboine), Dr. A.W. Wakefield (Mt. Assiniboine), Capt. E.L.T. Taylor, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Hodgins, Peggy Hodgins (Mt. Magog), Frederick Longstaff, Gordon Cameron, William Everall, Sara Spencer, Mr. C.B. Reynold, Ethel Bruce, Emmeline Savatard.

Says the Germans Want Kaiser Back

Mr. W.A. Alldritt, A Prisoner of War for Three Years, Hopes Allies Are Watching Germany Closely

Reported in the Daily Colonist Tuesday January 20, 1920, p.9.

With good humour which ill-concealed the horror of his and his companion’s sufferings during a period when the bosche’s [The boche’ or ‘boches’ (or ‘bosch/bosches’), was a French word, which arrived through contact with French forces in 1914, and is said to have derived from French slang caboche, meaning ‘rascal’ or ‘German’, or from Alboche, a variant on Alleman.] hatred of the English was at its height. Mr. William A. Alldritt, now Physical Director of the Y.M.C.A., her, formerly sergeant in the 8th Winnipeg battalion, last night told the story of his experience as a prisoner-of-war in Germany for three years. The meeting was held under the auspices of the Vancouver Island Section of the Alpine Club of Canada, in the Girls’ Central School. Mr. R.D. McCaw presiding. A big audience was present, and followed with intense interest the well-told narrative of the speaker’s five efforts to escape from the miserable camps to which he was confined during the period between his capture at the battle of Ypres, April, 1915, and his “exchange’ into Holland in March 1918, and at the close of the address Mr. A.O. Wheeler, director of the Alpine Club of Canada, seconded by Captain Aitken, moved a very hearty vote of thanks. “Although Sergeant Alldritt speaks lightly enough about his experiences it is easy to read between the lines that it required magnificent courage, patience and endurance to hold up through it all,” said Mr. Wheeler, who recalled the speaker’s association with the Alpine Club at one of the annual camps in the Rockies some years ago.

Went From Winnipeg

Sergeant Alldritt went overseas with the 8th Winnipeg Battalion, in the early part of 1915 reaching the firing line in France. He was taken prisoner on the evening of April 25, during the battle of Ypres. With others of his unit he was herded into cattle cars, wounded and well, gassed and ungassed all together, and for four days—only once during that time being allowed to leave the train—they journeyed back into Germany. “You have heard how nice and kind the Germans were to the allies when they were in Cologne last time. I should like you to have seen how they received us that time we went through in the Spring of 1915—with brickbats, broken-glass missiles, bottles,” said the speaker. Before he was through Sergeant Alldritt summarized the German character, an analysis which accounted for much of the treatment which was meted out to the men held in their prison camps, and also, according to the interpretation of the speaker, foreboding ill for the peace of the world if it is not carefully watched. “The German boy is brought up to be a bully. The German regards his woden—his wife—as he does his furniture. They are brought up from babyhood to be cruel. They treat animals badly. A farmer and a city laboring man looked upon the war from two quite different viewpoints. The farmer was more patriotic; the laborer was very often a Socialist. But the question is often asked: Is the German today a Royalist or a Republican? The German on the whole is intensely a man who believes in a king.”

Would Restore Kaiser

“If they have half a chance they will have ‘Old Billy’ back again,” affirmed Sergeant Alldritt. “Most of them still look upon him as king by divine right, and they regard Hindenburg in the light of a national ideal.” “What should our attitude be towards Germany?” I am asked too. “My opinion is that we cannot watch Germany too closely. I hope sincerely that we have spies in Germany who are watching what is going on. If we have not, I prophesy we will have another war in 10 years. Germany today hates England and the rest of the Allies with a deadly hatred from which she will not recover for many years. We should watch her closely.” The actual “layout” of a German prison camp was described, the barbed-wire fencing inclosing big wooden huts, chiefly notable for there sameness and monotony and for the dreariness of their outlook. Hardships, poor food, general depression among the men, were accountable for many deaths “just from broken heart,” although most of the prisoners had been gassed or wounded, and in either case received very little in the way of medical attention. There was little variety in the food, a lump of black bread as large as a man’s fist being the issue for the 24 hours, while for breakfast there was in addition a bowl of acorn coffee. For dinner thin soup made of turnips and water, for supper coffee and black bread. “For the first six weeks we just literally starved—until the parcels from England began to come. We always looked forward to getting these, and if it had not been for the food they contained not more than 15 per cent of the boys taken prisoner would have come out of Germany alive. As a rule we got our parcels—it is about the only good thing I can say about the Germans, although they did sometimes slip up on us by holding back some of our things, They underfed us, but I forgive them that in view of the fact that they starved themselves for three years. But they neglected our sick—even where it was a matter of the simplest kind of attention.”

Brutal Warders

This deliberate cruelty the speaker traced to the authority vested in the non-commissioned—and mostly brutal—officers in charge of the salt-mines. Beating the men for inability—owing often to shear weakness and sickness—to work was a very minor punishment. He had seen things too terrible to describe. The story of his five attempts at escape were told in a racy vein, many of the incidents being made to appear quite humorous, although there is little doubt that at the time the game was all too serious. He was sent, soon after being captured, to work in a coal mine, although the Canadians at the time were given the surface jobs. Belgians and French being sent underground. Every day the Canadians managed to make some sort of trouble for the Germans—one day it would be to run a truck off the track and waylay things; another day a barrel of oil would mysteriously spring a leak, etc. He was sent to Westphalia next, and there he joined a gang organized to break camp. To do this a tunnel about forty feet wide had to be surreptitiously bored through sandy gravel. After a week’s stealthy work to their dismay they found the exit came up immediately under a big electric light where a German sentry was pacing back and forth at regular intervals. The hole was closed, and a new exit burrowed out. Through this eleven prisoners escaped one night while an Englishman inside the picket engaged the attention of the sentry by inviting him to share a cup of tea. Alldritt, himself an old woodsman with a natural instinct for direction, it appeared, from information gathered from Alpine Club members, was the elected leader of this and other organized efforts at escape. On this occasion, among other adventures, they had to pass right through a village, removing their heavy boots so as not to make any noise on the pavements. They successfully negotiated this problem, but the very next day were caught when close to the Dutch frontier. “And we spent our first Christmas—the Christmas of 1915—in the klinck,” commented the speaker. They stayed in prison a month, and were barred with a yellow stripe which was the badge of the man who attempted to break camp. But he tried again. This time he got sick while engaged in the work of tunneling the passage to freedom, and in order to get away from the camp—which was one of the worst—he volunteered as a farmhand, hoping he would be sent near to the frontier. But instead, he found he was destined to a place near Berlin. Another escape from the gaoler meant only five days’ harassed freedom, and after this he was sent down to Hamelin on Weser. The third time he broke camp he was away for fourteen days, and nearly crossed the frontier. This time, instead of being sent to the farm work he was doomed to the salt mines—“where I had a good time in a way; there were some very fine English fellows for the kindheartedness could not be beaten. They took me in and shared up their parcels with me for five weeks. Thank fortune I was able to pay them back, as just before I left that place about a hundred parcels came for me, and I was able to leave them enough for four or five months.

Fourth Attempt

The fourth attempt at escape ended in disheartening failure—and a prison term near Hanover City. There one of the sentries, by peculiar coincidence, chanced to be one of the sentries from one of the farm-camps from which Sergt. Alldritt had escaped. Rather naturally he bore some resentment, and Alldritt was not the only one who suffered in a fruitless effort to get out of camp again. For about a month after this he worked down in the salt mines before being permitted to get a surface job on the pumps. The last effort to fly Germany was in company with a Frenchman who eventually went delirious after many days on the road and many perilous escapes. Sergt. Alldritt by this time spoke and understood German so well that he succeeded twice in passing the sentries of bridges and towns without arousing suspicion—even after they walked some little way conversing with him. But the big pack which he carried on his back was his undoing in the end. The sentry who had trustingly taken him for a fellow-countryman was suddenly arrested by the size of this, suspecting, as Germans are in the habit of doing, it seems, that the civilian was a thief laden with booty. When the pack was opened it revealed—not booty—but tinned English jams and meats ready for the needs of the flight. So back he went to the salt mine, “where the treatment was terrible,” the speaker said without going further into details. He was one of the five thousand British exchanged in March 1918, and in September last reached Canada, coming later to Victoria to take up his present position in connection with the local Y.M.C.A.

Alpinists Gather for Annual Dinner

Fourteenth Anniversary of The Formation of Vancouver Island Section of Alpine Club of Canada Observed

Reported in the Daily Colonist Wednesday March 31, 1920, p.14.

Well-established precedent made Brentwood Hotel on Friday [March 26] night the rendezvous of members of the Vancouver Island section of the Alpine Club of Canada, the occasion being the fourteenth anniversary of the formation of the local branch of the larger organization. As in previous years, the celebration took the form of a dinner gathering, followed by an address from the Director, Mr. A. [Arthur] O. Wheeler, and a “lantern slide” talk description of some of the mountain areas in the interior of the Province. On this occasion the views depicted interesting scenes taken by Mr. Wheeler during his survey work in the district north of the C.P.R., nearly one hundred slides being shown. This feature of the evening’s entertainment made a very diverting conclusion to the anniversary programme.

This Year’s Camp

This year’s annual camp is to be held at Mt. Assiniboine. The announcement was made by the Director in the course of his annual address to the gathering on Friday night. It is to be known as the “Welcome Home Camp,” it being proposed to tender to the soldier members who were overseas and who will be guests of the Club this year in expression of joy at their return home from the war. The actual site of the forthcoming camp was defined. It will be at the northeast corner of Lake Magog, the date being set from July 20 to 31 inclusive. In addition to the Canadian returned overseas members, there are expected as guests a party from the Alpine Club, London, among those who are known to be coming from the last-mentioned organization being Mr. A. [Alfred] L. Mumm and the well-known Swiss guide Moritz Inderbinnen. It is expected that more than three hundred persons will be under canvas, and in order to affect a good and sufficient service between the camp and the outside world it has been necessary to organize a special pack train which will serve the camp and cater to the requirements of those members of the Club who may wish to make trips on their own account. “According to our constitution one of the objects of the club is “The encouragement of mountain craft and the opening of new regions as a national playground,” stated the Director. “Ever since the club’s inception the management has endeavored to give to its members by means of the annual camps the fullest possible enjoyment of and access to the various beauty spots of the Canadian Rockies at the lowest possible cost. It has done this realizing that the man of moderate means is just as keen a lover of nature in the great hills as those who are more wealthy. The club, so far, has not been unsuccessful, and many hundreds of people have been able to take advantage of our facilities in full measure.

For General Public

Mr. Wheeler here announced that arrangements had been made whereby the first of a series of walking and riding tours would during the coming Summer be in operation from Banff to Mt. Assiniboine, from July 1 to the middle of September. The tour, which is apparently backed by the Government, was not an Alpine Club enterprise, but was under the patronage and would be operated in conjunction with the Club camp. Reference to the Alpine Congress to be held at Monaco in May was made, Mr. Wheeler announcing that Mr. Byron Harmon, of Banff, would be there as delegate from the Alpine Club of Canada and also a representative of the Federal Department of the Interior. The remainder of the Director’s address was chiefly taken up with a review of the activities of the club and its individual members during the past year.

Toast And Greetings

Eighteen of the Vancouver Island Section and their friends gathered round the festive board on Friday night, Mr. R. [Robert] D. McCaw, the chairman, reading greetings from the Winnipeg Section, also from Lieut.-Col. W. [William] W. Foster, honorary chairman, and from Captain [Horace] Westmorland, both of whom were unavoidably absent. A silent toast to “The King,” and a toast to “The Alpine Club of Canada,” proposed and responded to by Mr. W. [William] A. Alldritt and Mr. James White, respectively, were the signal for the gathering to disperse to the smaller hall, where Mr. Wheeler delivered his address. Members are looking forward with much interest to the “hike” next month. Mr. White and Mr. H. [Herbert] F. Shade having extended an invitation to the Vancouver Island Section to be the guests on Sunday, April 25, for a climb of Saanich Mountain. The Brentwood Hotel management provided a delicious repast for the dinner, and the table, thanks to Mrs. [Clara] Wheeler and Miss [Margaret] Cowell, who brought and arranged the flowers, looked radiant with its lavish decoration of daffodils and jonquils, while much of the general success of the celebration was the outcome of the activities of the secretary, Mr. Gordon Cameron. Among the guests of the evening was Mr. A.R. Whittemore, a member of the Toronto Section of the Alpine Club.

Visit Summit Big Saanich Mountain

Party of Thirty From Local Alpine Club Scale Neighboring Peak and Enjoy Superb Outlook

Reported in the Daily Colonist Tuesday April 27, 1920, p.18.

Thirty enthusiastic members and friends of the Vancouver Island section of the Alpine Club of Canada were the guests of Mr. and Mrs. J. [James] J. White, of Sidney, and Mr. and Mrs. Shade of Victoria, at a surprise expedition to Big Saanich Mountain on Sunday [April 25]. The party met at Prospect Lake station where motors awaited to take them to the base of the mountain. At 11:30 a.m. Mrs. White, the “Director,” called the roll, and under the capable guidance of Mr. [Herbert] Shade the party started the ascent, reaching the summit at 1:35 p.m. After an el fresco lunch with hot tea the party took in the excellent view to be had in all directions. Before the descent was begun at 3:55 p.m., a small cairn was built and a pole erected with a flag bearing the inscription “Vancouver Island Section of the Alpine Club of Canada, April 25, 1920.” The descent was found more difficult than the ascent and Echo Cave was not reached until 3:10 p.m. Here the guide demonstrated the wonderful effect of the echo, but unfortunately the performance was brought to a sudden end when the echo could not understand the remarks of one of the doubting members. Another ten- minute climb brought the party to the main camp, which was situated on the edge of an enchanted lake and where a most substantial supper was prepared in the usual club style. The party included Mr. Shade, the guide; the chairman of the section, Mr. R. [Robert] D. McCaw, and Secretary Gordon A. Cameron, Mrs. A.J. Campbell, and Messrs. Campbell, [William] Drewry, Mitchell, [William] Alldritt, C.B. Reynolds, [James] White, [William] Everall, [Frederick] Longstaff, Cochrane, [Kenneth] Chadwick and Pourier. Mrs. Campbell on her arrival in camp was decorated with the colors of the Alpine Club of Canada, green, grey and white. A hearty vote of thanks to the hosts and hostesses was proposed by the chairman and seconded by Mrs. Campbell, and carried unanimously.

Reported in the Daily Colonist Saturday July 17, 1920, p.6.

Miss Peggy Hodgins, daughter of Lieut.-Colonel A. [Arthur] Hodgins and Mrs. Hodgins, left last night for Vancouver en route for Banff, where she will join the members of the Alpine Club of Canada at their summer camp. Other Victorians who are attending the camp this year are Mr. and Mrs. Arthur O. Wheeler, Major Frederick V. Longstaff, Mr. [C.B.] Reynolds, Captain [William] Everall, Mr. Gordon Cameron and Miss [Ethel] Bruce, of The Colonist staff, and Miss Sara Spencer, who are leaving next Thursday for Banff.

Reported in the Daily Colonist Saturday July 25, 1920, p.5.

Miss J.E. [Ethel] M. Bruce, of the Colonist editorial staff, left last Thursday evening for the Mainland, en route for Banff, where she will attend the annual camp of the Alpine Club of Canada. She was accompanied by Miss Sara Spencer.

Alpine Club Elects Officers for Year

Annual Meeting of Mountaineering Organization Held Last Night — Plan Frequent Meetings

Reported in the Daily Colonist Saturday December 7, 1920, p.8.

The annual meeting of the Victoria section of the Alpine Club of Canada was held last evening [December 6] at the home of the secretary, Mr. Gordon Cameron, 2024 Belmont Avenue, when the following were elected officers for the ensuing year. Chairman, Mr. R. [Robert] D. McCaw; secretary, Mr. Gordon Cameron; committee, Miss M. [Margaret] Cowell, Miss J. [Jennie] McCulloch, Major F. [Francis] Robertson, Capt. [Horace] Westmorland, Capt. [William] Everall and Mr. W. [William] S. Drewry. Discussions as to the section’s plans for the year found the membership as a whole keen for frequent meetings, and an effort will be made to arrange these. It was suggested that at one session, Mr. Byron Harmon, of Banff, be asked to give his exhibition of moving pictures of the Rockies; Rev. A.H. Sovereign, of Vancouver, will give a lecture at another session, and others who are invited to address the club locally are Mrs. Julia Henshaw, of Vancouver; Mrs. Warren, of Banff, and Col. W. [William] W. Foster, the president of the Alpine Club of Canada. The next regular meeting of the society will be held in January, when Mr. Harmon, of Banff, will give an illustrated lecture, and Major [Frederick] Longstaff will show a series of interesting pictures also. Mr. A. [Arthur] O. Wheeler, director of the Alpine Club, and Mrs. [Clara] Wheeler, came in from Sidney to attend the meeting last night, and after the business part of the proceedings the members met informally, and refreshments were served by Mrs. Cameron.

Alpine Club Meets at Director’s Home

Members Gathered at Sidney, Where Delegates to Monaco Alpine Congress Reported — Next Year’s Camp

Reported in the Daily Colonist Saturday December 19, 1920, p.22.

A general meeting of the Alpine Club of Canada was held last night [December 18] at the home of the director, Mr. A. [Arthur] O. Wheeler, Sidney. Col. W. [William] W. Foster, of Vancouver, elected president of the club at the Mount Assiniboine camp in August of last year, presided. There were present, in addition to a full membership of the Victoria section, Mrs. Julia Henshaw, of Vancouver, and Mr. Harmon of Banff, who attended the Alpine Congress at Monaco last May as the official delegates from the Alpine Club of Canada. Mr. Henshaw was also present. Mrs. Henshaw and Mr. Harmon gave an interesting account of the proceeding at Monaco. General club business was then discussed, and the director announced that it was suggested that next year’s camp should be held at Lake O’Hara, near Lagan, the site camp of 1913, one of the most successful in the history of the club. Votes of thanks to the director and Mrs. [Clara] Wheeler for their hospitality; to Mrs. Henshaw and Mr. Harmon for their report of the Monaco Congress; and to President Foster for the able manner in which he had presided, concluded the formal part of the proceedings which was followed by an informal dance.

Canada’s Exhibit Best at Monaco

Mrs. Julia Henshaw, Reporting Before B.C. Alpinists in Sidney, Re Notable Congress, Says Rockies Now Famous

Reported in the Daily Colonist Saturday December 25, 1920, p.22.

“As a result of the Alpine Congress at Monaco last May [May 1 – 10] I am sure that Canada came to be looked upon by all delegates of the many countries there represented in quite a different way: they learned to think of this as a country where they could spend a holiday, where they could come and roam about the mountains with us. And I am proud to say that although twenty-two countries were represented at the Congress, Canada provided about one-sixth of the total exhibit staged in connection with the event.” The foregoing and very many other interesting bits of information were given by Mrs. Julia Henshaw in the address which she delivered at the meeting of Alpine Club members at the home of Mr. Arthur O. Wheeler, Director of the Alpine Club of Canada, Sidney, last Saturday evening [December 18]. It is the first time that Mrs. Julia Henshaw has spoken to any group of the Canadian organization’s members since her return from Europe, and all that she had to tell was of intense interest. She and Mr. Byron Harmon, the other delegate from Canada to this notable congress at Monaco last May, and Colonel William W. Foster, of Vancouver, the new president of the Alpine Club of Canada, were the special guests of the evening, the major part of the other guests being members of the Vancouver Island section of this mountaineering club. Mr. Byron Harmon brought with him about two hundred photographs chiefly of Riviera views, including several of the Musee Océanographique, where the Congress was held, and other points of interest about the Monaco principality, while Mrs. Henshaw presented the club with other pictures and some interesting scrapbooks which she had made, these containing programmes, menus, editorial comment in Monaco and Paris papers, and other matter relevant to the May meeting of Alpinists.

Finest In World

Mrs. Henshaw’s report was delightfully informal, yet comprehensive. She referred to the Oceanic Museum, in which the Alpine Congress was held, as providing the finest assembly hall in the world. Every branch of science connected with Alpining was represented, and many men of renown in literature and art could also be numbered among the delegates from the various countries. The neutral ground of Monaco was chosen as their meeting place, although they met as the guests of the French Alpine Club, and during the whole ten days of the Congress they experienced most wonderful hospitality. “This Congress was a very serious thing,” remarked the speaker. “Men whose names are famous all over Europe in art and science were to be found there, and it seemed amazing to me that under the common bond of Alpining there should be found such a diversity of other interests and pursuits. Mr. Wheeler’s plans worked like clockwork,” continued the speaker. She referred with gratitude and appreciation to the forethought which marked the provisions which had been made for Canada’s part in the Congress. All that she and Mr. Harmon, as the Dominion’s delegates, had to do was simply manipulate the vey elaborate machinery which had been placed there in advance of their coming. They, as the mouth-pieces of Canada, “gave her a place in the sun. Canada came second to France,” declared the speaker with pride, her statement being heralded with applause. Canada’s pictorial interest drew all eyes in the direction of this country. In this reference the speaker alluded to Mr. Harmon’s films, the latter “simply sweeping people off their feet.” The same films were later sent to London, where they took people by storm. They were the finest things of the kind that had ever been shown in Europe. Mr. Harmon was to have given but one exhibition of them, but he was “eternally at it,” so much in demand did his films come to be after that first showing. From the president down, everyone was enthusiastic about them, the result, in fine being that Canada was put on the map.

The Best Exhibit

“None of the other countries had anything to compare with our exhibit,” reaffirmed the speaker. Mr. Wheeler’s foresight was still further demonstrated. Before the Canadian delegates left this country for Europe, he had prepared at Ottawa a paper on Canadian National Parks. This, Mrs. Henshaw read at the Congress, and it proved to be—with the exception of the reference to France—to be the only contribution on the subject of national Parks, although one whole day was devoted to this question alone, so important does France consider the problem at the present time. “The tie that bonds together France, Belgium and Canada, is one that will live forever and ever; that tie is made with blood,” continued the speaker. But the Congress at Monaco revealed the Canadians in a new relationship which had never been known during the war; they thought of the people of this land as a people with whom they could share their playtime, with whom they could spend their holidays climbing the beautiful mountains which were so graphically described for them in the films and photographs shown. At the Congress, Mrs. Henshaw came to realize, too, that the Alpine Clubs were not only for climbing: for were not Alpinists comrades, no matter what they were interested in. The wider sphere of the European Alpinist was revealed to her. They had high ideals, great motives. Papers on reforestation, a question of vital interest to France just now; on national parks, on the opening up of the country, were given. And the debates on these matters were intensely interesting. France today is in great need of wood; the question of the reforesting of her hills and mountains, therefore, loomed big in the discussions, while there were commercial and business aspects of the other questions which would not enter the mind of the nation so generously furnished with all nature’s gifts as this land of Canada. In conclusion, Mrs. Henshaw once more referred to the popularity of Mr. Harmon’s photographic exhibits. It was impossible to get near them at any time during the Congress, and the joy of the French when they learned these were to be given to France knew no bounds. Her final words were of gratitude to Mr. Wheeler for his careful forethought in making arrangements for the two delegates, a forethought which could only have sprung from the disinterested love of Canada and the mountains which he had made the Director’s association with the Alpine Club in this country.

Did Much Good

Mr. Byron Harmon, who is spending the Winter on Vancouver Island, spoke very briefly after Mrs. Henshaw finished her interesting statement re the Alpine Congress at Monaco. He attributed to Mrs. Henshaw the arrangements whereby the Canadian Rockies films were shown in London before the Royal Geographic Society after they had been shown in Monaco, and said he thought they had done much good in calling attention to the beauties of the mountains in this part of the world. Subsequently they had been shown in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Colonel William W. Foster, who presided at this important little gathering of Alpinists, after extending a welcome to Mrs. Henshaw and Mr. Harmon, referred to the fact that the Club was meeting in the home of the Director and Mrs. Wheeler, the founders of the organization. It was an opportunity, he thought, to recall the objects and motives of the society, viz., to be something of national benefit. “Many perhaps have joined the Club with more personal reasons,” he admitted, but at the same time there remained the fact that there were higher ideals, and these must not be lost sight of. Was it not possible that in withholding a grant from the Club the Government were prompted by the belief that this was an institution existing solely for the giving of pleasure to its members, losing sight of the fact that the organization had ideals far beyond that. “But so long as our won members fail to throw out the idea that the Alpine Club of Canada is an institution of great national benefit, not to British Columbia alone, but to the whole country and far beyond that, we cannot expect to impress other people as we would wish with the meaning of our organization,” he said. He referred to the big national parks in this province, Mt. Robson Park, Strathcona Park, Garibaldi Park, three wonderful national assets; yet as the present time there is not a dollar being spent on any one of them. This showed that the people as a whole, the Government as a body, failed to recognize their importance. A very serious duty, therefore, devolved on all lovers of nature, to point out to people of this province what a wonderful heritage was here, so that these things might be conserved for the generations to come. “We must make our Government understand that a sacred duty devolves on them to conserve these playgrounds for the people,” reiterated by the speaker. Any one of these parks would be coveted by any one of the other countries represented at that Monaco Congress. They were gifts of Nature which should be passed on unimpaired as a gift to the people who were to come after this generation. In conclusion, Colonel Foster referred once more to the magnificent work which had been done by Mr. Wheeler; the club owed him a great debt for holding to the high ideal with which he had begun the institution.

Memorial Fund

Director Wheeler reported re the Memorial Fund, a fund established with the object of raising some permanent memorial to those of the Club members who had made the supreme sacrifice in the late war. No decision had yet been come to with respect to the form which this memorial should take. Pressure had been brought to bear to have it take the form of an Alpine hut; another suggestion was that a tablet should be placed in the club house at Banff, and a parchment register. This latter was more favored than the former, and a committee was appointed to consider the form of the tablet, General [Stanley] Mitchell being the chairman. Any suggestions would be welcomed by him. During the evening, Captain [Horace] Westmorland reported re the Returned Soldiers’ and Nursing Sisters plan for a memorial, saying that about $600 was in hand for the proposed memorial, which they plan to erect at the club house at Banff. This will probably take the form of shower baths. The formal part of the meeting concluded, the members gathered round to examine the interesting collection of photographs brought back from Monaco by the two delegates, the hostess in the meantime serving delicious refreshments, which were the more welcome in view of the long drive back to Victoria which was in store for most of the guests.



ACCVI Executive:

Chairman – Robert McCaw

Secretary – Gordon Cameron

Executive Committee – William Alldritt, William Drewry, Francis Robertson, Margaret Cowell, Jennie McCulloch, William Everall


January 10 – Club meeting at the home of William Everall. Horace Westmorland and Alan Campbell gave talks.

February 14 – Club meeting. Frederick Longstaff gave talk.

February 29 – Talk by Rev. Arthur Sovereign on Mt. Garibaldi.

March 7 – Club meeting at the home of Jennie McCulloch. George Winkler gave talk.

March 28 – Club 15th annual banquet at Brentwood Hotel.

December 13 – Club meeting to elect executive at the home of Gordon Cameron.

Section members who attended the ACC Summer general camp at Lake O’Hara: Arthur and Clara Wheeler, William Foster, Jennie McCulloch.

Alpine Club Meeting

Reported in the Daily Colonist Friday January 7, 1921, p.6.

The regular monthly meeting of the Vancouver Island section of the Alpine Club of Canada will be held at the home of Captain and Mrs. W. [William] Everall, 1742 Fort Street, on Monday evening, January 10, at 8 o’clock. Following the regular business, Captain H [Horace] Westmorland will give a continuation of his last year’s lecture on “Rock Climbing in the Dolomites,” and an illustrated lecture by Mr. A. [Alan] J. Campbell on the “Mountains of Northern British Columbia”.

May Have “Movies” of Assiniboine Camp

Reported in the Daily Colonist Thursday January 13, 1921, p.18.

All British Columbia members of the Alpine Club of Canada would enjoy seeing the “movies” taken of the Mt. Assiniboine Camp held last August. A letter read by the Vancouver Island section president, Mr. R. [Robert] D. McCaw, at the Alpinists’ meeting held Monday night [January 10] at the home of Captain and Mrs. [William] Everall, 1742 Fort Street, placed before the society an opportunity of showing these pictures to the city, and there is a possibility that steps may be taken to secure these in the near future. A private screening of one of these “movies” taken at Mt. Assiniboine was seen a few days ago in New York by the General Publicity Agent of the Canadian Pacific Railway, who has written to Mr. S. [Stanley] H. Mitchell, secretary of the Alpine Club of Canada, Sidney, B.C., referring to the interest which this animated picture aroused. “It was very entertaining, and we are supplying a print for projection at the dinner of the New York Branch of the Alpine Club of Canada next march,” said the writer of the letter. “If you see any good opportunity of showing these films I could secure prints for you.” The meeting last night, while the regular business meeting of the Vancouver Island section of the club, proved of more than routine interest, Mr. A. [Alan] J. Campbell, of Sidney, who has been engaged with Mr. A. [Arthur] O. Wheeler on the Boundary Survey work, and Captain [Horace] Westmorland giving lantern talks of a very entertaining character. The former devoted his attention to that part of the Canadian Rockies which he had traversed in connection with the Survey, while the latter described ab expedition which he made into that part of the Alps of Southern Tyrol known as The Dolomites. While technically differing very radically, both in subject and delivery, the lectures had the something in common which always appeals to the Alpinist., describing in both instances’ feats of prowess and endurance in the big out-of-doors which is the playground of the climber. Mr. Campbell started his story at North Kananaskis Pass, showing among other points Lake Maude (named after General Maude), Turbine Canyon, a circular hole bored almost perpendicularly through rock; Mt. Jellicoe on the North side of the pass; Mt. Beattie, Mt. King George, Mt. Queen Mary, Palliser Pass, Spray Pass, White Man Pass, Mt. Assiniboine group. Moving northward he showed a new field, Mt. Forbes, and Forbes Creek, Lyle Glacier, Mt. Bryce, Mt. Alexandria, Mt. Clemenceau, Mt. Saskatchewan, and Mt. King Edward. Captain Westmorland’s views of the Kleinezinne representing a sheer pillar of rock rising 2,000 feet above the surrounding mountain, is one of the finest bits of Alpine photography which has ever been seen by the club members, while other pictures in which he and his guide were seen scaling giant escarpments in the Dolomites gave a splendid idea of the sure-footedness and intrepidity which is needed in this class of climbing. Director A.O. Wheeler moved a vote of thanks to the two speakers, including Mr. [Kenneth] Chadwick, of the Astronomical Society, who had operated the lantern. Colonel Anderson moved that the Vancouver Island section of the Club approve the proposal that Lake O’Hara be the site of the 1921 camp. This met with general assent of the members. Rev. A [Arthur] H. Sovereign, of Vancouver, wrote offering to give a lecture to the local section on March 1. His subject will be Mt. Garibaldi, and lantern pictures will be given as illustration. This offer has been accepted with thanks. A letter from the Secretary of the Engineering Society suggested that the Vancouver Island section of the Alpine Club unite with various other societies, among them the Astronomical Society, the Society of B.C. Architects, the Professional Engineers’ Association, for general headquarters which would afford a place which might be used for the meetings of the society. Major [Frederick] Longstaff will give a paper on “Alpine Club Huts for British Columbia” at the next meeting, February 14. The meeting concluded with a hearty vote of thanks to Captain and Mrs. Everall, whose hospitality included the serving of delicious refreshments at the end of the more formal part of the proceedings.

New Provincial Park

Rev. A.H. Sovereign Will Lecture on “Mt. Garibaldi” at Girl’s Central School, March 1

Reported in the Daily Colonist Sunday February 20, 1921, p.5.

The Vancouver Island section of the Alpine Club of Canada has made arrangements with the Rev. A. [Arthur] H. Sovereign, of Vancouver, whereby he will give a lecture on “Garibaldi” at Girl’s Central School on the evening of Tuesday, March 1, at 8:15 o’clock. The lecture will be illustrated by a series of lantern slides, many of which are colored. In addition to views of the Mount Garibaldi area, the lecture will show on the screen features of other Canadian national playgrounds, namely Strathcona, Robson and the Rocky Mountain Parks. Mr. Sovereign is an enthusiastic member of the Alpine Club, and his lecture is being looked forward to with pleasure.

Will Lecture on “Mount Garibaldi”

Rev. A.H. Sovereign, Of Vancouver, Will Lecture At Girl’s Central School On Tuesday Re “Mount Garibaldi”

Reported in the Daily Colonist Sunday February 27, 1921, p.24.

Everyone who loves the mountains, whether for their big freedom and beauty of scenery, or as something challenging in prowess of the climber and athlete, will want to hear Rev. A. [Arthur] H. Sovereign, of Vancouver, tell on Tuesday evening of his ascent last year of Mt. Garibaldi. Mr. Sovereign is speaking under the auspices of the Vancouver Island section of the Alpine Club of Canada at the Girl’s Central School, and is bringing with him a collection of lantern slides which will furnish graphic illustrations of the big playground which has been set aside as a National Park for the people of British Columbia and Canada. Garibaldi Park covers over three hundred square miles of country, all of it over 3,000 ft. above sea-level, and the boundaries so fixed as not to embrace timber limits already sold. The country set aside is peculiarly interesting from the Alpinist’s viewpoint, as, although the actual climb from base to summit is as high as many that enjoy more conspicuous position on the map, their actual altitude is comparatively low owing to the fact that they spring almost directly from sea-level. This makes the “going” easier, in one sense, to the mountaineer who suffers from thin air at the higher altitudes. But, in other respects, the peak offers all the difficulties beloved of the true Alpinist. “The whole Garibaldi country is volcanic,” says an authority. “Garibaldi, Mountain, Table Mountain, Castle Towers and Black Tusk and a score of others are volcanic. Black Tusk Mountain must have been a tremendous peak at one time. Now its head and its throat is a sinister basaltic plug projecting 800 feet into the air. From the shoulder of the Black Tusk one can see over twenty lakes, some large, some small, including the gem of all lakes, Lake garibaldi, which is much larger than Lake Louise. It will be hardly necessary to recall that Miss Gladstone, of Victoria, had the privilege of planting on the summit of Mt. Garibaldi the flag signifying that the park had been formally “opened” to people of British Columbia by the Government.

Alpine Club Meeting

Reported in the Daily Colonist Saturday March 5, 1921, p.6.

This regular monthly meeting will be held at the home of Miss J. [Jennie] L. McCulloch, 912 Linden Avenue, on Monday, March 7, 1921, at 8 p.m. After the transaction of the business of the evening, Mr. George E. Winkler will give a talk on “The Geology in the Vicinity of Victoria.”

Make Presentation

Vancouver Island Section of Alpine Club of Canada Honors Miss McCulloch, Shortly To Be Married

Reported in the Daily Colonist Wednesday March 9, 1921, p.8.

On the occasion of her approaching marriage, Miss Jennie McCulloch, for nearly ten years secretary of the Vancouver Island section of the Alpine Club of Canada, has been presented by the members of the organization with a handsome travelling clock. The little ceremony took place Monday [March 7] evening in connection with the regular fortnightly meeting, which was held at her home, 912 Linden Avenue. Mr. R. [Robert] D. McCaw, the president of the section, making the presentation on behalf of the members, after he had proposed a vote of appreciation to Miss McCulloch for the invaluable services she had rendered to the organization during her long term of office. The recipient in responding spoke of the pleasure she had taken in the work and in her whole association with the club. Mr. A. [Arthur] O. Wheeler, Director of the Alpine Club of Canada, reciprocated on behalf of the larger body, the good wishes and congratulations of the Vancouver Island section. Lt.-Col. W. [William] W. Foster, of Vancouver, president of the Alpine Club of Canada, attended and accepted an invitation to be present at the annual dinner to be held at Brentwood on Monday, March 28. The address of the evening was given by Mr. G. [George] E. Winkler, who spoke of “Geological Processes,” particularly as affecting this part of Vancouver Island.

Annual Dinner of Victoria Alpinists

Delightful Function Held, Following Traditional Custom, At Brentwood Hotel

Reported in the Daily Colonist Tuesday March 29, 1921, p.9.

The annual dinner of the Victoria section of the Alpine Club of Canada was held last evening [March 28] at the Brentwood Hotel, twenty of the members and their friends rallying for the occasion and enjoying to the full the excellent dinner and the programme of speeches and “movies” which were the culminating pleasures of the occasion. Daffodils and jonquils, very charmingly arranged, formed the table decorations, and Mr. R. [Robert] D. McCaw, president of the local section, presided at the head of the table. Others who attended the dinner were Mr. A. [Arthur] O. Wheeler, director of the Alpine Club of Canada and Mrs. [Clara] Wheeler; Mrs. McCaw, Captain and Mrs. [Horace] Westmorland, Captain and Mrs. [William] Everall, Colonel Anderson, Miss [Jean] Mollison (Vancouver), Mr. [Stanley] Mitchell, secretary of the Alpine Club; Miss [Margaret] Cowell, Miss Sara Spencer, Miss Innes, Mrs. Healey-Kerr and Captain Hill. The toasts, all of which were proposed by the chairman, Mr. McCaw, were as follows: “The King,” responded to by the singing of the National Anthem by the entire company; “The Alpine Club of Canada,” responded to by Mr. Mitchell; “The Mount Everest Expedition,” responded to by Captain Westmorland; and “Major Wheeler and Bride.”

View Moving Pictures

The addresses were all in very apt vein, although brief, and the company repaired about half-past nine o’clock to the adjoining room to see the moving pictures of Mount Assiniboine Camp, held last Summer south of Banff, and of some of the beautiful mountain district in the Windermere country. These pictures, which are issued by the Associated Screen News of Canada, were seen for the first time by the local members of the Alpine Club, several of whom figures in the scenes reproduced with such fidelity. Mr. Goforth operated the lantern. After the pictures Director A.O. Wheeler delivers his annual address, in which he referred to the work done by the club during the past year, more particularly speaking of the Congress on Alpinism held at Monaco last May, and in recognition of his work in connection with which and with the advancement of Alpinism generally, the Prince of Monaco had created him an officer of the Order of St. Charles. Mr. Wheeler also spoke of the forthcoming camp to be held at Lake O’Hara, near Laggan, during the last week in July and the first week of August. In his concluding paragraph he touched upon the fact of appointment of his son, Major E. Oliver Wheeler, to the Mount Everest expedition, a fact of which he was quite naturally proud, as are all members of the Alpine Club of Canada, Captain Westmorland having referred earlier in the evening, and expressing the sentiment of the entire gathering when he voiced their enthusiastic approval of the choice of so well-fitted a man for the difficult task.

Eastertide Wedding at Christ Church

Miss Jennie McCulloch and Major Frederick Longstaff, Well-Known Members of Alpine Club, Married

Reported in the Daily Colonist Thursday March 31, 1921, p.8.

Many friends, both of bride and bridegroom, were at Christ Church Cathedral yesterday morning at eleven o’clock to witness the nuptials of Miss Jennie Long McCulloch and Major Frederick Victor Longstaff. The bride is the daughter of Mrs. McCulloch, 912 Linden Avenue, and of the late Mr. W.F. McCulloch, former Government Assayer, Victoria, while the bridegroom is the son of Mrs. Longstaff, of Ightham, Kent, and the late Lieutenant-Colonel L.W. Longstaff, of “Ridgelands,” Wimbledon, London, England. The Rt. Rev. the Bishop of Columbia performed the rite, and the wedding music was played by the choir organist, Mr. C. Eden Quainton, B.A., the Processional Hymn, “O Perfect Love,” being sung as the bridal party entered the church and passed down the aisle to the chancel steps, and the Mendelssohn Wedding March pealing forth as they left the Cathedral at the conclusion of the ceremony. The church was very beautiful with the Easter decorations still in place, daffodils, jonquils, and ferns tracing the lines of the chancel-rail and being massed in the window and around the font, while the stately Easter lilies filled the alter vases. The bride was accompanied, when she entered the church by Dr. [Irene Bastow] Hudson, although she was given in marriage by her mother, Mrs. McCulloch. She was remarkably handsome in smartly tailored costume of cream viyella, the tunic of which was elaborately trimmed with fine braid, and a long ermine stole and picture hat of cream georgette trimmed with orange blossoms completed with her toilette. In addition to the lovely shower bouquet of white carnations and spirea which she carried, she wore her corsage bouquet of real orange blossoms, the gift of Miss Kathleen Agnew who is at present visiting in California. The bridegroom’s gift, an heirloom brooch of sapphires and amethyst, was fastened in the bodice. Major Longstaff wore his uniform as a member of the Territorial forces. Miss Margaret Cowell made a pretty bridesmaid, in her frock being of navy charmeuse, with which was worn a picture hat of dark blue georgette and French braid. A big bouquet of pink sweet peas and snapdragons which she carried added a pretty touch of color, and as an ornament she wore the heavy gold curb bracelet given her by the bridegroom. Mr. F.B. Mitchell, of Sidney, B.C., acted as the best man. Mrs. McCulloch, the bride’s mother, wore a handsome dress of black satin, with a hat ensuite, and a lovely old scarf of Chantilly Lace. After the service at the church the wedding breakfast was served in the private dining room at the Empress Hotel, covers being laid for eighteen. Major and Mrs. Longstaff sailed by the afternoon boat for Vancouver, enroute for England and France, where the honeymoon is being spent. They will make short visits in Toronto and Montreal before embarking on April 20 on the SS “Victorian,” and in England will visit with the bridegroom’s mother at Ightham before crossing the Channel. They intend returning to Victoria about the first of August, and will then take up their residence on Gonzales Road. The bride wore as a going away dress a smart costume of navy gabardine with toque to match, and black fox fur.

Alpine Club Meets to Elect Officers

Vancouver Island Section Will Continue to Meet Monthly During Ensuing Year-Director Meets Members

Reported in the Daily Colonist Thursday December 15, 1921, p.8.

Mr. R. [Robert] D. McCaw was re-elected chairman of the Vancouver Island section of the Alpine Club of Canada at the meeting of this organization held last Tuesday [December 13] night at the home of the secretary, Mr. Gordon Cameron, Belmont Avenue. Mr. Gordon Cameron was re-elected secretary, and the committee chosen consists of Miss [Margaret] Cowell, Captain [Horace] Westmorland, Captain [William] Everall, Major [Frederick] Longstaff, Mr. [Frederick] Godsal and Mr. G. [George] E. Winkler. The meeting welcomed Mr. A. [Arthur] O. Wheeler, director of the Alpine Club of Canada, who recently returned after spending about eight months in the mountains, and who came in from Sidney to attend the proceedings. During the election of the officers, he took the chair. Other business was of secondary importance, but general interest to the members. It was decided to hold monthly meetings of the section every second Tuesday, the January meeting to be at the home of Major and Mrs. Longstaff, Highland Drive, while the February meeting will be in connection with the general meeting of the Alpine Club of Canada on February 11 at the home of the director, Sidney. Captain Westmorland has invited the club to hold its March meeting at his home. It was announced that an article by Major E. Oliver Wheeler, son of the director on the Mount Everest expedition, would appear in the annual journal of the Alpine Club. Major Wheeler is a member of the club, and also a member of the Mount Everest expedition.



ACCVI Executive:

Chairman – Robert McCaw

Secretary – Gordon Cameron

Executive Committee – Horace Westmorland, George Winkler, Frederick Godsal, Margaret Cowell, Frederick Longstaff, William Everall


January 10 – Club meeting at the home of Frederick Longstaff.

February 11 – Club meeting at the home of Robert McCaw.

February 22- Club monthly meeting at Spencer’s with talk given by Frederick Godsal on Alberta in 1882.

March 14 – Club meeting at the home of Horace Westmorland.

March 27 – Club’s 16th annual banquet at Glencoe Lodge.

April 17 – Club trip to Goldstream.

June 12 – Talk given by Edward Wheeler on Mt. Everest to Alpine Club at the Empress Hotel.

July – Club trip to Mt. Arrowsmith.

Section members who attended the ACC general summer camp at Palliser Pass: Arthur and Clara Wheeler.

Alpine Club Meeting

Reported in the Daily Colonist Tuesday February 14, 1922, p.9.

Among the visitors present at the meeting of the Alpine Club of Canada held on Saturday evening [February 11] at the home of Mr. and Mrs. R. [Robert] D. McCaw, Granite Street, were Miss Pearce, of the Calgary section of the club; Miss Nora Bell, of the Winnipeg section; Mr. Graves, chairman of the Vancouver section, and Colonel [William] Foster, president of the parent organization, and Mrs. Foster, Vancouver.


Joint Climb Proposed

Reported in the Daily Colonist Wednesday February 15, 1922, p.6.

At the meeting of the Vancouver Island section of the Alpine Club of Canada, held last Saturday [February 11] evening at the home of the chairman, Mr. Robert D. McCaw, Captain [Horace] Westmorland proposed that the Vancouver Island section and the Vancouver section might join in an expedition up “The Lions” sometime during the coming Summer. Mr. Graves, chairman of the Vancouver section, who was present, fell in with the idea, intimating that he thought the proposal would be very popular with the Mainland members. The matter will be taken up, and some suggestions for the date, etc., submitted to the two organizations if it proves welcome to the membership of the bodies affected.

Mountains Asset to Present And Future

Colonel Foster, President of The Alpine Club of Canada, Tells Members It Is Duty To Conserve National Parks

Reported in the Daily Colonist Sunday February 19, 1922, p.9.

The great role which national parks play as breathing places and playgrounds for the people was emphasized by Colonel W. [William] W. Foster, president of the Alpine Club of Canada, in an address which he gave a few days ago at the home of Mr. R. [Robert] D. McCaw, chairman of the Victoria section, at a joint meeting of the two organizations. “There is sometimes a very great lack of appreciation of the national aspect of our parks,” said Colonel Foster, after referring appreciatively to the recent creation by the Government of two new Provincial parks at Kokanee and Mt. Assiniboine. “A club like the Alpine Club exists because it recognizes that one of the elementary things in a good government is the improvement of the human unit. After all, our natural assets, such as mineral, timber, fisheries, etc., are as nothing compared to the character of the people from which a great nation is built.” The speaker claimed that in all modern legislation any movement directed to the welfare of the citizens was represented, as one of its activities, by the opening up of parks as breathing places. This was true in the municipal sense. It was also true in the national sense. National consciousness evidenced itself almost at the beginning by the setting aside of great areas as playgrounds for the people.

Not Recreation Only

“But in setting aside an area of this character it is not entirely and solely with the idea of recreation. It means also conservation of the native fauna and flora. It would be a tremendous crime, if we allowed the wild life of this Province to suffer the fate of the buffalo on the prairies, for instance, simply because of the lack of national consciousness. Over and above this, however, is the idea that all these big areas are to be of big value to the nation, through the improvement of the health and character of its people. Colonel Foster referred to the stimulating character of such grand scenery as the great mountain districts of British Columbia held. No one could get away into the mountains without feeling better fitted to come back to everyday life of the town and city. At present many of these wonderful areas were so remote that it was very difficult indeed to get to them without great sacrifice of time and money. But the time would come, he felt sure, when they would be accessible to a much greater number of people than at the present time.

Expenditure On Parks

“The views that any money spent for park purposes is wasteful and extravagant on the part of the Government is very selfish, very local,” said the speaker. If no other reason existed than to conserve these parks for the future generations, that was sufficient. The speaker spoke appreciatively of the C.P.R. parks, Yoho, etc. Canada has already done much in the way of making national parks. Nor had the British Columbia Government been remiss. Mt. Robson Park has many special features. It would be a tremendous pity if that Mt. Robson Park were allowed to pass out of British Columbia, said Colonel Foster, touching on the suggestion that owing to the expense of its upkeep the Provincial Government was considering transfer of the jurisdiction of the Mt. Robson Park to the Federal Government. “One knows that it is very difficult for the Government to spare money for park purposes, but surely it does not require any gift of prophecy to see that an area like the Robson Park would justify the expenditure of the comparatively small sum required for its upkeep at the present time,” said the Alpine Club president.

Strathcona Park

He spoke of the beauties of Strathcona Park, Vancouver Island, to which, up to the present, very few people had had access. In so far as location was concerned, this park was unique, although perhaps it lacked something in the way of the kind of spectacular feature which would appeal to the man on the street. “Yet it possesses a combination of beauties such as it would be difficult to find surpassed,” said the speaker, who recalled visits that he had made to this area some years ago. The British Columbian, perhaps, had not a proper appreciation of scenery because he saw so much every day. But when one thought of the future of this country, of a time when it is more densely populated and when the cities had spread out and obliterated the beauties of nature, then there would be greater appreciation. For the generations to come it was the duty of the present to see that these natural gifts were preserved.

Commercial Assets

In the concluding part of his address Colonel Foster spoke of the national park as a commercial asset to the Province and the nation. Last year the Canadian Pacific Railway had brought into the Rockies about 90,000 people, over ninety percent of whom were from the United States. In other words, scenery such as British Columbia’s could be capitalized. This in fact had been done on a much vaster scale in other and older countries. Switzerland last year, despite the changes caused by the war, derived a revenue of something like $200,000,000 from her tourists. This was capitalizing her scenery. Italy had always reaped, and was still reaping a tremendous harvest from her tourists. France also. Before the war, her tourist traffic had reached vast numbers. New Zealand had a sense of commercial value of her scenery, and had a special bureau devoted entirely to the issuing of information about parks and scenery. Yet New Zealand was more than one thousand miles away from the nearest neighbor from whom it could expect tourists. Still, it found it profitable to conduct a campaign of this find. In view of this, what should not Canada do with such great tourist resources as it possessed to the South? “We have a great deal to accomplish. Until the day dawns when our own citizenship realizes what a tremendous thing this scenic aspect is to us, it is impossible to expect that we shall have visitors in the volume we should like to have them,” warned the speaker. “I have noticed in Victoria some doubt as to whether tourist traffic is very remunerative,” he continued. The experience of other countries had proved to be so. The real point to consider was the advertising which the tourist did after he left. The value of the tourist traffic must be considered as something quite apart from the immediate return.

Enormous Areas

British Columbia had eight times the area of Switzerland, with glaciers and alplands and snow peaks as wonderful as could be found there. Not long ago these were virgin to the foot of the white man. But methods of travel had rapidly changed. Areas a few years ago unknown were opened up to the people through the building of railways and roads. This made it possible to contemplate a tremendous increase of tourist traffic, and into Canada would pour some of that wealth which would otherwise be spent in the mountains of Europe. Ten per cent of the money spent by the tourist in Europe today equaled the wheat crop of Canada. This quite apart from the advertising. Surely this was proof of the commercial asset aspect of the tourist. In conclusion Colonel Foster spoke with appreciation of the work done by the railways, by the Alpine Club of Canada through its annual holding of camps in the Rockies, of the Alpine Walking Tours recently organized by Mr. A. [Arthur] O. Wheeler, director of the Alpine Club, and of the congress held last year at Monaco. All these things had done much to bring the Canadian Rockies to the attention of the world.


Alberta 1882

Reported in the Daily Colonist Sunday February 26, 1922, p.4.

The Vancouver Island section of the Alpine Club of Canada held their monthly luncheon at Spencers’ at 12:15 on Tuesday, February 22. In absence of the chairman Robert D. McCaw, Mr. Gordon Cameron, the secretary, presided. About twenty sat down. After lunch Mr. Frederick W. Godsal gave a very interesting address on “Alberta in 1882.” He began by regretting that the weather that morning compared so unfavorably with that of “Sunny Alberta” in 1882, where rain was practically unknown in the Summer months, and in thirty-five years he was there he never used a sleigh in Winter, as there was seldom snow fit for the purpose, and he had sometimes done ploughing in January and February. He took his audience with him from Ottawa by Union Pacific Railway to Ogden, the Mormon City, thence north by Utah Northern Railway, then only narrow gauge, to Silver Bow, thence by stage to Butte City, where he and his companion (son of Senator Cochrane) received the useful advice to “keep to the middle of the street and mind your own business; this is a tough town,” and of this they saw evidence; two days later the ‘vigilantes” “cleaned up” the city. Such was law and order in Montana then, so different from that maintained by the N.W.M. Police just north of the Montana boundary. American cowboys coming to work in Alberta territory “shed their six-shooters at the boundary line as trees shed their leaves in Fall.” From Butte they drove to Helena, where was the only bank in the West, and it was to this that the officer in command at Fort Macleod had to come about two years before to obtain money to pay the police, and that large sum was safely carried through the lawless country by an unsuspected agent. From Helena they travelled by an American stage coach across the Rocky Mountains by night and day to Fort Benton, on the Missouri River, and on the coach and later in Benton they had their first experience of an American Western bishop. Fort Benton was the base of supplies for all Alberta territory, passengers and freight coming up the Missouri River. I.G. Baker & Co., of St. Louis and Fort Benton, had stores at Fort Macleod and Fort Calgary. They held contracts from the Canadian Government to feed the police and Indians, and they “ran” the country, and did it well, and in a liberal Western spirit.  Her Majesty’s mails had United States stamps on them in that part of Canada – Canadian stamps were only “scraps of paper” – only United States money was used, and not much of that, and nothing under 25c, “jawbone” was the rule till we turned over our beef in the Fall – cattle were the only estimate of a man’s worth, the first origin of the word money in Latin, “pecus,” or cattle. Our two annual holidays were May 24 and July 4, and we all kept them heartily. Our first member at Ottawa, D.W. Davis, the head of I.G. Baker & Co’s business in Alberta, was a “galvanized Canadian,” as we called Americans who became Canadian citizens. In fact, in those happy days, with an invisible boundary line in every sense of the word, we realized all the aims and objects of the newly-formed British-American League; but for many years past the Alpine Club of Canada has been accomplishing this same purpose; its membership knows no boundaries; one rope holds us together; the love of the mountains; one rope will hold the two countries together in common dangers and for mutual help. Among the officers of the N.W.M. Police (“royal” had not been added then) at Fort Macleod then was Inspector Dickens, a son of Charles Dickens. The Pincher Creek district, where Mr. Godsal had a lease for cattle ranching, is west of Fort Macleod, adjacent to the Rockies, and was called then “God’s country,” and in the opinion of Lord Lorne, who visited it in 1881 as Governor-General of Canada, it worthily deserved the name. The poet Cowper wrote: “God mad the country, man made the town,” and there was no town then within many hundreds of miles. There were no doctors, they were not wanted; a strong-armed lady from Ontario eased our toothaches with the forceps. There was no diseases or noxious weeds in God’s country – when the first young lawyer ventured to argue a point of law before Col. Macleod, the judge, he was told from the bench, “We want justice, not law, in this country.” Indians were honest then and could be trusted, but now, alas, they, too, are more civilized! There were some noble white women in Alberta in 1882, or soon after, doing their bit in opening up that country for Canada. Among others, Mrs. Macleod, wife of Col. Macleod, after whom Fort Macleod and Fort Calgary were named; also, her negro servant, “Auntie,” who used to say “Me and Mrs. Macleod were the first two white ladies as cum to this country.” Another lady among many was Mrs. Skrine, a poetess, who under the nom-de-plume of Moira O’Neill, wrote those splendid lines on the “Word of the Young Northwest,” words that appeal to the spirit of an old-timer, and he only can appreciate: “A word she breathes to the true and bold. A word mis-known to the false and cold. A word that never was spoken or sold. But the one that knows is blest.” In 1921 the fine house of Mr. and Mrs. Skrine, where they are “ranching” in Ireland, was burned by Sinn Feiners at night, while they were taken into the garden in their night-dresses. Mr. Godsal described the joys of prairie travel in early days, and its etiquette; also, one of the cattle round-ups with 100 riders and 500 saddle horses, and his experience of being host on the prairie, etc. He closed by briefly describing his experiences in the Rockies near his ranch (some of the mountains have changed in appearance since 1882); and how, unfortunately, and without any justification, officials at Ottawa have changed the names given to well-known peaks by the members of the Palliser Expedition in 1858. Surely Western mountains belong to Western men and women who were wise enough to come West, he maintained.


Alpine Club Holds Anniversary Dinner

Vancouver Island Section Banqueted Last Evening at Empress Hotel — Lantern View Address

Reported in the Daily Colonist Tuesday March 28, 1922, p.9.

The Vancouver Island section of the Alpine Club of Canada held its sixteenth anniversary dinner last evening [March 27], the event synchronizing with similar events held by all the local sections throughout the Dominion. Mr. R. [Robert] D. McCaw, president of the Island organization, preside and at the opposite end of the table, round which were grouped twenty-four guests, was Mr. A. [Arthur] O. Wheeler, director of the Alpine Club of Canada. Others present included Mrs. [Clara] Wheeler, Mrs. R.D. McCaw, Major [Frederick] and Mrs. [Jennie] Longstaff, Colonel [Henry] and Mrs. Gale, Captain [Horace] Westmorland, Mrs. J.M. Young, Miss P. Pearce, Mr. Alan Thomson, Miss Campbell, Mr. Lindley Crease, K.C., Miss E. [Emmaline] Savatard, Miss P.M. Innes, Mr. Goddard, Miss Margaret Cowell, Capt. W. [William] M. Everall, Mr. and Mrs. Wright. The banquet was set in the private dining-room, the table being attractively arranged with daffodils. After dinner there was a characteristically enjoyable programme, commencing with a toast to “The King.” The succeeding items were as follows: Toast to “The Alpine Club of Canada,” proposed by Mr. Lindley Crease, responded to by Director A.O. Wheeler; the annual address of the director; two songs, very charmingly sung by Mrs. R.D. McCaw; some reminiscences by Capt. H. Westmorland, of rock climbing in the English lake district; toast to “The Mount Everest Expeditions, Past and Future,” proposed by Mr. R.D. McCaw, who told something of the history of the expedition, referring particularly to the splendid work thereon last year of Major E. [Edward] O. Wheeler, and to the fact that two other Canadian Alpine Club members, Dr. A.W. Wakefield and Dr. Longstaff, are accompanying the present expedition. An illustrated address by Director Wheeler concluded the proceedings, his narrative being in the nature of a picture tour along the summit of the Rockies with the Interprovincial Survey. These lantern slides, as well as those shown by Capt. Westmorland, were particularly fine. Mrs. Wheeler operating the lantern during Mr. Wheeler’s address. Votes of thanks to the chairman of the evening, and the committee composed of Miss [Margaret] Cowell, Major Longstaff, Capt. Westmorland, Capt. Everall, and Messrs. [Frederick] Godsal and [George] Winkler, and to Mr. Thomson, who was responsible for the very attractive souvenir menu-programmes, brough the happy annual gathering to an end.

Director’s Address

Director A.O. Wheeler, in his annual address to the club, said in part: “On the occasion of our sixteenth anniversary it gives me great pleasure to report that the standing of the Alpine Club of Canada is an excellent one, and that it is rapidly recovering from the depression occasioned by the war. The great hills of Canada are coming more and more into prominence, and their popularity is increasing year by year. Those who understand their surpassing beauty and manifold attractions can readily understand why this is so. The great speed at which the world revolves today necessitates a more concentrated process of revitalization, and this can only be accomplished by a return to a civilized form of the life primeval. We find it everywhere in the desire and intent to get into the great out-of-doors for the short period of our vacations.” Mr. Wheeler referred to the Mount Everest expedition undertaken last year and to be reattempted this: “Perhaps the outstanding event of Alpine history for the past year is the expedition to explore the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest, with a view to reaching the summit among the clouds. The first year’s results have been carried to a successful climax through the combined organization of the Alpine Club and the Royal Geographic Society. Great work, requiring much physical and scientific effort, was done, and a possible route of ascent has been found. It now remains to be seen whether human endurance can stand the strain or whether, by the application of scientific methods, physical possibilities can be adapted to the high altitude of the summit at 29,002 feet above sea level, according to the present accepted determination of the height.

“The following cablegram was sent by me on December 17 on behalf of the club:

“Col. Howard-Bury, Royal Geographic Society, London:

Welcome home and congratulations from the Alpine Club of Canada.”

“A reply came shortly after:

“Canadian Alpine Club, Victoria:

Expedition thanks you for welcome congratulations.

Howard Bury.”

“The cablegram was read at the great meeting held at Queen’s Hall, London, on December 20, to hear the report of the expedition. “Our special interest, apart from our Alpine interest and interest throughout our affiliation to the Alpine Club, lies in the fact that our club was represented upon the expedition by Major E. [Edward] O. Wheeler, one of our members. His share of the work was to map the great mountain and its vicinity by Canadian methods of photo-topography, which he is introducing to the Himalayan Mountains under the authority of the Survey of India, of which he is an official. “The work was accomplished, and to him and to our club and to our country will belong the credit of the first detailed topographical map of this monarch of all the mountains of the world. I say to our country belongs the credit, because the Canadian photo-topographic methods which he employed and which rendered the map possible have been devised and carried to a high state of efficiency by that well-known scientist, Dr. E. Deville, Surveyor-General of Canada for more than forty years, an honorary member of the Alpine Club of Canada. “Major Wheeler will not be with the expedition this year. His work is done. He will be in Canada in June on furlough, and, I feel sure, will then tell us of his experiences, both at the campfire and by addresses to our various sections. His chief, the Surveyor-General of India, offered him the opportunity of again going, but he declined, feeling that the requirements of this year’s expedition did not properly belong to his alpine sphere of work.

Two A.C.C. Members

“This year again the club will be well represented. Two of our life members are upon the expedition: Dr. Tom Longstaff and Dr. A.W. Wakefield. No better representatives could be had. The former is well-known as a famous explorer in the Himalayas, who still holds the record for the highest complete ascent there, viz, Mount Trisul, 23,406 feet. Dr. Wakefield also has held a record for the biggest 24-hour run on a mountain course in the North of England—something like 80 miles of ups and downs. His record, however, while with the Grenfell Mission on the Labrador coast, is perhaps better known to us; and we ourselves know his powers of endurance, particularly against the ravaging effects of extremely low temperature of water as applied in form of a plunge at frequent intervals into the icy depths of mountain tarns and glacial torrents. “We will follow the movements of the expedition this year again with the most heartfelt interest, and will hold our breath in sympathetic tension as the climbing party makes headway up the snowbound heights; and our prayer will be that this great attempt of supreme endurance and effort, of bulldog pluck and perseverance, may attain the final aim, and that no untoward circumstances, such as the death of the renowned scientist and explorer, Dr. Kellas, of last year may attend this glorious endeavor for Alpine supremacy.

Annual Camp

“The 1921 camp at Lake O’Hara Meadows was a great success, only marred by the very sad accident, resulting in the death of our well-loved member, Dr. W. [Winthrop] E. Stone. “One hundred and fifty-seven persons were placed under canvas, and the programme rendered possible by the exceptionally fine location gave unlimited satisfaction to all present. Many of the old-timers there recalled the first famous camp, held upon nearly the same ground in 1909, and when a distinguished group of visitors from the Alpine Club, who were our guests, gathered round the camp fire and told us of their travels and conquests amidst many distant mountain ranges of the world.” Among those whom Mr. Wheeler mentioned as being at the 1921 camp were Edward Whymper, Professor Chas. E. Fay, an honorary member of the great Alpine clubs, and past president of the American Alpine Club and Appalachian Mountain Club; Mr. W.D. Wilcox, “whose wonderful photographs, the result of his early explorations, when the glories of the mountains were new to all of us, have become cynosure of the North American continent; the Reverend Dr. Nichols, of the Appalachian Mountain Club, and Mr. B.S. Comstock, who became a member of the club in 1907. The director paid tribute to the fine work of the president, Col W. [William] W. Foster, and other officials at last year’s camp. The Canadian Pacific Railway Company had helped much, and thanks were due to Mr. C.E. Ussher for loan of the Swiss guides, Edward Feuz and Christian Hasler; also, for car accommodation at Hector Station and for baggage facilities. The director referring to the fatal accident at Mt. Eon while the Alpine Club camp was in progress last year, said: “By it we lost one of our most devoted and enthusiastic members, Dr. W. [Winthrop] E. Stone, president of the Purdue University, Lafayette, Indiana, who joined the club in 1911 and made his first appearance at our Sherbrooke Lake Camp. Most miraculously, Mrs. Stone, who was with him at the time, was saved after spending eight days alone on the mountain, during six of which she was trapped on a narrow ledge and could neither ascend or descend. In connection with her rescue much credit is due to the Swiss guide Rudolph Aemmer, who was in charge of the party that found her and who carried her off the mountain on his back—a splendid feat of strength and skill—as she was then too weak to travel by herself.” At the annual camp a sum of $500 has been subscribed to provide a memorial to Dr. Stone. This amount was sent to Mrs. Stone to be applied by her as she might wish. Mrs. Stone decided that she would best like to have the amount used to create a loan fund at Purdue University for the sue of young men or women, to be known as the “Winthrop Ellsworth Stone Memorial Fund, established by the Alpine Club of Canada.” This she desired in view of the fact that her husband’s life work had been the education of men and women, and that he had a peculiar affection for his friends of the Alpine Club of Canada.

Message To Club Members

As it is not possible that she could write to all the members of the club, Mrs. Stone has asked me to say to the members through the medium of this address “That she is very grateful to the members of the Alpine Club of Canada for the memorial fund created as an expression of the esteem and affection held for her husband; also, for the sympathy and help extended to her . . . The fund is now about three thousand dollars—a wonderful thing—keeping Dr. Stone’s life interest going for all time.” Death had also removed from the list of honorary members the late Lord Bryce, “whose record as a mountaineer is as well-known as a statesman, and whose name is associated with the biggest mountaineering clubs of the world.”


Apart from the activities of the Alpine Club at its annual camp there is little of interest to record of climbs in the Canadian Rockies. It was ascertained that the summit of Mt. Eon, 10,860 feet, had been reached by Dr. Stone prior to the accident, and its first ascent belongs to him. A record to that effect was placed in a cairn erected at the summit by the party who recovered the body. Mr. Wheeler reported that the walking tour to Mt. Assiniboine, operated successfully by way of the Spray Lakes and seemed to give much satisfaction to all how traveled over it.

Annual Camp

Activities for 1922 were forecast. Two sites had been proposed: One at Palliser and Kananaskis Passes and one at Larch Valley, close by Moraine Lake. A full description of the two proposals was set forth in the latest issue of the Gazette, and a referendum ballot was taken to ascertain the feeling of the club’s members. So far 153 ballots had been received. Of these, 130 were marked in favor of Palliser Pass, and 23 in favor of Larch Valley.


The clubhouse will soon be open as usual from the middle of June until the middle of September. It is proposed this Spring to erect a Summer house at Banff for the chief purpose of having there two German machine guns presented to the club by the president, Colonel Foster, which were captured during the action at Damery.

Mount Logan

Mr. Wheeler referred, in closing his address, to the suggestion concerning an expedition to make the ascent of Mt. Logan—the highest known Canadian mountain, 19,850 feet—which had been made by Professor A.P. Coleman, past president of the club. It seemed a suggestion well worthy of further consideration.


Proposed Scheme Would Injure Parks

Director A.O. Wheeler Opposes Suggestion Which He Believes Would Spoil Large Areas Belonging to People

Reported in the Daily Colonist Thursday March 30, 1922, p.8.

“To my mind our national park reserves are a sacred trust that has been created not alone in the interests of Canadians, but in the interest of the whole Nature-loving world, and I hold that the encroachment of commercial enterprises, apart from the interests of the parks, should be absolutely forbidden,” claims Director A. [Arthur] O. Wheeler of the Alpine Club of Canada, referring to a proposed scheme recently brought to his attention, which would, he believed, spoil large areas of Glacier Park in the United States and Waterton Lakes Park in Canada. The matter has been brought under his observation in a communication from the national Parks Association of the United States, which has called his attention as Director of the Alpine Club of Canada to the scheme to dam the St. Mary and Waterton Lakes, and so create a huge reservoir to be used for irrigation purposes on the prairie lands of Southern Alberta. If carried out this scheme will, it is claimed, flood large areas of Glacier Park in the United States and of Waterton Lakes Park in Canada, to the very great detriment of both these national reserves,” said Mr. Wheeler, who stated that he had been in communication with the Commissioner of National Parks on the same subject. “These parks belong to the people; they are for our benefit and recreation, and should be held inviolate for such purposes. They provide health, happiness and revitalization to great numbers, and are not for the purpose of providing dividends for commercial corporations. I hold that from a commercial aspect in the long run the return will be greater than that serving any private interest. Canadians will appreciate these great national assets and their splendid bearing as factors to the welfare of our citizens and should encourage and combine to protect them from harm. A National Park Association, if one is not already in existence, should be formed, and I feel that a body such as the Alpine Club of Canada should give such as organization its fullest support. No doubt in due course the present question at issue will come more directly to the notice of our members. It is an important question, for any action taken in connection with the Waterton Lakes Park matter will create a precedent that will apply to all future policies of a similar nature,” contends the Alpine Club Director.

Beneficial Organization

The Alpine Club of Canada, which on Monday evening celebrated the sixteenth anniversary of its organization by banquets held by the various sections throughout the Dominion, was first organized at Winnipeg on March 27 and 28, 1906, under the auspices of the Canadian Club of that city, and with Mr. A.O. Wheeler, present director of the society, as its first president. In his capacity as the foremost member of the club, Mr. Wheeler went the following year to attend the Jubilee Dinner of the Fifteenth Anniversary of the Alpine Club, “the mother of all Alpine Clubs,” at London, England. An account of the gathering was given by Mr. Wheeler at the meeting of the Alpinists held last Monday evening at the Empress Hotel. At the dinner he sat next to Sir Alfred Wills, a well-known jurist of the British Columbia Bar, and a famous climber, in the early days, of the European Alps. His book, “The Eagles’ Nest,” is a classic of mountaineering. He was then one of the two survivors of the little band who founded the most famous Alpine Club of the whole world, to which the Alpine Club of Canada today is affiliated. The other survivor, C.T. Dent, was also present. His book “Mountaineering,” is also justly famous, and has been incorporated in the Badminton Library of Sports and Pastimes. Mr. Wheeler proceeded to indicate the place of the Alpine Club among the character-building influences of today. It was a noble and patriotic institution, a wonderful influence for good, making the best kind of men and women, making good and loyal citizens, and making true and life-long friends. Reference was made to the camp held last Summer at Lake O’Hara. Among other celebrities present on that occasion was L.S. Amery, a well-known war-correspondent and official of the British Government, who had described that camp-fire circle as follows: “Two hundred jolly people gathered around a great camp-fire sending sparks up towards the watching stars; all around the silent forests, and above them the towering grey peaks with their white glaciers. It is a great bivouac that.” Before concluding his address Mr. Wheeler turned to Mrs. Young, one of the guests, and extended a special welcome to her as the popular hostess at Glacier House in the early days of mountaineering in British Columbia.


Annual Banquet Guests

Reported in the Daily Colonist Wednesday April 5, 1922, p.8.

Mr. Arthur O. Wheeler, of Sidney, director of the Alpine Club of Canada, was one of the guests of honor at the annual dinner of the Vancouver Island section of the Alpine Club last Friday [March 31] evening at Glencoe Lodge. Colonel William W. Foster, who was president of the Victoria section for some years, was also present, having transferred his membership to the mainland organization since he and Mrs. Foster went there of live. Miss Jean Mollison, another former member of the Victoria section, was another of the guest-of-honor.


Excursion In Hills Proves Enjoyable

Alpine Club Members’ Expedition In Goldstream District Yesterday Was Popular Outing

Reported in the Daily Colonist Monday April 18, 1922. p.3.

The Alpine Club expedition in the Goldstream district yesterday [April 17] was an unqualified success. Mr. George E. Winkler, the geologist who conducted the party, making an admirable host as well as a splendid guide. The party of about fifteen which participated in the outing came home with a considerably increased knowledge of the rock formations of the district, while Mr. Charteris Pemberton contributed much interesting information about the trees and shrubs which were seen. The excursion party met at Goldstream station at 9:30, proceeding immediately on a tramp which started northward on the main line of the E. & N. After traversing the track for a short distance, they turned down the old trail leading past Wall River, then turning into the prospectors’ path leading to Goldstream Hotel. From this point they proceeded by way of the Goldstream River towards the Malahat, leaving the road to turn up Scarrett Mountain, where they investigated the old copper claim. A halt was made at a mountain spring for luncheon, after which the ascent was continues to the summit, reached at 2 o’clock. Before descending half an hour was spent enjoying the glorious view of Victoria, William Head, and the wide sweep of the sea and distant mountain. The afternoon tramp made a detour in the direction of Prospect Lake, from which point the trail was followed back to Goldstream station in time to catch the evening train to the city. Additional to Mr. Winkler, the cicerone of the party, were the following with the expedition, some being members of the Natural History Society: Mr. Charteris Pemberton, Mr. Adams Beck, Mr. [Frederick] Godsal, Mr. Lawrence Earle, Mr. Goddard, Mr. Gordon Cameron, Mrs. Thomson, and Misses Innes, McLintock, Peggy Hodgins and [Ethne] Gale.

Ascending Mount Arrowsmith on Vancouver Island

Reported in the Daily Colonist Sunday May 14, 1922. p.16.

Three Memories, by “Cumbrian.” [Horace “Rusty” Westmorland]

Few Victorians and still fewer of our Summer visitors know what a delightful expedition it is to the summit of Mt. Arrowsmith, and how very accessible the mountain is by motor car from Victoria. My first visit to the mountain some years ago may well be taken as proof of this. We were a party of three men, all very fit. It was before the war and resultant disabilities, and all were climbers of some experience. The exigencies of our third man’s profession only allowed him from 1 p.m. Saturday till 9:30 a.m. Monday for the expedition, therefore, speed was essential. One Saturday afternoon in the first week of June, 13, we piled into a powerful car with our rough climbing kit, mountain boots, ice axes and that most aristocratic of all ropes, an “Alpine club rope,” with its red strand of distinction woven into the hemp, and were soon speeding our way over the Malahat with its lovely glimpses of the Saanich Inlet, arriving in good time for dinner at Nanaimo. After dinner we soon reached Parksville, and swinging to the left through the big timber we at length came to the Chalet at Cameron Lake a little after 9 p.m. With a long day ahead of us, we arranged for an early awakening and turned into bed. We awoke to a fine morning. The early mists floating amongst the tops above bluff sides of the lake were like gossamer. By 6:30 a.m. we were on the trail, mounting steadily towards our objective, over five thousand feet above us. It is a common mistake to estimate the physical exertion required to climb a given mountain by the altitude of that mountain. A peak of 10,000 feet does not necessarily involve greater exertion than one of 6,000 feet. It is a question of ratio – from what elevation do you commence your climb? – with, of course, in the case of very high mountains due regard to the rarefaction of the air. The elevation of Cameron Lake is 604 feet and the summit of Mt. Arrowsmith is 5,976 feet above sea level. Thus, one has to ascend 5,372 feet. I have in the Alps and the Rocky Mountains, climbed peaks of ten, eleven and twelve thousand feet which gave no greater muscular effort.

Difficult Going

The Arrowsmith trail, after leaving the Alberni Road is crossed, leads at a good climbing gradient to the “Bridge,” and at this point becomes much steeper, resorting to the zigzag progression of steep trail. On this slope the trail has been almost obliterated by a slide, and fallen timber rendered its passage both arduous and slow. We were glad after two hours of it to reach the easier going of the long valley above. Another hour of steady going and we were rising over the steep slopes which lead to the Hut. Here we found the snow still a couple feet deep but fairly hard, and we were soon at the Hut. This typical mountain hut is built of logs with a rood of cedar shakes and stands at some 4,000 feet elevation on a rounded shoulder affording a magnificent view across the virgin forests and mountain ridges of the Island. Unfortunately, the peak of Arrowsmith is hidden by the “hump,” or lesser peak, of the mountain. Several parties have climbed this hump, which has an elevation of 4,500 feet above sea level, and thought they were on the summit of Arrowsmith. Others have climbed it and from seeing the fine view of snow-draped cliffs of Arrowsmith, have cried “enough.” We sat on an outcrop of rocks in front of the hut refreshing the inner man from the supplies in our rucsacs, with thirty-five-hundred-foot grind behind us, the real pleasure of mountaineering before us, we reveled in the keen air and magnificent views. There was a great temptation to linger here over our pipes, but, choosing the better part, we struck off behind the hut straight up towards the top of the hump. The snow in the upper slopes was deep and hard, and it was necessary to kick steps. Rapid progress was made, however, and in less than an hour we were rewarded from the top by the sight of the real Arrowsmith still retaining and gleaming in his Winter coat of snow and ice. All eagerness to reach his hoary old summit, we raced down the far side of the hump to the “col” which connects the two peaks. After crossing the easy walking of the “col,” or saddle, we started up the snow slope, to the left of one ridge which leads up to the big “couloir,” terminating in a snow cornice on the summit ridge of the mountain.

At The Summit

On the left side of the couloir is a moderately steep rock buttress. We decided to cross the lower part of the couloir and take to the rocks of this. All moving together, we did not rope up. We found the buttress easy scrambling. The ridge, once reached, three possible summits remained to be climbed. It was difficult to decide which was actually the highest point, so we climbed each in turn, the one to the westward giving us the impression of being the highest, and on it the survey cairn. The views are magnificent. To the north the mountains of Strathcona Park; east and west seawards, and south to the Malahat; in the immediate foreground on all side’s steep cliffs and snow slopes, and everywhere below the splendid timber of the Island. In descending we retraced our steps along the ridge to the everchanging cornice above the couloir. This we cut a way through with ice axes, and by kicking steps started to descend. The snow was exceptionally steep her, nearly 60 degrees, and we decided to postpone any voluntary glissading until we had descended a hundred feet or so. At this point the angle becomes less severe, and in a glorious standing glissade we sped down this perfect snow to the level of the col below. The remainder of the descent was without incident. We slightly skirted the Hump to avoid unnecessary climbing and from there another glissade took us to the Hut. A steady tramp of two hours or so down the trail and we were again at the Chalet, to the delights of hot tub and dinner about 6:30 p.m. With the pleasurable weariness of a hard day in our muscles, we enjoyed driving down to Chemainus after dinner. We slept there at the Horse Shoe Bay Hotel, rose early on Monday morning and delivered our industrious third man at his office door at 9:30 a.m. Thus, completing this most enjoyable expedition in the forty hours between Saturday noon and Monday morning.

Another Expedition

My second visit was three weeks later. In fact, the first was a reconnaissance for the second. The party was a large one, sixteen or eighteen, many of whom were of the weaker sex, some of little climbing experience. For this visit we had been fortunate in that the Provincial Government had cleared out the trail, this enabled us to use park horses to get blankets and supplies to the Hut, which materially easied the walking. One sunny day the Alberni train debouched onto the Cameron Lake platform our large party, and by starting almost immediately we reached the Hut about seven in the evening. The Hut has in one-half of it a form of sleeping bench, and after we had cut brush for this the ladies retired and we bivouacked on the kitchen floor. The next morning was fine and we had breakfasted and were on our way to the Hump by 8 o’clock. We three of the earlier visits each led a party of five or six, and found it advisable to rope up on the steep snow slopes, for an involuntary glissade terminating on broken rocks has serious consequences. By the time we reached the big couloir one of the ladies on my rope, who was unsuited for mountaineering both temperamentally and in physique, looked as if she would need nursing along, if she was to complete the ascent. She was placed therefore, as second on the rope as we started the last steep slope, a precaution which proved a wise one, for the lady fell out of the steps no less than seven times, each time being saved by the rope from a helpless head-over heels slide down the steep snow to the jagged rocks nearly a thousand feet below. Thus, between kicking steps and hauling this embryo mountaineer back into them the time passed quickly and we soon reached the summit. Unfortunately, the clouds were low and our large party, much to our disappointment, did not share the wonderful views we had enjoyed so much three weeks earlier. We descended easily and safely until only the steep slope of the Hump lay between us and the Hut. One of our party had unfortunately unroped and as their leader stood below one of the ladies of the party, to help her into the steps, she slipped and fell against him, sending him headlong down the steep snow to the screes below. By good fortune the leader escaped with nothing worse than a badly lacerated arm, whilst the lady concerned, steadied by falling against him, was able to recover her footing in the step.

Tragedy Recalled

This mishap, of no serious consequence, brought back to my mind Mr. Edward Whymper’s account of the terrible tragedy which befell four of his party during the first descent of the Matterhorn and which marred that brilliant mountain conquest. As Mr. Whymper’s party of seven were commencing their descent of the difficult part which from Zermatt appears to slightly overhang, great care was being taken, only one man moving at a time. The leading guide, Michel Croz, had laid aside his axe and in order to give the second man, Mr. Hadow, a young man of little mountaineering experience, greater security was actually taking hold of his feet and placing them one by one into their proper positions. As Croz was in the act of turning round to go down a step or two himself, Mr. Hadow slipped, fell against him and knocked him over. He and Mr. Hadow flew downwards. In another moment Hudson was dragged from his steps and Lord Francis Douglas immediately after him. Mr. Whymper says: “All this was the work of a moment. Immediately we heard Croz’s exclamation old Peter and I held on as tightly as possible. The rope was taut between us, and the jerk came on us booth as on one man. We held but the rope broke midway between old Peter and Lord Francis Douglas. For a few seconds we saw our unfortunate companions sliding downwards on their backs, spreading their hands in endeavoring to save themselves. They disappeared one by one and fell from the precipice to precipice to the Matterhorngletscher below, a distance of nearly four thousand feet in height. So perished our comrades. At this moment a sharp-eyed lad ran into the Monte Rosa Hotel saying that he had seen an avalanche fall from the summit of the Matterhorn to the Matterhorngletscher. The boy was reproved for telling idle stories. He was right nevertheless.” The remainder of the party reached the Hut without mishap. Here tea was consumed in vast quantities, ropes coiled, rucsacs packed and very soon the whole party was jogging down the trail to Cameron Lake. My third visit was last year [1921] and was notable for its discomfort, and failure to achieve our object. We were a party of five, of whom three were ladies, and we were much too early in the season. A great deal of heavy timber had fallen across the lower portion of the Arrowsmith trail, and the scrambling over and under these six- or seven-foot butts was very tiring, and as we did not leave the Chalet until 3 p.m. we could all spare the time they took to negotiate.

An Abode of Gloom

In the long valley above, we found snow which became deeper and deeper as we advanced, the only indication of our trail was the blazes on the trees, and these were few and far between and difficult to pick up. This valley gives one the impression of being haunted. There is a freedom from underbrush which makes the trees stand up gaunt and eerie, they have long grey lichen whiskers and no bird whistles in their branches. All is silent and awestricken. Even the wind is stilled, and one finds speech only possible in whispers. Momentarily one expects little brown gnomes to appear suddenly from behind the next tree. It is a gloomy forest. On the steep slope to the Hut one of the ladies exhausted and sank down speechless in the snow knowing that she carrying a small flask of brandy, her own companion suggested that she take some to revive her. Then, in spite of our own concern and sympathy, we could not but be amused when our friend gasped, “No, I will keep the brandy until I really need it.” Fortunately, we were able to persuade her to encroach on her supply of spirits and she was soon able to continue. As the last glimmer of daylight vanished, we reached the Hut, only to find snow up to its eaves, and only entered it by cutting a hole in the snow near the roof of the porch and sliding down this snow funnel to the damp recesses of the Hut below. The stove having rusted away, we had to light our fire on the outcrop of rock outside. After a hot supper we spent a chilly night, all five of us in a row on the sleeping bench, alternately dozing and wishing for dawn. The following morning, we left the Hut at 8 o’clock. The clouds were low and rain was in the air. Working our way across the steep slopes of the Hump to a rock buttress on the right, we found that it would be necessary to descend an easy rock wall of a hundred feet or so. Valuable time was wasted on passage of this wall, which a stronger mountaineering party would have descended, all moving together in a few minutes. Consequently, when we reached the next ridge from which I planned to get my bearings the clouds had descended and all that could be seen was a white wall of mist on all sides. Thinking I had reached the ridge leading to the big couloir, I led off along it to the right only to find after half an hour’s going that I must be wrong. Unroping, the ladies found scanty shelter on a ledge whilst two men went on to reconnoiter. Rain was now falling heavily, and it was very cold. After some time was spent in looking for a familiar landmark, I recognized a rock chimney looming up through the mist which gave me my position, and we made our way back in the driving rain to the rest of our party, whom we found wet through and very cold from their trying wait. Although there was still time to complete the ascent, we unanimously agreed to “call it a day,” and hit the trail to hot baths and hot food. Just then, for a moment only, far above us, through a rift in the driving mists, appeared the white cliffs of the summit of Arrowsmith. Magnified by the mist effects, it was a grand sight – our only reward for our labor and discomfort. At 3 p.m. we were enjoying the kindly ministering of Mrs. Monks and her sister at the Chalet, warm and dry and well fed.

Cokely Cabin halfway up the CPR Trail from Cameron Lake to Mount Cokely

Cokely Cabin halfway up the CPR Trail from Cameron Lake to Mount Cokely


Telling Of Expedition

Reported in the Daily Colonist Thursday June 8, 1922, p.6.

Major E. [Edward] Oliver Wheeler, who has just arrived here from India, the only member of the Mount Everest expedition who has reached Victoria to date, will be the guest of the Victoria section of the Alpine Club of Canada at a reception at the Empress Hotel on Monday evening [June 12], and has consented to give an informal talk about this very interesting excursion of explorers and scientists into the heart of the Himalayas. A limited number of tickets for the reception are available to any of the public who may be interested. Full information may be secured by communicating with Captain [Horace] Westmorland, Major [Frederick] Longstaff, R. [Robert] D. McCaw, president of the section, or Gordon Cameron, the secretary.

Explorer Tells of Expedition

Major Wheeler Speaks at Reception Given In His Honor By Victoria Section of Alpine Club

Reported in the Daily Colonist Wednesday June 14, 1922, p.3.

Before the end of the present Summer the world will probably receive the news of the ascent of Mount Everest by the expedition which is now working its way to the summit of this giant peak of the Himalayas. An audience of Victoria Alpine Club members and others was privileged on Monday evening [June 12] to accompany the expedition in imagination, thanks to the very fascinating account given by Major E. [Edward] Oliver Wheeler, M.C., a member of the 1921 Everest Expedition, who has just returned from India. His address was the feature of a reception given in his honor at the Empress Hotel by the Vancouver Island section of the Alpine Club of Canada, and by means of narrative and lantern slides he gave his listeners a very much more intimate idea of the extraordinary difficulties which had to be met and surmounted by the explorers than will be the privilege of most of those who depend on the press dispatches for news of the expedition. The pictures were very fine, and in themselves would have constituted a very interesting description of the ice-girt peaks and frozen valleys of the altitudes which were explored by the little party of intrepid men sent by the Royal Geographic Society. Mr. R. [Robert] D. McCaw, president of the local section of the Alpine Club, presided and introduced the speaker, and before the formal part of the proceedings came to an end and the gathering repaired to the Empress dining-room for supper, Mrs. Longstaff [Jeannie McCulloch], on behalf of the organization, presented Mr. Wheeler’s bride with a big bouquet of pink carnations and sweet peas, welcoming her to Canada and wishing them both a very enjoyable holiday. Mrs. [Clara] Wheeler, of Sidney, was also among the audience.

Higher Than Supposed

Major Wheeler’s story brought forth some interesting facts, not the least of which was that the height of Mount Everest will probably be found to be greater, rather than less, than the 29,002 feet hitherto reported, an additional 138 feet being added to allow for the refraction in the measurements. His account of the expedition began with the departure from Darjeeling in May last, and stage by stage he took his audience up past the last strongholds of civilization and plant life into the frozen fastnesses of perpetual ice and snow. Last among the plants which they saw were rhododendrons and primulas, the former a luxuriant and heavily-flowered shrub in the lower altitudes, and finally dwindling to a tiny bush with diminutive blossoms as they pushed onward into the higher altitudes.  There were pictures of some of the “transportation wagons” used by the expedition Yaks, used by the Tibetan natives to supply food and clothing, tent cloths and transportation; also of the oxen, donkeys and mountain ponies, all hardy animals, although lacking something in speed. The coolies employed by the expedition were also of a very fine type, hardy, strong on the hills, but slow on the rock, and who always insisted on taking their boots off when going over this king of rough country.

Not Impressive

“Everest is not a very impressive mountain when seen from the point at which we had our first real view of it,” said major Wheeler. However, after projecting this picture Major Wheeler showed a very wonderful photograph of the mountain taken from the west side, with the intervening valley fairly bristling with glistening spears of ice ranging from fifteen to a hundred feet in height. The Kharta Valley approach, unlike the northern approach to Everest, is distinguished by more friendly-seeming country. The former is through a country of granite rocks; the latter is over gneiss formation, and shows more vegetation, more houses and of a better kind, with willow, scrub juniper, scrub rhododendrons and even barley. “One has to be right away from the trees for a time to realize how much one misses them,” recalled Major Wheeler, referring to the many weeks when the expedition was in country devoid of any form of vegetation. A picture of a Tibetan house, unexpectedly commodious looking and unlike the hovel which the uninformed student anticipated, indicated the character of the building which the expedition occupied as headquarters camp for the final and most important stage of their work. Photographs of the successive moves of the expedition right up to the point where the explorers turned back to Kharta were shown among them one of the camps at the 20,000 feet station where the party remained for a few days to become acclimatized before attempting to go higher. “You can acclimatize up to 20,000 feet. After that, I think one deteriorates physically. So, after two days’ ‘joy riding’ around this part of the country we started on the final splash,” proceeded Major Wheeler who ran off a few further lantern slides to show the point to which the two climbers of the party ascended on Everest. Altitude and wind were the chief obstacles. “There is no technical difficulty whatever. It is simply a question of altitude and weather,” he summarized, referring to the chances of the 1922 expedition reaching the summit. A supply of oxygen would offset the difficulty of the altitude; although he personally had never used it, he had been told that the inconvenience of having to carry the heavy tank of oxygen on one’s back and the disagreeable taste were some discouragements to carrying a supply. The expedition of this year is planning, with long focus lens, from the summit of an adjacent peak, to take cinematograph views of the party on the summit of Everest.


Leaving For Mount Arrowsmith

Reported in the Daily Colonist Saturday July 15, 1922, p.8.

Mr. Henry J.S. Muskett, Mr. Jack Musgrave, Mr. Joseph Bridgman and Mr. Lindley Crease are among those leaving today with the Alpine Club on a trip to Cameron Lake and Mount Arrowsmith.

Mount Arrowsmith from Port Alberni circa 1914

Mount Arrowsmith from Port Alberni circa 1914. Joseph Clegg photo

Mountain Climbing Proves Attractive

Recent Ascent of Arrowsmith By Local Club Draws Attention To Holidaying Features Of District — Beauties Of Alberni Area Seen By Climbers

Reported in the Daily Colonist Sunday August 6, 1922, p.23.

Now that the cult of “the holiday at home” has gained such favor it is appropriate to call attention to the possibilities of Vancouver Island of “Alpine Climbing at Home.” The expedition made recently by some members [Horace Westmorland, Lindley Crease, Henry Gale, Ethne Gale, Peggy Hodgins, Richard Greer, George Winkler, Joseph Bridgman, Henry Muskett, Jack Musgrave, Rant and Netzer] of the Vancouver Island section of the Alpine Club of Canada to Mount Arrowsmith was not the first made under the same auspices to this interesting peak, but it helps once more to call attention to the holiday possibilities of the district. The latest attempt by the Alpine Club, moreover, achieved something that the former expedition did not; it made the real summit of Arrowsmith. On the former occasion, it seems such a bank of mist obscured the highest peak, some distance beyond the first apparent summit of the mountain, that the party returned quite confident of having attained their objective. Curiously enough, one or two members of the expedition have made ascents of the mountain on several subsequent occasions with the same innocent confidence that they had climbed to the utmost elevation. Clouds have always hidden the real summit. But this year acting on the information of Mr. [Frederick] Godsal, who made a solitary expedition to Arrowsmith a year ago and whose report of the trip added another still higher eminence to the group, the Alpinists this year set out with a new objective in view.

A Novelty

This, of course, gave the trip novelty as well as the customary pleasure. Captain [Horace] Westmorland, who organized the expedition, and who has made the ascent of Arrowsmith some four or five times, had the pleasure of seeing the real ultimate summit for the first time. Curiously, although owing to the many forest fires, the usual wonderful view of the surrounding country was almost totally obscured, the clouds which had hitherto cut off the main peak chose to make generous compensation by not appearing. Leaving the main party at the old summit, Colonel [Henry] Gale and Mr. Lindley Crease crossed the intervening rock valley, and, their every step watched with breathless interest by those behind, these two roped together and clinging precariously by hand and toe, climbed the sheer wall of snow, ice and rock to the craggy eminence which is the penultimate goal of all that Arrowsmith has to offer. An idea of the nearness of the main summit to that which has so often been mistaken for it may be judged by the accompanying photograph which was taken by Captain Westmorland from the latter. The rocky cairn which has been added to by Alpinists whose names history does not reveal can be seen as a tiny speck. Mr. Lindley Crease, with arms outstretched, was on top of this at the time the picture was taken. Another curious fact about this “hidden peak” is that it lies so near the commonly-considered summit that the two parties, those left behind and those who went forward, could hear distinctly the conversation which was being carried on among the members of the two groups.

Mount Arrowsmith, 1910

Mount Arrowsmith, 1910. Leonard Frank photo

What May Be Seen

In the ordinary way, meaning when the weather is clear and there are no forest fires, the view from the summit of Arrowsmith is magnificent. To the Alpinist mountaineer accustomed to the Alps or Rockies, it is something new, for after piercing the ribbon of cloud that will almost invariably be seen floating somewhere below, there is the glory of great timbered hills stretching interminably to the north, but interrupted here and there with the gleaming snow of Mount Albert Edward or Alexandra Peak in Strathcona Park. Eastwards beyond the yellow sands of Qualicum and Parksville, are the Straits of Georgia, with Lasqueti and Hornby Islands floating in the haze of sea and atmosphere. Westward, as ever “an enchanted land,” may be seen the head of the Alberni Canal and the green tunnels which are the tree girt hills rising out of the fjords of the Pacific. It is a scene more idyllic than the Alpinist is accustomed to see, lacking in the repent savagery which is inspiration to many climbers, but holding the happier magnificence which must appeal to the greater majority of nature lovers.


Kuth-Kah-Chulth was the Indian name for Arrowsmith long before the more commonplace title was attached to the mountain by the navigators of the last century. A peak but 5,976 feet in altitude, it has a relative significance for outreaching the apparent height. Mt. Assiniboine, for instance, over 12,000 feet, and one of the highest peaks of the Rockies, rises from a surrounding country which has an altitude of something like 8,000 feet above the starting point. Mount Arrowsmith springs almost from sea level, and climbers who have made the ascent in a single day have quite an achievement to their credit, although in the case of the Alpine Club expeditions the mountaineers have spent the night at “The Hut,” 4,200 feet up, or with 1,776 feet of the summit. The custom is to make an early start in the morning, after organizing the party into “ropes,” headed by experienced Alpinists. This year the expedition left camp about seven o’clock, after a rather restless night owing to the swarming mosquitoes, and it was after five in the afternoon when they returned. A brief rest for tea, then the long jog down the mountain to “The Chalet,” reached about eight o’clock, the men bearing heavy packs containing blankets. Mrs. Monk, always a perfect hostess, provided a dinner which more than fulfilled expectations, and most of the members of the party were only too ready to retire early to bed. The one mishap of the journey had a happy ending. A member of the expedition, an experienced climber and woodsman, trusting too much to his sense of direction, plunged on through the woods after making a detour to avoid a fallen tree in the path, and lost the way. On realizing his position, he made for a point where he could see the summit of Arrowsmith, and, nothing deterred by the deepening darkness and the prospect of a night in the woods with only mosquitoes and the lonely drum of grouse for “Lights Out,” he retraced his steps for the only landmark which he knew. By singular good fortune he ran straight into the old camp at “The Hut.” Wearied a little by his rough wanderings in a trackless forest with the extra heavy weight of his pack dragging at his shoulders, he would have remained here for the night. But the thought of the anxious companions searching the woods decided him in favor or renewing the journey. It was nearly seven o’clock when he reached “The Chalet.” Things were as he anticipated. Captain Westmorland and the other members of the expedition who had left “The Hut” last felt a little uneasy when they arrived at “The Chalet” to find one of the party missing. A search party was being organized, and some preliminary scouting had already been done, when the lost man, to use the happy phrase of the woods, “blew into camp.” Most of the available court plaster of the hotel was required to repair the nasty scratches and bruises inflicted by snags and logs stumbled against in the inky gloom of the forest. But otherwise the involuntary venture suffered no ill-effects. A swim in the lake in the early morning and a delicious breakfast of mountain trout prepared the climbers for the trip back to Victoria. A ten hours’ motor ride through cedar scented forest, with glimpses of cultivated valleys and curving shores, is by no means a disappointing finale to such an expedition.

Origin Of Name

“Arrowsmith Mountain,” Captain Walbran wrote in 1900 in his information book on British Columbia Coast Names, “was named about 1853 after Aaron Arrowsmith and his nephew John Arrowsmith, noted English cartographers. The former was born in 1750 at Winston, Durham. From an obscure beginning he rose by diligence and industry to great prosperity, his publications, topographic and hydrographic maps and charts being noted for the accuracy and care with which there were constructed. He died in London in 1823. His nephew, John Arrowsmith, was one of the founders of the Royal Geographic Society.” It is interesting to learn, further, that Captain Richards, R.N., hydrographer, adopted the name of Mount Arrowsmith for this Indian-named Kuth-Kah-Chulth when he made a survey of the Island in 1864. He gave the height of Arrowsmith as 5,976. This has never required correction. As the outstanding rock mass of Southern Vancouver Island, the geology of the mountain is interesting. Arrowsmith has a serrated summit, owing to the fact that it was higher than the glacial mass which covered this part of the Island. It therefore, carried its own small glaciers during the glacial period, and it was these which eroded the cirques which may still be seen at the summit. The rock formation consists partly Vancouver volcanics of the Mesozoic era (the geologic period familiarly known as the Age of Reptiles), partly of the Paleozoic era. Those who are interested in geology will see evidences of this on all sides in andesites, tuffs and other rocks of this period. The range of which Arrowsmith forms the southern part divides the coal-bearing Cowichan group of the Cretaceous period on the east coast from the smaller occurrences of the same group on the west in the Alberni Valley.

Fauna And Flora

In the recent expedition to Arrowsmith were four whose special purpose in making the climb was to collect botanical specimens. Among the rarer plants which they found were the Lewisis pygmea, which is not found in the lower altitudes. Three varieties of ranunculus, white, pink and yellow; two varieties of Phlox, pink and mauve; azaleas, which bloom in profusion even above the snows which surround the hut during the first two weeks of July; pinguiculas, moscampium, the pentstamen menzesii, a little creeping variety with big purple blossoms; the calmia latifolia, or pink-blossomed swamp laurel; a tiny scented orchid of the habaneria variety; two or three varieties of sedums; white and mauve heath, which grows profusely over and around the rocks, and which in the later Summer makes a comfortable bed for the tentless camper; onicas, red columbines, several saxifrages, including the bronchilis and orientalis varieties, the lutkia pectonatia, a very small and feathery-blossomed variety of spiraea, and the waxy-flowered moneses. The trees grow conspicuously smaller before “The Hut” is reached, and about 5,400 feet up they cease altogether. The Winter snows must be heavy. The branches of the mountain balsam and the yellow cedar show indications of the weight of the snow which they carry during the many months of the year. “The Hut” itself has more domestic proof of this, the front porch, built of stout “shakes” and limbs of trees, having recently caved in. Deer and grouse are among the inhabitants of the mountain. Even humming birds may occasionally be seen among the gaily-colored butterflies sipping the honey from the flowers in these semi-Alpine regions. When built in 1911 by the C.P.R., “The Hut,” which is partitioned to make two rooms, was fully furnished with stove and cooking utensils. It is an unfortunate reflection on human society that these commodities have been treated with such ill-respect by some discourteous visitors of recent years that there is nothing usable left of this furniture. An open air “cooking range” of stones has been substituted. One of the regrets of the thrift-loving members of the Alpine Club expedition was that the kettle and “billy-can” carried up the mountain with the food supplies and blankets by the hired packer had to be left behind with some of the tinned beans and salmon when the party left.

Trail Built In 1911

Anyone who makes the trip up Arrowsmith today will admire the enterprise and ambition of the men who made the climb previous to the opening of the trail in 1911. Mr. Clarence Hoard engineered this project for the Canadian Pacific Railway. For some years the path was in good condition, but hurricanes of more recent times have thrown enormous trees across the trail in some sections. These are a serious impediment, particularly to the man who carries the pack. And without a pack one cannot take quite the same measure of experience and pleasure from the trip. It is hoped that the C.P.R. may seem fit to put the trail into good shape again, at least, as far as the Canon. Now that the war is over and tourists are coming in greater and greater numbers to the Island, it would surely repay the company to encourage them in every way to this part of the country by giving them easier access to the mountain. At present many get discouraged from attempting to climb long before they have really commenced it. For the real obstacles of the path lie in the first few hundred feet. The whole Arrowsmith district is very interesting historically, and as an objective for the mountaineer, the naturalist, the motorist and holiday-maker, it should continue to draw ever increasing numbers. Cameron Lake, which lies at the foot of the mountain, and which enjoys the distinction of possessing a reasonably comfortable hotel, was named as long ago as 1860 by Captain Richards, H.M.S. Plumper, after the Hon. David Cameron, first chief justice of Vancouver Island. Cameron was a Scotsman who came to Vancouver Island in 1853, having been given a position in Nanaimo in the Hudson’s Bay Company in connection with the coal mines. He died in Belmont, Esquimalt, in May 1872. The Arrowsmith and Alberni region was inhabited by the once numerous and fierce Nitinat tribe of Indians, which in 1864 had many villages in the district. The Alberni Canal, visible from the summit of Arrowsmith, and twelve miles distant from “The Chalet,” was named as long ago as 1791 by Lieutenant Francisco Eliza, a Spanish navigator of the time, after Don Pedro Alberni, captain of Infantry in the Spanish army, who was in command of the soldiers in the expedition in charge of Eliza. Eliza, it should be mentioned, was sent by the Viceroy of Mexico, Count de Revillagigedo, to occupy the West Coast of Vancouver Island after Martinez had returned to California in 1789. The Colonist of April 5, 1860, and again in April and May the following year, records the establishment at the head of the Alberni Canal of a sawmill from which spars were exported. The same year a farm was cleared in the valley for the supply of employee needs, this being the first regular farm on the Coast between the Alaskan Peninsula and Sooke. The sawmill was closed down in 1863, but it affected lasting results by opening the district, as Charles Taylor, who was an employee, was the first independent homesteader of the district. His farm, which was the nucleus of the present industrious farming community of Alberni, was named in 1864.

First Train

Long before the first train was run across the Island to Alberni, Arrowsmith had been climbed. The railway was built as far as Cameron Lake in 1910. The first train arrived in Alberni on December 21, 1911. The trail up Arrowsmith was opened in 1912. But there was a penciled record in “The Hut” recording that F. Kermode was at that point in July 1906. He protests that he was not the first, “The Hut” did not exist at that time; the inscription was placed there by him on a subsequent visit. He went as far as Cameron Lake, on the first occasion, by wagon road, crossing the lake on some old logs, and then taking the trail up to the Old Copper King Mine. From there he had to break into a trackless wood, following along to the ridge of the mountain practically where the present well-defined trail lies. He was in search of botanical specimens, and carried a heavy pack. Others who made the climb in pre-trails day included Dr. Mason, of Victoria; Mr. Stanley Smith, Mr. David Stevenson, Mr. Leonard Frank (the Alberni photographer who has furnished some of the finest photographs in circulation of the mountain), Dr. Fletcher, of Ottawa, who was up the mountain with Mr. J.R. Anderson, of Victoria, in 1903; Mr. [Theodore] Bryant, postmaster of Ladysmith, who made the ascent even prior to that; and many others. Mr. Kermode recalls that two or three years ago when he was up Arrowsmith he found ptarmigan eggs. Ptarmigan are essentially a bird of mountainous regions; and as long as the ptarmigan make Kuth-Kah-Chulth her haunt there will be interest in Arrowsmith for every nature lover, whether scientist or Alpinist.


A party of mountaineers pictured before the climb of Mt. Arrowsmith.

Mr. Lindley Crease and Colonel Gale, who were detailed to climb the “ultimate summit” of Arrowsmith, are shown first and fourth respectively (reading from the left) in the accompanying picture. Captain Westmoreland, who led the expedition of the Vancouver Island section of the Alpine Club to Kuth-kah-chulth this year, is seen standing next to Colonel Gale. Others in the party who made the major climb were Miss Peggy Hodgins, Miss Gale, Colonel Greer, Mr. J. Bridgeman and Mr. G. Winkler. Some idea of the mosquito audience is hinted in the cowled state of some of the climbers. Messrs. H. J. S. Muskett, Rant, J. Jusgrave and Netser were members of the botanizing party.


Ascent of The Comox Glacier August 1922

Recorded in the diary of Harold Banks

The following is an account of a traverse from Comox Lake to Buttle Lake via the Comox Glacier and on to Campbell River by four men from August 16 to 26, 1922. The account relates the first recorded ascent of the Comox Glacier and several peaks surrounding the Aureole Snowfield. There are two drafts of the story. The first draft was written by Cumberland’s Harold Edwin “Bing” Banks (1901 – 1987) while the second draft has been edited by his wife Beatrice Ellen “Nellie” Banks. For the most part the route and descriptions balance each other; however, there is one glaring discrepancy which is the description of the “huge tree only five feet high that covered an area of a city lot.” In the first draft they camped beneath it on the 5th day, while in the final draft they camped beneath it on the 3rd day. Unfortunately, we will never know for sure which is the accurate version, but the tree was somewhere between Lone Tree Pass and Rees Ridge.


Ten Days of Thrills On The Comox Glacier’s and Buttle Lake August 16 To August 26 [1922]

By Harold Banks

Being one of three men who planned on a holiday in the woods, we were in doubt on where to go, after much thought it was decided we would try and get on the glacier [Comox Glacier]. About this time Rev. G. Kinney made himself known and was asked to accompany us. The party now consists of James W. Tremlett, Alfred McNevin, George Kinney and yours truly. Mr. Kinney has got the credit of being the leader which is not the truth as A. McNevin and myself were the ones to first plan the trip. With 75 lbs of a pack we set out for the Trout or Little Lakes. Here we made our first and only mistake, we started the climb from the First Lake [Willemar Lake] and had to retrace our steps back to the Third Lake [Forbush Lake] because to the conditions on the South Cruikshank. We then climbed Mount Evans [Kookjai Mountain] and dropped from here down to what is now called Ester Lake [Tatsno Lake]. We camped for the night. This is a wonderful spot for the camp as at that time there was an abundance of flowers and we saw plenty of game. On the third morning we left here and followed the ridge clear through to the glacier. We took a good number of pictures along the way and they were used to good advantage on our return. We pitched camp on the ridge about 400 feet below the ice. Here in the evening we got a big pile of bush and after dark it was set on fire. This fire was seen by some of the Courtenay people as we were told after. During this we had the unusual pleasure of being above a good heavy thunder storm. We could see the clouds rolling up the valleys and after an hour or so it started. The lightning and rolling of the cloud was a sight never to be forgot. We turned in at about 9 under a clear sky. The next morning the 4th day found us not so lucky about weather as the storm had raised and settled over the glacier. We packed up and got up on the ice, crossing over to the south corner to the Dome. It was so foggy we did not attempt to climb so retraced our steps to the site of the present cairn which we put up calling this Point Bing after me. Here we came on to a wonderful view. Looking down at our feet were two lakes. The one to our left and looking north had a hanging glacier that has a sheer drop of 50 to 60 feet into the lake and the lake itself was of a skimmed milk color and was full of ice bergs. This we called Milk Lake [Milla Lake] which is at the head of the Shepard [Shepherd] River which drains into Buttles Lake. The other on our right was of a different nature. Here you look down on a small stand of timber and rock slides at the head of the lake. We decided to drop down on this side as it was pretty wet and the weather was getting thick with poor visibility. I think if we had of known what we were in for we would have chosen some other route. Here we dropped down a hanging leg of the glacier and had a number of close calls. At the lower end of this ice there is a good sized stream [Kweishun Creek] of water and from a distance ice and water flow of indigo color and one has to pause and take a second look. From here we had some pretty stiff rock work with no bush for hand or foot hold. There was plenty of heather but it is poor stuff to risk a handhold on. Here we struck another large body of snow, which hangs at an angle of 45 degrees down to within a few feet of the lake. In crossing this we broke into a small stand of timber and as we are good and wet from the rain we pitch camp and after a good drink of hot tomato soup and a change of clothes we soon feel ourselves again. We roll in under our fly and wake up to a clear morning sun. This being Sunday the 19th, our 5th day, we decide we won’t make an early start. Mr. Kinney reads for a while to us all from his bible and after lunch we pack up and cross around the head of the lake. Here we encounter a monstrous rock slide. Boulders as large as a house, but the going was quite easy and after you leave the slide and come around onto the north shore of the lake you can with a little hunting pick up some fine specimens of crystle. Because of this reason we named this Crystle Lake [Mirren Lake]. We now climb a small hogsback and too our delight can see a third lake to the north east and still at our feet. We did not drop down to this lake and called it Nevin Lake [Memory Lake] after one of our party. Here in a small hollow we pitched camp under a huge tree that only stood about 6 feet high but a trunk as large as a mans body and covered an area of 50 sq ft. We spent two glorious days here. You can roam from this camp on to the second glacier [Aureole Snowfield] which is only a few mins of a walk away. We split up here into 2 parties and started out taking pictures. We would have had a wonderful group if all had turned out, but bad luck seemed to dog Mr. Kinney for he only got half a dozen pictures out of 12 rolls. Myself took the pictures on number 2 group and got a good bunch of snaps of this glacier. We roamed around here for two days and climbed the main peaks which are all named after one of our group. The peak on the south end of this glacier is Sky Pilot Peak [Iceberg Peak] after Mr. Kinney. The one that juts out on the northwest corner is Tremlett Point [Mount Celeste or Rees Ridge]. These are not really large peaks but points of rock that jut out of the ends of the glacier. On top during the day the sun was real hot and would melt the ice so that by mid afternoon there would be ruts in the ice and surface of the glacier a foot deep and wide. It froze hard at nights and these would be all smoothed out in the morning. Here we encountered numerous wild flowers which Mr. Kinney picked and pressed for future reference. This book got lost or we should have had a good collection of flowers. Ptarmigan were plenty full here and so tame you could go right up a covey and walk in among them. Here we made a mistake we did not take any pictures of them at all. From here you can see over the whole distance and what an eye full there is. Very much to out regret we had to move on as not knowing how long it would take us to reach Buttles Lake we could not tarry. Leaving camp we traveled across the glacier, turned north west and after such wonderful sights stopped for lunch. While we were resting here we could by looking west and see Buttles Lake. We were in between Shepard [Shepherd] and Ralph Rivers which drained into Buttles. Dropping down here we crossed the Shepard about a mile up from the lake and turning followed the course of the river we came out on the lake shore at exactly 6 in the evening. While we traveled pretty fast this is not a hard trip for a one day hike, and I don’t think that a better route could be found, as Mr. Reece [Harold Rees] and party came along by pretty near the same. Here while the rest were making camp I put up our one rod and rigged up some flies. Going back to the mouth of the river I had a dozen of the finest trout in so many minutes. This sure is one paradise for the fisherman. At that particular season you can get all the fish you could use in a very few minutes. The next morning we started in to build a raft, after a little discussion we changed this to two because of the lighter weight. Two cedar logs about the size of a telephone pole were used with a couple of split pieces to tie them together, on this we put cedar bark and a mast, hoisted a blanket and at dusk set out for the bottom. At daylight we put into shore and had breakfast. While here we spotted a boat coming down the lake and after much shouting and a few shots of our gun they came over. They turned out to be Americans and the whole bunch of us piled into the boat and in half an hour reached the cabin. Here we spent the day and a night. The next morning we left here at day light and after a hard day travel pitched camp at a lake just above Forbes Landing. From here the next morning we traveled to Campbell River and on reaching here we indulged in our first big home cooked meal for 10 days, traveling by car we reached Cumberland completing a round trip of the grandest mountain and lake trip in the world.

En-route to the Comox Glacier, 1922

En route to the Comox Glacier, 1922

Comox camp, en-route to the Comox Glacier in 1922

Comox camp, en route to the Comox Glacier in 1922

Lunch, en-route to the Comox Glacier, 1922

Lunch, en route to the Comox Glacier, 1922


Final draft: Ten Days of Thrills On The Comox Glacier’s and Buttle Lake August 16 To August 26

By Harold Banks

Being one of three men, James W. Tremlett, Alf McNevin and Myself, who were planning a trip, but did not know what we wanted, it was finally settled to try and get on the Glaciers and cross over to Buttles [Buttle] Lake. About this time Mr. [George] Kinney asked if he could make a fourth member and was readily accepted. With Seventy-five lbs of a pack we set out for Trout Lakes as we had decided that this should be our route. We had spent a lot of time climbing the different mountains around the lake looking for an easy way in. Arriving here we made our only blunder. We climbed from the First Lake [Willemar Lake] and after a hard day’s climb found we could not go that way. We dropped down to the Third Lake [Forbush Lake] and spent the night here. The next morning we were off early and climbing Mount Evans [Kookjai Mountain]. We continued along the ridge and camped at what is now called Ester Lake [Tatsno Lake]. This is a wonderful spot. Plenty of game to be seen in the evening coming down to the lake to drink. The following morning (the third) we got a good start and continued along the ridge taking many snaps [photos] as we went along. This is the best and the easiest route into that country as has since proven. Coming up to within 400 feet below the glacier we made camp. Here we were lucky in running onto an old Red Cedar for wood, as we were now far above the timber line. The only evergreen to be seen was here in the small hollow. It was not more than 5 feet high, had a trunk as large as a man and had a spread of branches that covered a good city lot. After supper we had the unusual sight of watching a good sized thunder storm. We could see the mass of cloud rolling up the valleys below us. It was sure a sight, having a blue sky above our heads, stars by the thousands and a full moon. In our blankets under our strange tree we were all soon asleep. After a hasty breakfast (our fourth) we were all excited to be away. Now we were so near the ice. The weather was beginning to look bad. The storm of the evening before had risen and was above our own heads and the mists and fog was beginning to drift around us, with a spatter of rain. After a short climb we were on the ice. Crossing to a point of rock we built the cairn which now stands calling this Point Bing. The fog had settled in by now and we had very poor visibility. Crossing to the south end of the Dome we found as well that it was too foggy to attempt the climb. Coming back to the cairn we had to travel very slowly as we could hardly see a yard. There was a good many crevices [crevasses] in the ice. Some of these were only a few inches in width at the top but opened up as they got deeper. Others were too far to jump as we had to follow along till we could cross. Some were so deep we could not see bottom and could faintly hear running water in them. Later in the day we had the best of luck as the fog broke for a short while and we got a wonderful snap of the open end of one of these crevices. On returning to our camp we had a wonderful view from here. Looking north we could see another large glacier [Aureole Snowfield]. At our feet, a thousand or more feet below us were two lakes. The one on our left was a wonderful sight. Like an opal in its setting. There was a hanging glacier which extended down into the lake. With its sheer ice face of 40 or 50 feet into the water which was of a skimmed milk color. The lake was full of ice bergs which had broken off the face of the glacier. The lake on our right was of a different nature. It was crystle clear (with a small stand of trees at one corner) set in a small nitch in the almost sheer rock walls that surrounded it. There was a large rock slide at the head end. We decided to drop down to this lake and make camp in the trees. Here we encountered a dangerous task. We had to drop down almost a sheer wall of ice and rock. It had started to rain and the fog had begun to get thick again. After some tense moments we were safely down and after looking back up, we wondered how we had completed such a feat. We made camp in the trees and soon had our fly up, a good fire going, hot soup and dry clothes on. We were all happy. With a light rain falling, we were soon asleep. On waking in the morning it had stopped raining. Being Sunday, our 5th day out, we decided on a rest. After a good breakfast Mr. Kinney read to us for a while from the Bible. After lunch, we packed up and made a short climb to the mountain on the other side of the lake. On coming around the end of the lake we found some very fine specimens of crystles and more were to be found on the small mountain. Hence we gave this lake and mountain the name Crystle [Crystal] Mountain and Crystle Lake [Mirren Lake]. We made camp on the ridge that runs from this mountain to the second glacier [Aureole Snowfield]. At our feet we could see a third lake and this we called Nevin Lake [Memory Lake] after Alf McNevin. Here we took a number of wonderful snaps looking back the way we had come. After supper we made a hurried trip up onto the ice of the second glacier. Arriving back in camp we soon were in our blankets asleep. The morning sun woke us to a clear frosty world. Our water hole had frozen over to a thickness of half an inch of ice. We soon had breakfast over and were away to a day spent in seeing all we could, getting as many pictures as possible. Climbing up on the ice we could see the lower end of Comox Lake, and over the valley. Continuing along we came to a point of rock sticking out of the ice. This we climbed and called Point Tremlett [Mount Celeste]. Here we ate our lunch and after gazing at the wonderful view we started back. Dropping down to the south east corner we found ourselves looking at Milk Lake [Milla Lake]. From the north end this was a wonderful sight. We took pictures here and they are among our most prized pictures. The Hanging Glacier with its sheer fall into the lake, while above this is the point we called Point Bing, on the left with the back of the glacier in the top centre and the Dome looming up on the top right corner. Returning we came to another small peak at the extreme end of the ice. This Mr. Kinney said he wanted to climb. The rest of us went on to camp and soon had supper ready. Mr Kinney returning stated he had built a cairn on top of the rock. After we decided to call this point after him. So it was called Sky Pilot Peak [Iceberg Peak]. After supper we soon were all in our blankets and asleep. The next morning our 7th day saw us under pack and off to new sights. Crossing the glacier we headed for Buttles Lake. Following the ridge pretty well all the way we dropped down to a small lake in a wonderful meadow. Here flowers of all hues and shapes were blooming. Deer were plentiful and we saw elk tracks in a patch of snow. Continuing along this ridge we soon came to the outer end and, behold, we got our first glimpse of Buttles Lake. We ate lunch and were soon on our way. Dropping down into the timber we crossed the Shepard [Shepherd] River turned and followed the river down to its mouth. Here we pitched camp at exactly 6 P.M. having made the trip from the second glacier out to the lake in the one day. Putting our only fishing rod up we soon had a fine catch of trout for supper. The following morning (our 8th day) found us making a couple of rafts. Taking two cedar logs about the size of a telephone pole we spiked these together. We had packed these same spikes with us. Then cutting a small sapling for a mallet we made two long sweeps for each raft. By evening we were on our way. With a blanket for a sail and our own sweeps going, we traveled all night. Going into the beach we had breakfast and while we were resting a boat came down the lake. We hailed the rowers and they came in. The pair turned out to be a couple of USA tourists who asked us to hop in and ride with them. This we did and were sure glad to be rid of our crude rafts. After a short while we reached the Government Cabin at the lower end of the lake. We spent the rest of the day here resting and fishing in turns with one rod. Plenty of fish were there in the catching. We turned in early and were soon asleep. Rising early we were off to Campbell Lake reaching it at noon. Here we had lunch and continued on till dark where we ate cold kippers and rolled in tired out. On awaking we found we were only about a mile above Forbes Landing. Getting breakfast we started out for Campbell River, reaching it at noon. We phoned for a car to come for us and we were back in Cumberland for supper ending a trip not one of us will ever forget.


Summary of the Route Taken During the August 1922 Expedition

by Lindsay Elms

After leaving Cumberland on 16 August, the party travelled up Comox Lake and the Puntledge River to Willemar and Forbush Lakes. From Forbush Lake they climbed up to Comox Gap and ascended Mount Evans (Kookjai Mountain) and camped (day 2) at Ester Lake (Tatsno Lake.) They then continued over Blackcat Mountain and down to Lone Tree Pass and then up onto the Comox Glacier, however, camp at the end of the 3rd day was on the slopes between Lone Tree Pass and the glacier. The next day they climbed up and over the glacier and then descended down to the Kweishun Creek where they camped in a grove of trees at Mirren Lake. Days five and six were then spend at a camp near the Aureole Snowfield where they climbed Point Tremlett (Mount Celeste/Rees Ridge) while George Kinney climbed Sky Pilot Peak (Iceberg Peak.) Day seven they descended off the ridge and down to Shepherds Creek where they then hiked out to Buttle Lake. Days eight and nine were spent travelling down Buttle Lake and the Campbell River. It appears they spent their last night at McIvor Lake near Forbes Landing. Finally, after ten days they arrived in Campbell River where they were picked up and driven back to their homes in Cumberland.

Climbing Face of Maxwell’s Mountain. Saltspring island

By Captain H. Westmorland

Reported in the Daily Colonist Sunday September 10, 1922, p.12.

At the invitation of Captain [Victor] Best, of Ganges, Colonel [Richard] Greer and I [Horace Westmorland] went to Salt Spring Island on August 18 to attempt to scale the 700-foot rock wall which forms the upper portion of the southwest face of Maxwell’s Mountain [Baynes Peak], which is so clearly seen in profile as Fulford Harbor is entered from the sea. On Saturday, August 19, we motored from Capt. Best’s home at Ganges to the Fulford-Burgoyne Bay Road and from Maxwell’s farm had a good look at the rock face. It appeared from this viewpoint that a way might be forced up the cliff by a shallow scoop which terminates on the rock face in a deeply cut chimney a few feet to the right of the main buttress. Continuing to the Burgoyne Bay wharf, we had another view of our objective from a different angle, and still the same chimney offered the best route to attempt, affording as it did, a possible way up the cliff at its highest point. Other chimneys both to the right and left of the main buttress would have been an evasion of the rock face at its best, and we therefore decided not to consider them at present.

Ascent Begun

Setting the aneroid down by the sea at zero, we struck into the bush by a logging trail accompanied by Capt. Best and two of his boys, who very kindly carried our ruck sac and climbing rope for us. About an hour’s steady walking took us to the broken ledges below the cliff and a few minutes easy scrambling to the foot of the great rock wall, where we halted for a rest and a sandwich before tackling the difficult part of the climb; the aneroid here read 1,350 feet above sea level. After staving off the cravings of the inner man, Colonel Greer and I roped up, and taking our leave of our companions, who intended to return from this point, I took the lead, and traversing round the foot of the main buttress, made two unsuccessful attempts to lead up the initial 50 feet of rock face, but at a third attempt a little further to the right was more successful. Our great difficulty was the nature of the rock. The whole 700 feet of the cliff is “conglomerate” and the embedded pebbles and “cobble stones” came away when tested as holds in a most treacherous and disconcerting manner, and as heavy showers of rain had now commenced to fall, the whole surface of the rock was slippery. A few short pitches from ledge to ledge brought us to the foot of the shallow chimney we had selected from below. From here the leads were exceptionally long. Several times in succession the writer led out 85 to 90 feet of rope before reaching a stance from which he could be confident of holding the second man in case of a slip.

Difficult Chimney

The type of climbing was unpleasant, there being a good deal of vegetation in the back of the shallow chimney. This vegetation we alternately a help or a source of danger, as it was, respectively, firm or loose. There was also a prevalence of moss, which when cleared away, revealed only smooth roundnesses and not the clean-cut holds we hoped for. Whenever possible we employed the method known to climbers as “backing up,” but for considerable distances the walls of our chimney were either too indefinite or too far apart to permit of it. The leader found the long length of rain sodden rope hanging from the waist a serious handicap to balance, and after a particular steep 90-foot lead up the wet rocks it was a relief to find the chimney cut deeply into the face of the cliff, forming a narrow cave,  on the slopping floor of which it was possible to lie down in temporary safety and comparative comfort for a breather before singing out the customary “Come on” to Colonel Greer and gathering in the slack of the rope as he mounted slowly upwards to this airy haven of rest. On his arrival we studied the prospect before us. High above our heads the smooth walls of the chimney projected over the sheer face of the cliff. Direct progress upwards was barred by the overhanging roof of the cave, and though we thought it possible to overcome the difficulties of the chimney itself by back and knee methods, whether or not a way could be forced out of the cleft to the rock face either to right or left we could not foresee. From where we rested the true right wall appeared the more possible of the two, and when the second man had anchored himself facing the right wall, by bracing myself across the chimney and raising each shoulder alternately to gain a little height in the strenuous method known to mountaineers as “backing up” was rendered a little more strenuous than usual by the overhang of the retaining wall. Some twenty feet of this brought me to the outside edge of the top of the chimney on a level of its roof, and if we were to succeed in our attempt an exit had to be made on the rock face to the right or left. The right wall on which we had pinned our hopes proved to be unclimbable, wet and holdless. The left wall was more broken, though offering only rounded and moss grown holds. However, twelve feet up the face, a sturdy little pine, affording a good belay from which to manipulate the rope for my second man as he climbed the difficult chimney, and further, a safe starting point for the final pitches above. I therefore decided to endeavor to reach this tree.

Rather Hazardous

For this change of plan it was necessary to turn and face the left wall, and in this exposed position, with inadequate holds, great care was required, and even when the movement was completed position was only maintained by bracing a leg across the chimney, not by any definite holds. I did not envy Colonel Greer who was waiting below, doubtless wondering whether or not the pitch would “go,” and, if it would, why I did not get on with it. Feeling that I would need all the intrepidity ascribed to mountaineers by a certain parson during a sermon he preached in Keswick, of all places who likened the steadfastness required in the endeavor of life to that “of the intrepid mountaineer who courageously climbs upwards, cutting his steps in the roaring avalanche,” I pulled myself cautiously round the edge of the rock wall to the exposed rock face, and by careful balance worked a way slowly upwards until I could thankfully grasp the friendly pine and belay myself behind it. Greer then came up in much better time, and victory was in sight, for only two problems remained—a steep rock face above us and then a short traverse to the right. A possible solution of the steep face above us could be seen where great masses of the conglomerate were split in huge poised blocks, but a closer inspection showed them to be unsafe. I then tried again a little further to the right, but fifteen feet up found the slippery holds inadequate, and had to descend. A few feet to the left the rock was steep to the verge of overhanging, but there were small holes here and there which looked firm. The situation was almost Dolomitten in the sheerness of the direct plunge downwards of over 600 feet “as straight as a beggar can spit,” and the firmness of those holds was comforting. Greer, looking upwards, could see little excepting the well nailed soles of my climbing boots. Our friends below, just as I was on the worst part, were calling anxiously, as they could not see us for the driving mist, and I had the same sensation as a golfer when someone speaks of the middle of his swing. Every faculty was required to preserve balance on the slippery rocks, and the calls were a distraction. The rope swinging from my waist dislodged a small piece of rock, which struck Greer on the forehead, but seeing my precarious position, and having heard my muttered remarks on the subject of the people who shouted unnecessarily, he with the self-restraint of a stoic, remained silent.


The pitches had increased in severity as we climbed higher up the face, but this was the last real difficulty, and after some thirty feet I was able to crawl on to a safe resting place, a shelf of rock with a shallow cave-like roof. Colonel Greer joined me on this shelf, and from it we traversed to the right along a narrow ledge requiring a delicate touch to the top of the cliff. The aneroid read just under 2,000 feet. The rock wall had given us a climb of nearly 700 feet, and we had taken over four hours over it. We announced success to our, by now anxious friends in a triumphant Engardine yell, coiled our hundred-foot Alpine Club rope, lighted our pipes, and with thoughts turning to hot tea swung along through the mists in a wide detour to avoid further contact with the cliff, and sloped down to Burgoyne Bay, where a most hospitable welcome awaited us, tea, bully beef and cucumber sandwiches being the much-appreciated order of the day. We were informed by the islanders that the face had not been ascended in the past, and we cannot recommend it as a rock climb in the future. The conglomerate is treacherous and insecure, and the cliff is excessively steep and forbidding. We enjoyed the climb, for there is always joy in the successful overcoming of difficulties, and there is a curious sense of enjoyment to be derived from being wet through and very tired. A legend is told of an Indian maiden who stilled the fluttering’s of her broken heart by jumping from the top of this rock to the abyss below. Probably the cliff is better suited to that purpose than as a playground for cragsmen.


Annual Camp of The Alpine Club of Canada

Reported in the Daily Colonist Thursday December 14, 1922, p.13.

Annual Camp of The Alpine Club of Canada

Annual Camp of The Alpine Club of Canada

The annual camp of the Alpine Club of Canada held at Palliser Pass this Summer, in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, has made history in this region for the year 1922. The site chosen was forty-five miles from Banff, the headquarters of this mountaineering, club in practically a new region and quite unknown to the general public. The outlying camp at North Kananaskis Pass, eight miles distant from the main camp, was in a district even more remote than the one in which the main camp was held, and, until this Summer, few parties had been in. What the club accomplished this Summer is on par with the previous record, which has from the beginning done feats worthy of note: feats that have called the whole world’s attention to the club. At the Alpine Congress of the Allied Nations, held at Monaco in May, 1920, the Alpine Club of Canada came only second to France in its exhibits. The route to camp was via the Walking and Riding Tour Camps, Eau Claire. Fishing Camp and the Trail Centre from where this well-known route was left for the last lap of the three-day trip, fourteen miles distant to Palliser Pass. Pack Trains left the Trail Centre (the transportation and mail centre) for Palliser Pass and Assiniboine daily, and from the main Alpine Club Camp to Kananaskis Pass as often as parties wished to leave. The Alpine pack train left Trail Centre for Banff, and from Mt. Assiniboine to Banff, four times a week, covering over one hundred miles. These camps of the Walking and Riding Tour, which we used en route, are permanent camps of the Banff-Mt. Assiniboine Tour; the camps were comfortable and the meals excellent. Mr. [Arthur] Wheeler opened this district for those wishing an easy access into the heart of these great hills, at a moderate cost, and they are now part of these hills—hills still in their virgin beauty, many miles from civilization. The site of the camp was ideal. There were two lakes in the camp grounds, a stream and four waterfalls which tumbled hundreds of feet, adding considerably to the beauty of the meadows in which the tents were pitched. The setting for this village of tents—and there were many dozens—was delightful.

The Dining Tent

The dining tent was a huge affair. The kitchen tent was back of this; not far distant was the office tent. Behind this stood the art gallery—a tent where photographs of the camp and various mountain subjects of the previous year were exhibited. Prizes were awarded for the best in each class. The tea tent, a place of welcome to climbers after an ascent, and in fact to all in camp was near. Four o’clock was the social hour of the afternoon, when the mountaineers’ favorite beverage was served. The men’s tent was not far from the lake, and the women’s quarters were near the two waterfalls. A drying tent was in this section, with a stove and wood pile, used for odd purposes. Still further on tents were pitched for married couples. There were tents for the cooks, tents for the packers, tents for the handy boys who chopped wood and waited on table. A small, interesting-looking tent with a sign “Guides” outside took the place of the village blacksmith, only in this case mortals came to be shod when nails and spikes persistently came out of boots. Truly a village these tents all made, a village curfew was the moon when high in the heavens—a village without a church, but where the Infinite spoke from mountain summits, flowers and streams, a place where all was peace and harmony, for to be wholly one with Nature in a primeval spot is to be at one with God. It seems a pity so few take advantage of an outing such as the Alpine Club of Canada affords. More first ascents were made from this camp than in any previous one, this on account of its being a new region. The first ascents were: Mount Queen Mary, Mount Birdwood, Mount Tipperary, Mount Smuts, Mount Maude and Mount King Albert. There was also a trip of exploration in a region that was almost unknown. These hills of Canada that this mountaineering club holds their annual camp in, lure and continually call to those who have been in them once; to know these hills is to love them and return again as to a distant friend.



ACCVI Executive:

Chairman – Horace Westmorland

Secretary – Jennie Longstaff

Treasurer – Gordon Cameron

Executive Committee – Alan Campbell, Robert McCaw


February 13 – Club meeting at the home of Robert McCaw. Talk by Arthur Wheeler and Alan Campbell on Interprovincial Boundary Survey.

March 28 – Club’s 17th annual banquet at the Dominion Hotel.

November 24 – Club talk at Empress Hotel given by Sir James Outram on “The Canadian Rockies.”

Section members who attended the ACC general summer camp at Larch Valley July 26 – August 9: Arthur and Clara Wheeler, Frederick Longstaff, William Foster,

Alpine Club

Reported in the Daily Colonist Sunday February 4, 1923, p.6.

The regular monthly meeting of the Vancouver Island section of the Alpine Club of Canada will be held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. R. [Robert] D. McCaw, 2099 Granite Street, om Tuesday evening, Feb. 13, at 8 o’clock. Mr. A. [Arthur] O. Wheeler and Mr. A. [Alan] J. Campbell will give addresses on the “Interprovincial Boundary Survey,” illustrated by lantern slides.

Alpine Club at Annual Dinner – Anniversary Brings Mountain Climbers Together

Annual Gathering of The Vancouver Island Section Held Last Evening at Dominion Hotel.

Reported in the Daily Colonist Thursday March 29, 1923, p.5.

At its seventeenth anniversary dinner held last evening [March 28] at the Dominion Hotel the Vancouver Island section of the Alpine Club of Canada drew up and enthusiastically adopted a congratulatory message to be forwarded to the 1922 Mount Everest expedition, this being coupled with every good wish for the success of the proposed 1924 expedition. Captain [Horace] Westmorland, chairman of the section, presided at this anniversary dinner, among the honored guests at which were Mr. Arthur Wheeler, of Sidney, director of the Alpine Club of Canada, and Mrs. [Clara] Wheeler. The occasion brought together a good representation of the members of the local organization, who did full justice to the excellent menu provided by the Dominion Hotel management. The tables, arranged in horseshoe formation, were charmingly decorated by Miss [Margaret] Cowell and Mrs. [Jennie] Longstaff with daffodils and violets sent from Mrs. Wheeler’s garden at Sidney. The toasts and responses thereto provided the major part of the speechmaking of the evening, being as follows: “The King,” proposed by the chairman; “The Ladies,” proposed by Colonel [Richard] Greer, responded to by Miss [Ethel] Bruce; “Mount Everest Expedition,” proposed by Captain Westmorland; and “The Alpine Club of Canada,” proposed by Mr. Lindley Crease, was responded to by Mr. A.O. Wheeler. Captain Westmorland gave a graphic account of the fight with circumstances, altitude and the elements encountered by the 1922 expedition, showing how both speed and endurance at the great elevation reached were governed by the lungs. In addition to the disability arising from this source, the climbers had to content with a dearth of the kind of food, as the higher they went the more difficult it was to bring up supplies in time and in sufficient quantities to meet the need. They use of oxygen, and artificial stimulant the advantages of which were demonstrated by the expedition, had the disadvantage of stimulating the appetite when food was at a premium. The climbers, [George] Mallory and [Henry] Morshead, in the first instance, [George] Finch and [Geoffrey] Bruce in the second, went “all out,” keeping only enough reserve to get back to camp. The former reached 26,985 feet; the latter succeeded in getting to 27,235 feet, and a half mile nearer the summit than the preceding party.

Inexhaustible Treasure

“Our mountains, the Canadian Rockies, possess inexhaustible treasures for the generations to come,” said Mr. Lindley Crease, in proposing the toast to the Alpine Club of Canada. The scientist, the geologist, the botanist, climber and artist alike would do a national service in developing the knowledge of the mountains. The speaker noted that in this, the seventeenth anniversary of the Alpine Club of Canada, the organization could boast of a membership of over 700. Mr. Wheeler, the director, in responding, gave a comprehensive review of mountaineering activities for the year of 1922. So far as the Alpine Club of Canada was concerned, the activities of the society had been outstanding, much good mountaineering work having been done both by the club’s members and by others. The club entered the new year in good condition, with interest well maintained and membership growing. Reference to the 1922 Mount Everest expedition touched on the fact that the Canadian Club had been represented on this as on the 1921 expedition, Dr. T. [Tom] G. Longstaff and Dr. A. [Arthur] W. Wakefield being members of the Alpine Club of Canada. Major Edward, O. Wheeler, the club’s representative in the 1921 expedition, had spent the Summer in Canada, and had met many of his old mountaineering friends. The director referred to the forthcoming Summer’s camp. The ballot for the choice of the sites does not close until the end of march, but thus far the vote had shown three to one in favor of Larch Valley, near Moraine Lake. This location would provide excellent facilities for climbing the Ten Peaks.

War Memorial Tablet

The war memorial tablet had been received, and would be duly installed at the clubhouse, Banff, this Spring. The matter of an expedition to climb Mount Logan, 19,850 feet, the highest known Canadian mountain, had been receiving some attention. The director also spoke of the meeting of the British Association for the Promotion of Science, to be held at Toronto next year, when, he suggested, the club might hold a camp at Mount Robson, and perhaps be able to entertain such members of the English Alpine Club as came to Toronto to attend the associations meetings. In conclusion, after reviewing some of the individual mountaineering feats of Canadian Alpine Club members and others during the past year, Director Wheeler entered a protest against Spray Lakes Development Scheme, whereby this lake basin would be converted into a source of supply for a power plant. Such scheme would, in his opinion, completely destroy the beautiful valley which is a main thoroughfare to many of the most beautiful scenic centres of the Southern Canadian Rockies. Major [Frederick] Longstaff’s brief eulogy of the mountains, and particularly of the floral beauty which is to be found in the higher altitudes long after Spring has passed in the lower levels, concluded the speech-making part of the programme. Mrs. Robert D. McCaw’s charmingly sung “Pickaninny Lullaby,” and Montague Phillips’ “Wake Up,” were among the other attractions of the gathering, Miss Bradshaw playing her accompaniments very systematically. The affair concluded with an informal social, cards and dancing engaging the attention of those who remained.

Lecture Reminder

Reported in the Daily Colonist Friday November 23, 1923, p.10.

Members were reminded of the public meeting under the auspices of the Vancouver Island section of the Alpine Club of Canada, which will be held in the Empress ballroom tomorrow night, at 8 o’clock, at which Sir James Outram will give an illustrated lecture on “The Canadian Rockies in All Their Grandeur.”


Explorer To Give Lecture on Rockies

Sir James Outram, Well-known English Mountaineer, To Lecture At Empress Saturday Evening.

Reported in the Daily Colonist Saturday November 24, 1923, p.14.

Under the auspices of the Victoria section of the Alpine Club of Canada, Sir James Outram, the famous English explorer and mountaineer, will lecture on Saturday evening in the Empress ballroom. His subject is to be “The Canadian Rockies,” a theme on which he is eminently fitted to speak, having, perhaps, climbed more British Columbia mountains of 10,000 feet than any other English mountaineer. Sir James was a guest of the Alpine Club at its annual camp last Summer at Yoho Valley, and proved a very popular member of the party. On that occasion he met Professor Fay, of Tufts College, Massachusetts, another ardent mountaineer, whom he first met twenty-three years ago, and had not seen since. The lecture on Saturday evening will be generously illustrated with lantern slides of the Rockies. Sir James is outspokenly opposed to the school of mountaineering which makes climbing a mere feat of athleticism, and would have climbers go into the heights with their eyes open to the beauties of nature. It is anticipated, therefore, that he will tell much about the flora and fauna to be found in the higher altitudes. During his stay in Victoria Sir James will be the guest of Mr. Lindley Crease.

Alpinists Elect Officers for Year

Mr. R.D. McCaw Will Be Chairman of Local Section of Club — Mount Logan Expedition Discussed

Reported in the Daily Colonist Saturday December 5, 1923, p.9.

Mr. R. [Robert] D. McCaw was elected as chairman of the Vancouver Island section of the Alpine Club of Canada at the annual meeting of the organization last evening [December 4]. He succeeds the retiring president Captain H. [Horace] Westmorland, whose unavoidable absence did not interfere with the reading of his interesting resume of the section’s activities during the past year. Other officers elected for 1924 are Mr. Gordon Cameron, treasurer; Capt. W. [William] M. Everall, secretary; committee, Mrs. F.V. [Jennie] Longstaff, Miss [Margaret] Cowell, Messrs. [William] Dougan and [George] Winkler. The chairman in his annual report, outlined some of the year’s activities. He recalled the meetings at which the speakers were Mr. [Frederick] Godsal, Mr. A. [Alan] J. Campbell and Sir James Outram and the expedition to Mont Arrowsmith and Larch River. In conclusion he said: “Now, just a word about the future. It has been suggested that we should arrange mountaineering talks in the clubrooms of organizations which obtain young people, with a view to enlisting young and active recruits for the Alpine Club; perhaps at the Y.M.C.A. and the Y.W.C.A. Perhaps some of the more advanced schools and at kindred organizations like the Engineers Institute. I think the idea a good one. “I wish to mention very specially the loyal spirit and hard work of the honorary secretary, Mrs. Longstaff. In spite of illness in her home Mrs. Longstaff has never failed us. I thank her sincerely. Mr. Cameron, the honorary treasurer, has many times set aside his personal convenience to be present and help us; with his name I think also of the members of the executive. “Mr. McCaw and Mr. Campbell have both very willingly assisted by operating the lantern at out lectures.”



ACCVI Executive:

Chairman – Robert McCaw

Treasurer – William Everall

Secretary – Gordon Cameron

Executive Committee – George Winkler, Jennie Longstaff, William Dougan, Margaret Cowell


January – Photo exhibition of the Rocky Mountains

March 15 – William Foster talk “The Lure of the Trail” at the Empress Hotel

March – Clubs 18th annual banquet held at ???

April 5 – Club and community trip to Mt. Braden

May 3 – Club trip to Mt. Finlayson

Section members who attended the ACC general summer at Mount Robson: Arthur Wheeler, Stanley Mitchell

Views of Rockies Being Shown Here

Local Section of Alpine Club Arranges Exhibition of Photographs For This Afternoon.

Reported in The Daily Colonist Thursday January 10, 1924, p.5.

An exhibition of magnificent photographs of the Rocky Mountain scenery is being held at 622 View Street today, tomorrow and Saturday by the local section of the Alpine Club of Canada. The pictures, which are loaned by the Alpine Club of Canada, number about one hundred, and are excellent examples of photographic art, depicting the grandeur of the Rockies and showing the lofty peaks where Alpinists love to climb to the clouds. Among the pictures are some by Dr. Winthrop E. Stone, who came to a tragic death while climbing in the Rockies. The exhibition, which is the Central Building, View Street, on the ground floor, is in charge of Mr. George E. Winkler, a member of the executive of the local section of the Alpine Club. The pictures will be on view from 1 to 9 o’clock today, tomorrow and Saturday. In the window will be shown a map of Mount Logan, the highest peak in Canada, which has never yet been surmounted by man. The Alpine Club of Canada intends making an attempt to reach the top, nineteen thousand feet above sea level, and a box for donations to the fund for the expedition will be on hand at the exhibition to receive donations. The purpose of the pictures here is to arouse increased interest in the Alpine Club, and to give some conception of the beauty of the Canadian Rockies. Dr. Stone, who is mentioned above as having taken some of the photographs being exhibited, was president of Purdue University. He met his death on Mount Eon on July 17, 1921, at the moment of achieving its first ascent. The unique map of Mount Logan to be exhibited in the window is work of Major Harold F. Nation, of the Provincial Mineralogist’s Department.


Lantern Slides to Be Seen Outdoors

Local Section of Alpine Club Will Throw Mountain Views On Screen Tonight

Reported in The Daily Colonist Saturday January 12, 1924, p.7.

Lantern slides of mountain scenery will be shown at 622 View Street this evening at eight o’clock by Mr. R. [Robert] D. McCaw, chairman of the local section of the Alpine Club of Canada. The pictures can be seen from the street. The local section of the Alpine Club has been exhibiting some fine Rocky Mountain photographs at 622 View Street, Central Building, since Thursday, and is gratified with the large number who have visited there to see the pictures, which will also be on view today.

The Lure of the Trail

Reported in The Daily Colonist Saturday March 8, 1924, p.6.

Colonel William W. Foster, of Vancouver, president of the Alpine Club of Canada, will be a visitor in the city next week, and on Saturday, March 15, in the Empress Hotel ballroom will give an illustrated lecture entitled, “The Lure of the Trail.” Colonel Foster will speak here under the auspices of the Vancouver Island section of the Alpine Club.

Press clipping of the announcement that Col. W. W. Foster will speak. "The Lure of the Trail"

Press clipping of the announcement that Col. W. W. Foster will speak.

Scenery an Export Says Col. Foster

President of Alpine Club in Lecture Emphasizes Importance of Preserving National Parks

Reported in The Daily Colonist Wednesday March 19, 1924, p.3.

“The most thriving export trade we have today is the memory of our scenery which goes out of our country with the departure of our tourist visitors,” declared Colonel W. [William] W. Foster, president of the Alpine Club of Canada, in the course of a delightful lantern lecture which he gave on Saturday night at the Empress Hotel. Colonel Foster came to Victoria under the auspices of the Vancouver Island section of the Alpine Club of Canada which arranged the affair with the object of helping the fund which has been opened toward the financing of the Mount Logan expedition which is to take place in the Spring of 1925. Mr. R. [Robert] D. McCaw, president of the local section, presided, and Mr. A. [Arthur] O. Wheeler, director of the club, was among those present in the audience. Colonel Foster gave much interesting information about the national parks of Canada, and made an earnest appeal for the preservation of the wonderful natural beauties which are included within their boundaries. “Once scenic beauty is obliterated it cannot be replaced,” he pointed out. Those who had set aside the great national park areas, of which there are nine in Canada, had been intended an act of beneficence for the generations to come as well as for the present. The science and art of today might look like very small achievements to the people of a thousand years hence, but the present had at least one finer possession to hand on than anything that the future would have, its scenery, which could never be improved upon, never altered, except to its disadvantage. The investment represented was small, $710,000 for the whole nine national parks. But it was a magnificent investment, the annual returns through tourists, etc., amounting to something like $20,000,000. In 1923, about 200,000 tourists visited these parks, the majority of them from the United States. Scenery was a very profitable export, as it did not depreciate in the slightest degree. Americans in Europe, it was pointed out, spent annually $100,000,000. Coming to Canada the same Americans always declared that the scenery here was far superior to anything they had seen in Europe. Yet Canada played up her granaries and her wheat fields far more than she advertised her national parks. If the Dominion catered as deliberately to the tourist as did Europe, ten percent of the returns would equal the whole wheat crop of last year. Reference was made to the National Parks Association, a society founded with the object of protecting the parks from commercial interests which would be likely to injure their natural beauty. Reference was also made to the Provincial parks, Col. Foster noting with regret that these had been neglected, while at the same time condoning a government for its failure to expend large sums on the upkeep of these areas. The public would undoubtedly resent expenditure of Strathcona Park, for instance. “We are simply trustees: we should see that these great areas are preserved intact for prosperity,” said the speaker. “Victoria had no equal in the world as a city of natural beauty of setting. No province in the Dominion could boast such scenic attractions, all that Switzerland possessed and many others to be found within the borders of British Columbia.”


Mount Braden to Be Climbed

Object For Community Climb Chosen—Unique Hike Under Auspices of Alpine Club To Start At Goldstream Station

Reported in The Daily Colonist Sunday March 23, 1924, p.29.

Mount Braden, a mountain situated a few miles southwest of Goldstream station on the Esquimalt & Nanaimo Railway, has been selected as the objective of the Community Climb being held for the general public under the auspices of the Vancouver Island section of the Alpine Club of Canada on Saturday April 5. This mountain is about 1,500 feet in height, and can be ascended without difficulty, experience in climbing being unnecessary. From the summit an excellent view will be obtainable of the surrounding country. Mr. George E. Winkler, who has been named by the executive of the local section of the Alpine Club as the leader of the Community Climb, is making plans for the event which is something unique in the history of Victoria. All those who intend to participate are asked to send in their names as soon as possible to Mr. Winkler, Box 1256, City. The party of climbers, which it is hoped, will be a big one, will leave Victoria on the morning of April 5, returning on the evening train.

Community Climb Is to Be Unique Event

Public Invited to Participate in Hike to Top of Mount Braden Next Saturday Under Auspices of Alpine Club—Rev. Robert Connell Will Speak at Summit on Geographical, Historical and Other Features—Mountain Named After Mr. John Braden

A line drawing of the route to Mt. Braden.

A line drawing of the route to Mt. Braden.

Reported in The Daily Colonist Sunday March 30, 1924, p.2.

An opportunity to tramp a quiet, woodland road and mount by winding trails to the summit of a mountain from whose top the climber views the land and sea spread out in glorious panorama is offered to the people of Victoria when the Vancouver Island section of the Alpine Club holds its community climb next Saturday [March 5]. The public is invited to join in the trip to Mount Braden, which lies about three and a half miles to the southwest of Goldstream Station, on the E. & N. Railway, from where the actual hike will commence. This is the first time that such an event as the community climb has been held here, and it is an attempt on part of the local section of the Alpine Club to interest the citizens in exploring the delightful territory which lies close to the city. The hiking party will go out to Goldstream on the 9 o’clock train on Saturday morning, and from there will tramp to Mount Braden. Mr. George E. Winkler, a member of the executive of the local section of the Alpine Club and who, as a prospector, has gained an intimate knowledge of the country to be traversed, will be in charge. The route lies a short distance up the Humpback Road, then away to the right along another road which continues practically to the foot of the mountain going through forest of big fir and cedar, with a stream close by. After the road ends, a trail continues on. A few days ago Mr. Winkler and a friend went out to Braden and blazed a trail to the top from where the existing trails ended.

Fine Panorama

Reaching the top of the mountain the party will be able to see Victoria lying about fifteen miles to the east, with the Gulf of Georgia and the San Juan group beyond, while to the south will be the Straits of Juan de Fuca lined on the far side by the magnificent Olympics. All about will be hills, stretching away on the west to the Pacific Ocean. The panorama is worth the climb. Another feature will be the talk by Rev. Robert Connell on the geological, historical and other aspects of what will be seen on the trip. Mr. Connell speaks entertainingly and authoritatively upon these subjects. He will deliver his address from the summit. Lunch will be eaten at some convenient spot along the route, and the party will return to Goldstream in time to board the train which reaches there at 4:25 in the afternoon. Students of tree and plant life, geology and other branches of nature study will find the trip of interest. No experience in climbing is necessary, as Mount Braden is not difficult of ascent. Those making the trip are advised to wear old clothes, bring sweaters and wear heavy shoes. Each individual is to take his own lunch. There will be fine cold water available on the route, and if tea or other refreshment is desired it will have to be provided by those wanting it. Some may wish to take along thermos flasks or bottled soft drinks. The hikers are advised to carry some candy, raisins or figs to eat on the trail.

How It Was Named

Mount Braden rises to a height of fifteen hundred feet west of Mount McDonald. It is named for Mr. John Braden, Victoria pioneer and former member of the Provincial Parliament. He was in the habit of going on numerous hunting expeditions into the hills west of Victoria, and as the territory usually covered began to be hunted out, he resolved to go to new fields. So it happened that Mr. Braden made trips alone and without disclosing the route he followed, and invariably came out with a deer. His friends and others were curious as to this new Eldorado of the hunter, and attempts were made to follow him, but he used to go out from the city during the night and pursue his way into the woods to his chosen spot while the pall of darkness still hung upon the earth, with the result that he kept his secret for some time. At last, however, it was given away when he took a party of friends in and one of them was sighted by a rival aggregation. The mountain, which has yield up so many fine deer to Mr. Braden’s unerring rifle, and which became very popular once its value as a hunting ground was learned, was named Mount Braden after the man who made use of it. A competition will be held among the photographers of the party, a prize going to the one securing the best picture on the trip. Already quite a number of people have informed Mr. Winkler of their intention to make the climb, and numerous inquiries are being made augurs well for the project.


Hiking Party is Steadily Growing

Community Climb is Finding Favor Here—Leader Urges All Motor Cars Be Left At Goldstream—Party Coming In From Sidney

Reported in The Daily Colonist Friday April 4, 1924, p.8.

The number of people who have announced their intention of going on the community climb tomorrow [April 5] to the top of Mount Braden, near Goldstream, is steadily increasing. Mr. George E. Winkler, who is in charge of the outing, which is under the auspices of the Vancouver Island section of the Alpine Club of Canada, has received assurances that members of the Alpine Club, the Natural History Society, the teachers Association and the Vancouver Island Prospectors’ Association will attend. Parties of ladies are going along, and a group is coming in from Sidney to make the trip. The community climb is for the general public, and all anyone needs is the fifty-five cents for the round trip to Goldstream on the railway and a lunch to eat on the mountain. No special clothes are required. Old clothes and comfortable boots are the main essentials. If the weather is threatening tomorrow morning the climb will be automatically cancelled. It is hoped, however, that the day will be fine, clear so that the view from the summit of Braden will be at its best. Considerable of the hike is to be along a beautiful road through the woods, and Mr. Winkler is anxious that no hikers shall go along that highway with motor cars. He urges that those who go out in cars leave the vehicles at Goldstream and travel the rest of the distance on foot, as the presence of automobiles detracts from the pleasure of the pedestrians. Rev. Robert Connell has kindly consented to give an address at the top of Mount Braden on geological, geographical, historical and other features. From where the audience will be perched upon the rocks an admirable view will be obtainable of the surrounding country. Specialists in geology, trees, plant life and so forth are going on the hike, and these will be able to give interesting information to those not versed in such matters. A camera contest is another feature of the climb. A prize will be given for the best photographs taken on the trip, and it is expected that there will be quite a number of cameras along. The hikers will go out to Goldstream on the 9 o’clock train tomorrow morning, returning on the afternoon train which leaves Goldstream at 4:25.

Community Climb Annual Feature

Alpine Club to Have Public Outing Yearly—Event Has Stimulated Interest in Trips to Points Near City—Photos Judged

Reported in The Daily Colonist Wednesday April 23, 1924, p.9.

The community climb inaugurated this year is to be an annual affair, the Vancouver Island section of the Alpine Club of Canada, under whose auspices the outing was held, has decided. The number of people who attended the climb which was held a week from yesterday, testified to the interest here in country tramps. Mount Braden was comparatively little known, a very large number of people never having even heard of it before. The discovery that a fine walk and excellent view is available to those who care to make the trip will undoubtedly result in walkers making use of the route. There are numerous trips which can be made not far from Victoria, lakes, streams and far-fetching panoramas being included in the scenes which meet the eye. Mount McDonald, Mount Skirt, Mount Finlayson and Goldstream Mountain, for example, are reached without difficulty from Goldstream Station. Photographs taken on the community climb have been submitted to the Alpine Club to be judged, and the first prize has been awarded to a picture taken by Mr. G.H. Lofts, 856 Selkirk Avenue; the second prize goes to Mr. A.C. Hunter, 1843 Crescent Road. Mr. Hunter states that anyone wishing copies of his pictures may obtain them from him. The members of the local section of the Alpine Club will climb Mount Finlayson on May 3, and further climbs will be held during the season. The community climb has stimulated interest in the Alpine Club and Captain William Everall, October Mansions, will be glad to provide any information which may be desired in regard to the organization.

Dark photo of group gathered on the summit of Mount Braden.

“These are some of the people who participated in the community climb. They are shown gathered upon the summit of Mount Braden, listening to a talk by Mr. George E. Winkler, leader of the climb, on the geology of the district.


Mountain Climb Staged by Club—Alpinists and Friends Enjoy Outing

Summit of Mount Finlayson Reached by Party Which Sets Out From Goldstream.

Reported in The Daily Colonist Tuesday May 6, 1924, p.3.

A most enjoyable climb to the summit of Mount Finlayson, on Saanich Inlet, was carried out by the members of the Vancouver Island section of the Alpine Club of Canada and their friends on Saturday [May 3]. Some of the twenty-five people, more than half of whom were guests of members, left Goldstream for the mountain about half past nine in the morning, with Mr. George E. Winkler as guide. Following a trail through the woods, past the western shoulder of Mount Skirt, the climbers paused for a lunch at a small stream at the base of Finlayson. The ascent was made from the eastern side, no difficulty being experienced, and on the summit the beautiful view, which took in the Olympics, the Straits of Juan de Fuca, Victoria and its environs, and glimpses of Saanich Inlet and nearby mountains was enjoyed. Cameras were much in evidence throughout the trip. The descent was made on the northwestern slope, quick time being made to the road which wound past the mountain on that side. Up to that time the party had been under the usual Alpine Club discipline, with the members of the party numbered, and other precautions taken, but once the road was reached and the roll called to be sure that everyone was down, the climbers were allowed to do as they wished. Following the descent, Mr. Robert D. McCaw, president of the local section of the Alpine Club, expressed the pleasure of the members at having the guests with them and also conveyed the thanks to Mr. Winkler for his work in locating the trail in advance, and in acting as leader. The climbers returned to Goldstream by way of the road and came into the city by train.

Grainy photo of the Mount Finlayson climbing party on the summit.

“The Members of the Vancouver Island Section of the Alpine Club of Canada and Their Friends Climbed Mount Finlayson, Near Goldstream on Saturday, May 3. The Party Is Shown on the Summit.”

Vancouver Island Lakes and Woods Call City People

Streams, Forests and Mountains Offer Days Of Enchantment—Familiar Urge of the “Itchy Foot” Felt Again—Paradise of Pacific Lures With Irresistible Summons “Come-Hither”

Reported in The Daily Colonist Sunday May 25, 1924, p.18.

(By Edith M. Mustard)

‘T’WAS just a rush of trembling wings, a sudden rapturous note;

The scent of tender, growing things and butterflies afloat.

Though timid signs to see and hear, they shouted loud to me;

Old Winter’s gone wake up my dear,

It’s Spring—come out and see.’

Vancouver Island in the Springtime spells Paradise on the Pacific Coast. The beautiful motor roads which abound lead without fail to delightful vistas of mountains, seas and sky; vistas which charm the weary traveler into partaking of the lotus buds of forgetfulness and dreaming away the enchanted hours. The Island has an irresistible “come-hither” in her eye and all Summer long, in her answer to the lure, friends and visitors come flocking. From Honolulu and Japan; from the land to the south of us and from all over Canada they come. Some arrive in limousines, others in Fords; some remain a week and others, more fortunate, for months, but having once come they see and are conquered. Doubtless the most popular of all the Summer trails leading away from Victoria is the Island Highway itself, known far and wide for its magnificent Douglas firs and lazy streams; for views it affords mountains and sea, sun drenched and sparkling on clear days, or misted to a pale mauve on hazy days.

Ho For Della Falls

Last year, as the Summer came on space, we felt the old familiar urge of the “itchy foot.” We succumbed without a struggle and the Island Highway claimed us as its own. Della falls was our objective and possibly Della Lake, but Della Falls we determined to see, cascading down two thousand feet of mountain side to lose its waters finally in the blue depths of Great Central Lake, nine miles distant. The party arrived by various routes and we picked up our outfit at Alberni. When finally assembled for the trip our conveyance resembled a light delivery wagon understudying a truck, for bundles to right of us, boxes to left of us, blankets behind us rattled and fluttered. Indeed, we felt that for once we were going to make an impression. The white road ribboned away beneath our wheels and the second night found us at Great Central Lake, a most picturesque spot. There was a moon, too, a moon that shook its silver radiance on splashing waterfalls and placid lake and made us think of other moons and still other “knights.” The lapping of the water lulled us to sleep, but we had wished to enjoy a confidential bedtime chat (belonging to someone else), all we need do was prop our ear in a comfortable position and listen to the remarks trickling through the partitions. Unfortunately, however, when the conversation ceased the snores began and we heard them particularly well, too.

Charming Great Central

There is a mysterious attraction about Great Central Lake—it beckons you on and on, and if you follow its course, reveals many miles of the most delightful lake scenery imaginable. The wooded hills dip dainty feet in the blue waters and then stretch up and up to admire their reflected loveliness from dignified heights. No devastating breath of fire nor steel menace of the axe have laid their glory desolate; remote and serene they have come, apparently, fresh from the hand of God. Unable to resist the lure, we hired a launch in the morning and made our way to the far end of the lake. The owner of the launch played the part of guide and encyclopedia and entertained us as we went. He was a rather picturesque figure with a coquettish eye and fine features; a cheek full of Old Chum and (as he solemnly assured us) “a disposition, not too course.” At all events his heart was in the right place for he sallied forth midstream presently and hooked a couple of trout which he presented by their tails with his compliments. We relieved them of their heads and outer coverings, amid a shower of scales and curses, while the rest of the party stood by with camera and threatened to snap the dirty deed. Presently, however, the owner of the launch climbed aboard his craft and headed for home and with him went our last link with civilization, for our guide-to-be developed tooth-ache and had to hasten back to town. Thus, it came about that we set out next morning guideless, mapless and alone. Little did we think then that our guideless state would prove such a blessing, for being Scotch, there were moments when the knowledge that we were thus saving ten dollars a day was all that kept us up.

The Beginning of The Trail

Our directions had been sketchy in the extreme but we followed them faithfully and located the path. In five minutes, we were swallowed up in the forest. The tall timbers rose around us like pillars in a cathedral, running up and out to press feathery fingers to the blue above. In open spots the path was so overgrown with bracken, with shrubs and with weeds that we needed a formal introduction and then were apt to pass it by with a stony stare. However, w adjusted our packs and trudged on. Our trail led us through queer places where huge mossy rocks, that must have been there before the trees began to grown, were hurled about fanatically. Although it was midday, with the sun blazing hot overhead, the forest was shrouded in semi-twilight and the ancient silence of untouched timber, a silence that fled away at our coming and crept up behind us again as we passed. We had been requested not to shoot the bears should we meet any, but since we hadn’t even a stick-pin with which to protect ourselves, we felt that the bears were somewhat safer than we. At all events, we met nothing more savage than squirrels and they took it out in talk. Scarcely a bird raised its note, though we did startle a partridge and her small family near the end of the journey. And still the trail ran on, past thrilling gorges, over creeks where bridges were gone and beside gossipy little streams. The voice of the Drinkwater Falls shouted to us long before we reached them and fell to liquid murmurings as they dropped behind. We dined frequently, thus lessening our packs, but there was no way of lessening the blankets. The butter too, was a problem. It seemed impossible to get it comfortably placed and felt the heat. We carried it in our hat, we might add, has never been the same since. It has a peculiar listless droop which we feel neither time nor trimming can ever quite correct.

The Mosquitoes Dine

When we paused in shaded spots to rest and to admire, the mosquitoes fell upon us thankfully; great, raw-boned, ravenous fellows they were and on comparing bites later we felt convinced we were the first square meal they had enjoyed during the year. They dined on us from soup to salad, but it tickled our fancy to reflect that the Alpine Club (who were to follow us the next week) would certainly provide the dessert. As the heat increased, we grew thirsty, and draping ourselves over rocks, drank long and gratefully from a crystal stream. It had a peculiar flavor and, as we reflected on the matter, our eyes encountered the complacent gaze of two large toads upon whose property we were evidently trespassing. Unwilling to poach upon such doubtful preserves, we left without a backward glance. Finally, the timber fell away and we entered a forest of ferns and small shrubs. This ended abruptly and we found ourselves in the midst of an avalanche. The mountain must have slipped at some time and, for half a mile down its side and many yards across, rocks and huge boulders were heaved about in a terrific fashion. Then the night dropped down and, as the grass was wet from recent rain and it was impossible to light a fire under the trees, we slept on the avalanche, with a rock to mark both head and toes and a last year’s coat around us. The party was parked for the night. We felt then we had never properly appreciated the predicament of the babes in the woods, for the cabin we had been told of had not presented itself. Neither had the Falls, and here we were. But where were we? We didn’t know. We found ourselves cupped in a valley with a sheer mountain cliff towering before us, blocking the horizon, and away in the distance snow-capped peaks spread whitened wastes to hem us in.

Photo of a log cabin.

Joe Drinkwater’s cabin on Drinkwater Creek at the base of Della Falls.

Falls Are Reached

The sky was dark blue and gleamed frostily with a million starry tapers; the hoarse voice of the stream in the valley drowned the noisy sighs of the hoboes on the rocks. But, hist! What is this that outdoes the sky and river and makes the dizzy senses reel? It drifted softly down the breeze and made our very marrow freeze and then we stiffened up to sneeze—Ye Gods! A skunk! “Eyes grow dim, figures increase and teeth depart,” but there’s no deceiving a good nose on a matter such as this. Humbly we hoped that the creature’s native shyness would prove greater than its natural curiosity and that it might pursue nocturnal investigations in other quarters. The suspense was awful, but presently it tripped past our sylvan retreat and took our blessing with it. When we rose next day on stiffened joints to greet the jocund morn, we shook the dew from our features and looked about us. And there, gleaming in the morning sun, were the Della Falls—two thousand feet high—drifting down the mountain side like misty chiffon. And then we pondered. Should we go on or should we go back? We had seen the beautiful Della Falls, but what of Della Lake, two thousand feet above, and the ptarmigans we had heard of hopping about in the snow? We said: “Let them hop, they have nothing else to do. As for us, we intend to spend the remainder of our life in a wheel-chair, watching the other bird doing the hopping.”

A Hazardous Ascent

We were aware, too, that the trail to the lake led us up over that two thousand feet of almost perpendicular mountain side and that ropes were needed, also a ladder, not to mention a guide. Moreover, we had been told by one who knew, that a man once making the ascent got half way up and was so overcome by what towered above and yet more by what hung below, that he lay flat on his face and wept aloud, unnerved by sheer terror. In view of all this, we felt it was wise to retrace our steps. The ptarmigans were not depending on tinned salmon hidden under the bed seven miles back at camp, but we were, and the thought of it lured us on, even as hidden treasure has lured men on from time immemorial. The future being settled to our satisfaction, we turned our thoughts to breakfast. It was a silent meal—it had been our first experience sleeping “a la rock pile” and we hadn’t liked it. However, we felt that life would look brighter when we had removed some of the grime from our features, so we took towel and soap and started the hazardous trip. We climbed over rocks and around them; under a felled tree and down its trunk; over more rocks and more boulders and arrived finally, breathless but triumphant at the stream. Then despair overtook us—we had lost the soap. We had never been in so vast and soapless a solitude and we thought wistfully of the cake we had left behind us, reposing moistly in a tin on the back porch. Then we tore our hair (there was no comb) and joined the ranks of the great unwashed. With one last look at the glories spread before us, we turned, adjusted our blankets silently and retraced our steps—back to tinned salmon and soap and finally civilization.

Formal portrait of Della and Joe Drinkwater.

Della and Joe Drinkwater for whom Della Falls are named – Kay Dukowski photo

Conquerors of Robson’s Lofty Peak

Three photos showing mountaineers on top of a peak, the guide (Conrad Kain) and a group of climbers.

Conquerors of Mt. Robson

Reported in The Daily Colonist Wednesday September 3, 1924, p.5.

Members of the first parties of Alpine Club members to climb Mount Robson, 13,068 feet high and Monarch of the Canadian Rockies. Upper photograph shows first party actually on snow ridge at the summit of Mount Robson, with Conrad Kain, noted Canadian guide in the lead. Upper right, Miss M.H. Gold of Edmonton, a member of the third party to reach Robson’s summit. Lower group, right to left: Back row, M.C. Geddes, Calgary, who also took part in the first ascent of Mt. Geikie, in Jasper National Park: T.B. Moffat, Calgary; H.F. Lambert, Ottawa; A. Drinnan, Calgary, and T.B. Porter, Saskatoon. Front row: J. Saladana, guide and packer; W.A.D. [Don] Munday, Vancouver; Mrs. W.A.D. [Phyllis] Munday, first woman to reach the peak of Robson; A. [Albert] H. MacCarthy, of Windermere, B.C., who is credited with taking part in first actual official ascent; Miss Annette E. Buck, Brooklyn, N.Y., and Harry Pollard, Calgary photographer, who packed a camera to Robson’s peak to secure the first pictures of a climbing party at the summit. C.N.R. photos.



ACCVI Executive:

Chairman – William Dougan

Secretary – Jennie Longstaff

Treasurer – Gordon Cameron

Executive Committee – Robert McCaw, Margaret Cowell, Gordon Cameron, Sara Spencer.


January – Club meeting elected William Dougan as chairman.

March 10 – Club evening at the home of Arthur Wheeler with a talk on the Interprovincial Boundary Survey by Arthur Wheeler, Alan Campbell, Norman Stewart.

April 18 – Club trip to Mt. Work and Heal Lake.

April 18 – Club’s 19th annual banquet at James White’s “Killarney” home in Saanich.

December 10 – Annual General Meeting at the home of Mr. and Mrs. R. [Robert] W. Healey-Kerr 1537 Gladstone Ave.

Section members who attended the ACC general summer camp at Lake O’Hara: Arthur Wheeler, Frederick Longstaff

Alpinists Elect Officers for Year

A.F. Dougan Becomes Head of Victoria and Island Section

Reported in the Victoria Daily Times Thursday January 15, 1925, p.5.

The Victoria and Island Section of the Alpine Club of Canada held its election of officers this week at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Cameron, St. David Street, Oak Bay. A.F. Dougan was chosen chairman; Mrs. F.V. [Jennie] Longstaff, secretary; Gordon Cameron, treasurer, with an executive committee of Miss [Margaret] Cowell, Miss Sara Spencer, Messrs. [Robert] McCaw and [Frederick] Godsal. Captain [William] Everall will act as photographic secretary for the section. Plans were laid for an active Spring, including suggestions that parties climb Mount Arrowsmith, before spreading future afield in search of adventure.


Head Alpine Club

Reported in The Daily Colonist Saturday January 17, 1925, p.6.

Mr. W. [William] H. Dougan, 986 Heywood Avenue, is the new chairman of the Victoria and Island section of the Alpine Club of Canada. He was elected at the meeting of the organization this week. First reports of the meeting had it that A.F. Dougan had won the chairmanship victory, but these reports were incorrect.

Alpine Club Meeting

Reported in The Daily Colonist Thursday March 8, 1925, p.6.

The Vancouver Island section of the Alpine Club of Canada will meet at the home of Mr. and Mrs. A. [Arthur] O. Wheeler, Sidney, on Tuesday evening March 10, at 8:15 o’clock. The programme, by Sidney members, will consist of mountain talks with lantern slides by Messrs. Wheeler, [Alan] Campbell and [Norman] Stewart, of the Interprovincial Boundary Survey, and a selected address by Mr. [Stanley] Mitchell. Cars will leave Campbell’s Drug Store at7:15 p.m. sharp. Members who wish transportation should telephone 5304Y by Monday, March 9.

Alpinists Guest of Club Director

Mr. and Mrs. A.O. Wheeler, Sidney, Entertain Members Of Island Canadian Alpine Club.

Reported in The Daily Colonist Thursday March 12, 1925, p.10.

Mr. Arthur O. Wheeler, director of the Alpine Club of Canada, and Mrs. [Clara] Wheeler on Tuesday [March 10] evening entertained very delightfully about thirty members of the Vancouver Island section of the society, including fourteen from Victoria, at their home at Sidney. Short addresses on mountain climbing subjects provided the chief entertainment. Mr. [Alan] Campbell, of Sidney, gave an interesting talk, copiously illustrated with lantern slides, on his climb over the snowfields from Mount Columbia to Mount Clemenceau, a distance of 25 miles. Mr. Norman C. Stewart contributed a highly descriptive paper on the Caribou Road, using a map to illustrate his references, and taking his audience all through the district lying between Ashcroft and Williams Lake, a distance of some 150 miles. Mr. [Stanley] Mitchell added an interesting account of a cave at Banff, the description of which was humanized by some amusing reminiscences of the old Scotch guide who accompanied him. The programme was concluded by Mr. A.O. Wheeler’s lightning sketches of some of the outstanding mountain climbers, illustrated with photographs. Another speaker during the evening was Mr. [Frederick] Godsal, who in a few words told something about the use of the ice axe. At the close of the very enjoyable evening, which included the serving of delicious refreshments, the host and hostess were accorded a hearty vote pf thanks by their guests. Mr. [William] Dougan, president of the Vancouver Island section, who acted as spokesman, referred appreciatively to the generous welcome and kind hospitality shown by Mr. and Mrs. Wheeler. Among the guests were Mr. and Miss Leonard and Miss Sylvester, members of the Calgary branch of the Alpine Club of Canada.


Sir James Outram 1864-1925

An Appreciation

Reported in The Daily Colonist Thursday March 26, 1925, p.4.

Some years ago there was some talk among English critics of the apparent disappearance of the Spirit of Wonder, the essence of Romance. But romance never disappears. There are always zealous disciples to hand on the torch brightly blazing. Those who have read “In the Heart of the Canadian Rockies,” by the late Sir James Outram, will recognize that it is pervaded by the romantic spirit, in this lying the reason that it appeals to many who have not yet learned the charm of the mighty hills nor fathomed the secrets of the snow. While details have changed since the book appeared in 1905, more trails lead through the wilds, and some sanctuaries have been desecrated, yet the body of the book is of perennial value. It should be in every Canadian library, but it is a curious fact that such books appeal more to British and American readers than Canadian. Sir James Outram was born in London in 1864, the grandson of the famous General of the Indian Mutiny and first baronet of the name. He was educated at Haileybury, where he distinguished himself at football, among other things, and thence proceed to Pembroke College, Cambridge. On graduating he was ordained and held several cures in the Church of England, but in 1900 a complete breakdown of health necessitated an absolute change, and he was ordered abroad. Canada and Canadian mountains called him with an irresistible appeal. Those were the days of the far-seeing Van Horne. Already he had realized the possibilities from a mountain and a tourist point of view of the Canadian Rockies. The absurd title “The Canadian Pacific Rockies” would never have been given by Van Horne, who had a sense of humor. Swiss guides had been imported, but the day was not yet, and the Rev. James Outram, as he then was, was allowed their services for long periods practically without charge. He never tired of expatiating on the value of their training and constantly highly skilled service. He could not have made the records he did without them. Generally, he climbed with Hans and Christian Kaufmann, but occasionally with P. Sarbach, C. Hasler, Sr., and others. Outram became prominent in the Canadian Rockies for the first time in 1901. He was then associated with the late Edward Whymper, the conqueror of the Matterhorn, who was sixty years old when he “discovered’ the Canadian Rockies. He was too old to make difficult climbs, so he arranged with Mr. Outram to climb for him and report discoveries. It was then reported that Whymper had come especially to make the first ascent of Mt. Assiniboine, the Canadian Matterhorn. He made no attack, but the same year Outram conquered it on an expedition of his own. In 1902, Outram was again in the Canadian Rockies and in that year did his best work, making many first ascents of the highest peaks, some until then, like Mt. Brown and Hooker, of somewhat mythical fame. He even took part in the search for those tw0 famous mountains of Douglas, reported to be respectively 16,000 and 17,000 feet in altitude. Among the greater peaks ascended for the first time in this wonderful year were Mts. Columbia, 12,294 ft.; Forbes, 11,902 ft.; Lyell, 11,495 ft.; Bryce, 11,507 ft., and Alexandra, 11,214 ft. In that same year Outram met the future founder of the Alpine Club of Canada and spent two weeks with him in his camps in the Selkirks, while he was engaged in the survey of the region for the government. Thus, his mountain interest became known and when the club was formed, he was elected one of the earliest honorary members. He was a frequent guest at the annual camps and always a centre of interest. One striking characteristic of Outram was his speed on motion, and his records of the times taken on various climbs while exactly accurate as far as he was concerned, may mislead those who do not know. Even so late as the 1916 camp of the Alpine Club of Canada he led a training climb up one of the peaks of the massive range and outspeeded men far younger in years who thought they were in fairly good condition. In 1921, he married Miss Lillian M. Balfour, of Brighton, who survives him. He spent some years in business in Vermillion, Alberta, and also in Calgary, but his heart was in the mountains. In the last Summer of his life he greatly enjoyed a journey made with Professor and Mrs. E.V. Huntington through the mountains northward from Lake Louise amidst his old friends of the great Columbia Icefield to the Alpine Club camp at the foot of Mt. Robson. There he seemed full of vitality and happiness. It had been a fitting epitome of his great days. Sir James was well-known as a charming and instructive lecturer. Almost at the end he periodically delighted audiences by his fluent and enthusiastic descriptions of the many wonderful and unique attractions of our mountain regions. His early religious training had enabled him to appreciate the perpetual presence in the great hills of the Almighty Creator, a realization of which comes so forcibly to all who visit these sanctuaries of the earth in reverent spirit. We feel this inspiration breathing through all his association with mountains and mountaineers. He passed away this month in Victoria, and after service in Christ Church Cathedral, was buried in the beautiful Royal Oak Park cemetery, a few miles from the city. Pallbearers included Lindley Crease, Stanley Mitchell and Capt. Masey representing the Alpine Club of Canada.

Alpine Club Dinner

Reported in The Daily Colonist Tuesday April 14, 1925, p.6.

The annual dinner of the Vancouver Island section of the Alpine Club of Canada will take place next Saturday evening [April 18] at “Killarney,” Prospect Lake, the Summer home of Mr. and Mrs. J. [James] J. White.


Outdoor Banquet Held for Alpine Club Annual

About Twenty Members of Vancouver Island Section Gathered Yesterday for Yearly Meeting, Mountain Climb and Tramp at “Killarney,” Summer Camp of Mr. And Mrs. J.J. White, Prospect Lake—Director’s Address Read by President Of Section

Reported in The Daily Colonist Sunday April 19, 1925, p.6.

“Rain or shine” is a recognized rule among seasoned mountaineering club’s outdoor programmes. It was observed by about twenty members of the Vancouver Island section of the Alpine Club of Canada yesterday, when, despite low-hanging clouds and intermittent spatters of rain, they went out to Mr. J. [James] J. White’s camp at Prospect Lake for their annual meeting and a few hours’ hiking in the district. A small party went out in the morning, and, led by Mr. W. [William] H. Dougan, president of the club, made the ascent of Mount Work (Big Saanich Mountain). Reaching the summit (1,445 feet) at noon, they enjoyed their luncheon when the weather and the view were at their finest, and returned to camp about four o’clock. Those who were unable to go out in the morning organized themselves into a second expedition, which left camp about 2:30, and under Mr. A. [Alan] J. Campbell’s guidance, went over to Heal’s Lake, and, led by Mr. White, through the romantic “Alababa” Cave discovered two or three years ago by some boys who were exploring the neighborhood.

Annual Dinner

“Killarney,” the Summer camp of Mr. and Mrs. White, is a charming retreat on the shores of a small circular lake about two miles beyond Prospect Lake. Three years ago, in response to the invitation of these Sidney members of the Alpine Club, the Vancouver Island section conceived the idea of holding their annual dinner in proper mountaineering fashion, out-of-doors. It proved very popular, and each year since then the gathering has taken place at the same rendezvous. The conditions at the camp are ideal for such a purpose, Killarney Lake is in a pocket of the Highland District, sheltered on the west by the Highland terrain, and by dense forest on the north, south and east. The camp is pitched on an elevated part of the shore, and a twenty-foot awning stretched between overhanging arbutus and Douglas fir, with two giant bonfires crackling nearby and, throwing out their genial warmth, furnished the dining hall. The hospitable board held a generous spread of fare far more luxurious than the alpinist is accustomed to enjoy in mountain camp conditions. Erythroniums and trilliums, gathered fresh from the woods, formed the decorations.

Director’s Address

The banquet had little in the nature of formality, the sole item on the programme being the reading by Mr. W.H. Dougan of Director A. [Arthur] O. Wheeler’s annual address, which is yearly delivered almost simultaneously before all sections of the club throughout Canada. In this address Mr. Wheeler particularly referred to the Canadian Alpine Club’s biggest undertaking of the year, the Mt. Logan expedition, which is sailing from Seattle for Cordova by the S.S. Alaska on May 2 next. The personnel of the party has been selected. The expedition is under the leadership of Mr. A. [Albert] H. MacCarthy, who is now in the Yukon, working with a preliminary party to get supplies for the expedition placed at caches along the route to the mountain, so as to be available when the party goes in in May. Other members of the expedition were mentioned, Mr. H.F. Lambert, of the Geodetic Survey of Canada, acting as assistant leader; Colonel W. [William] W. Foster, of Vancouver, chairman of the expedition committee.


The financial story of the expedition provoked an appeal from Mr. Dougan to the Vancouver Island section for help in this direction. The amount originally called for had been $11,500, not yet fully subscribed. The accomplishment of the expedition’s success the director anticipated as “the crowning effort of his alpine career.”

District Flora

Rev. Robert Connell, president of the Victoria Natural History Society, and one of the guests of the gathering, was asked to say a few words about the flora of the district which he had noted during the day, and, in response to questions, disclosed that among the flowers which had been seen on the way to the summit of Work Mountain were valerianella, collinsia, dwarf mimulus, dodecatheon (peacocks), calypso (lady’s slipper), fennel, camas, flowering current, two species of yellow violet, false box, montia (Spring beauty), dogwood, and several varieties of ferns, including the folded sword fern, bladder fern, parsley fern, sword fern and polypody. The proceedings concluded with a very hearty vote of thanks to Mr. and Mrs. White for their generous hospitality in throwing their open their camp and going to so much trouble in the preparations.


The Glacier

Interesting Trip to Foot of Comox Mountain

Reported in the Comox Argus Thursday August 13, 1925. p.1.

More and more interest is being taken in the country back of the strip of littoral, which forms the inhabited part of Vancouver Island; that expanse of valley and mountain, unknown save to the trapper and the prospector. Last week Messrs. G. [Geoffrey] B. Capes and W.A. [Adrian] B. Paul made a traverse into country at the foot of the Comox Glacier; and Mr. C. [Clinton] S. Wood explored the country at the source of the Brown’s River. Both found wonderful country. Below is a graphic description of the trip to the glacier country. “Leaving Comox Lake about 11.50 we followed the trail on the south side of the Cruikshank River; it was very good in parts, winding through timber and lined with bushes of luscious looking huckleberries and blueberries. There were two little bluffs, the crossing of which gave us an inkling of what was to come. We had been walking about an hour when the trail disappeared in a pleasant, shady tangle of Devil’s club and salmon berry, but mostly Devil’s club. The thorny limbs of the Devil’s club were thick, and the large thorny leaves sought the light high above our heads. There was no help for it, we struggled to the river bank, to find the water too deep for wading; we crawled on our hands and knees; we chopped at branches; we walked hopefully through any opening, usually to find the way blocked; and finally zigzagged into better country.

The Trail and Devil’s Club

Thereafter, being wiser, we waded the river, walking the shingle bars, and taking to the woods when convenient. In two hours, we reached the south fork, along the east bank of which we turned. As the going was bad, we took to the stream, and later crossed to the other side, where after a time we struck a trail. One set of the blazes were thick with age, a second set had the appearance of not being more than a year old. We followed this trail, which wound around the base of the mountain; crossing every now and again, some dry creek bed full of boulders. We noted with interest the good judgment of the gentlemen who had blazed the trail; they had done anything to avoid Devil’s club, preferring a steep hard climb to going through it. After several miles the trail climbed steeply, then descended to the creek, where we lost it in the brush. After some deliberation we mounted the slope again, and continued in a south westerly direction; the steep mountain sloping up on the one side, and down below the noisy little creek. In choosing our direction we hoped for the best, as we were in a valley, we had little choice, unless we climbed the mountain. Our vision was limited by the trees, and down below the greener foliage which marked the course of the creek. About seven we descended to the creek, at a point where it forked; and pushing through the brush, followed the branch going westerly. At 7:30 we flung down out packs on a large island of shingle. An hour was spent cutting boughs and making camp; after a supper of bacon and eggs and much tea we sought our blankets.

Climbing With Packs

The following morning after some discussion as to the direction we should take, we started about 7:45 in a north westerly direction up the mountain side; and soon discovered that climbing with packs on our backs was not quite so easy as going along the level. The way was steep, but the footing good, and we had no difficulty for perhaps two thousand feet, when a series of bluffs barred our way. By this time our clothes were soaked through in perspiration and we were wondering about the chances of water on the top. A way was found up the bluffs and the angle of the climb became less acute; but by this time we stopped more often for a short rest. Not far from the top a glimpse through the now thinner timber of a high snow topped mountain informed us we had missed our goal. Though we had set out with an objective, the fact that we did not know if we could climb the objective when we got there, and that we were seeing a new country, and that in any case the sun was shining and the forest and mountains were thee for our benefit, did not permit us to be downcast. What could not be done on this trip could be done at another time. So we forced our weary legs to carry us and our packs ever upward. Long ago we had left behind the Devil’s Club and the red huckleberry. Small blueberries grew on scrubby bushes. There was less timber, and the trees were smaller, some pine and yellow cedar.

The Gleaming Glacier

The slope grew easier, the top seemed nearer, but ever as we climbed a bluff, another appeared a little higher; but at last after three or four hours, we emerged on the top; and the first or perhaps the second sight that greeted us, was the gleaming glacier, towering above us; the other was a little lake nestling in a hollow. The latter was the more important for the moment as our one fear had been that we might have to descend for water. A more or less flat mountain top lay before us, the surface covered with rock, flat rock easy to walk on; buttresses of rock; steps and terraces of rock; the soil between the rock was peat mostly covered with heather. The timber was small and scattered, and appearing between the trees and above, the snow-covered summit of the Dome, known so well in Courtenay as the Glacier. Dotting the surface here and there were ponds and little lakes, small bushes growing around the sides of some; others bounded by rocky walls; some clear, others covered with water lilies. By the side of one of these, in a little dip in the peaty ground we flung down our packs; although only half the day was gone, we decided to camp in this spot for that night.

A Bird’s Eye View

After a meal, during which we drank much tea, we wondered over our mountain, as we called it. First we made for the corner, from which in one direction, we looked down on Comox Lake, and beyond where Comox Valley was hidden in its veil of smoke from the bush fires. In every direction a panorama of mountains: we could mark the valley of the Cruikshank, and the creek up which we had travelled. In a few minutes we knew more about the lay of the land than we had learnt in the years we had lived in the district. Having gazed, compared the country with our map, taken bearings with our compasses, we turned away and strolled towards a ridge much higher than we were. After the limited view of the wooded valley, it was a great relief to be able to see long distances, and to be able to walk in comfort. We reached a spot where we climbed down on to a rocky perch, and before us across the valley, was the whole face of the glacier. From the round Dome, the snow formed a kind of semi-circle, ending in an ice cliff, the face of which might be anything from 100 to 300 feet thick.

The Dome

The ice cliff was not smooth, but eaten into, giving one somewhat the impression of a huge mouth, with about half its compliment of teeth; near the edge of the snow on the surface, the smoothness was broken, as if huge chunks of ice and snow were about to break off and slide into the depths below. From the base of the ice cliff, numerous little threads of water ran down the almost perpendicular mountain side, dropping every now and then into space, and striking the mountain again, until at the bottom it ran off in many little creeks. We observed the creek on which we had camped, winding its way up the valley, and ending in a big patch of dirty looking snow, some two thousand or so feet below the summit of the glacier. We studied this point with some care, wondering could we have climbed the glacier had we followed the creek. To the right a rocky slope ended in the snow; it looked possible yet doubtful; one thought of what would happen should a slip be made. A little to the left was what appeared to be a three-sided chimney; this also looked possible; once climbed one would be on a snowy slope leading to a kind of connecting mountain between the Glacier and another but smaller mountain. This snowy gap bore two trees, wide apart. To the left of the chimney there was a mountain bridge joining the main mountain at the top of the chimney, the end nearest to us curving down very steeply; next to this again was a mountain forming one side of our creek. We thought it possible, one might find a way between the bridge and the mountain to reach the two tree gap, from which it seemed as if one would be sure to reach the Glacier summit.

Gay With Flowers

Leaving this comfortable observation point, we dipped down, over rocky terraces, into a small valley, across which rose the ridge we had been making for; our mountain and the ridge made a rough “L.” A small creek led downwards but the water in it could be reckoned by drops. On this sheltered slope the vegetation was thick and luxuriant; open glades looking fresh and green, were studded with purple and yellow daisies, and surrounded with what we took to be rhododendron bushes, with small cream colored blossoms. Returning to camp we enjoyed a bathe in the warm water of our little lake, then after supper we went back to the observation point overlooking the Comox Valley; but smoke haze was thicker than before. The only new discovery we made was a small lake, probably the source of the South Fork of the Cruikshank. Up at that height we expected to spend a cold night, but it was not bad, a little chilly in the early morning hours. After a leisurely breakfast and a swim, we hoped to have a better view of the Comox Valley, but except for the topmost peaks of the Coast Range, standing out above the smoke, we saw nothing new. On our way we surprised a buck standing in full view upon a rock.

Two Caves in Glacier

Returning, putting on our packs, we paid a last visit to our view point of the Glacier; the morning sun being at our backs, we had a better view of it than the day before; we noticed the square openings of two inaccessible caves in the mountain side. From there we dipped into the valley and at the highest point of it, we dropped our packs, and in twenty minutes had climbed to the top of the ridge. Another view opened before our eyes; in one direction Comox Lake; in another innumerable mountains and valleys. Northwards towards Mount Washington, lay a long flat mountain along the summit of which, one could probably walk for eight miles on level ground. Below us lay a lake some sixty acres in extent, the outlet of which looked to us to take a tremendous drop, almost at the edge of the lake.

White and Purple Heather

The ridge we were on must have been about three miles long; a series of little mountains and little valleys; on the open mountain tops between the rock, the soil was covered with heather, both white and purple; the valleys were covered in bush and small trees; we followed the ridge alternately climbing and descending; some of the climbs quite steep; the little valleys were knife edged; on one side looked down upon the lake, on the other into the depths of a far deeper valley. After some three hours travelling, we reached a pinnacle, from where we could not have been more than half a mile from the Glacier; at our first viewpoint the water tumbling down the mountain had looked like threads of ice; now we could see the actual movement of the water.

The Deep Abyss

Bending over, one looked down some thousand or fifteen hundred feet into space; an open slope lay below where snow still nestled in the shady spots. Between our ridge and the Glacier lay a steep mountain, looking as if broken off at one time from the ridge. To the right a long valley opened out. On our return we crossed three patches of snow, the only snow we touched on our trip; although below us there was plenty. It was nearly four o’clock when we reached our packs; we had a little difficulty finding a place to build a fire, the soil being dry and peaty; after a meal about 4.45 we began our homeward journey. Our intention was to follow the creek down; for a short distance all went well; then we came to a drop, impossible to descend, so we clambered up the mountain side and came back to the creek later; there was thick brush on the mountain, which while it gave us something to hold onto, made the travelling difficult. Several times we had to leave the creek in this way, until at last it ran through a narrow canyon, at the entrance of which it dropped sheer some sixty feet. Thereafter we kept to the mountain side.

New Kind of Thistle

The way was very steep, and the inclination was to keep mounting when we wanted to go down; the easier routes always seemed to lead upward. The long limbs of the vine maple, and sometimes long cedar branches, enabled us to cross places which otherwise would have been dangerous to attempt. Occasionally a spot would be reached where there was nothing to hold on to, and down below a steep smooth slope, ending most likely at the edge of a precipice; but these places had to be crossed. Usually at these times the packs had a habit of asserting themselves; we were both carrying things in our hands; one, the billycan; the other, the axe and a flour sack containing plants, which we called Flora. Three times the billycan clattered down the slope, but retrieved none the worse except for some small dints. In one of the most difficult spots we observed a form of thistle new to us.

Deer Make Good Trails

After some hours of travel, we discovered that any well-worn deer trail proved an excellent guide; we found that we could go anywhere the deer went; and any place they avoided we could not pass; sometimes we would lose a tail but always found another. Often, we reached an impasse, and had to scramble back, climb higher and try again elsewhere. Dusk was on, our destination appeared close, the noise of the main creek reached us; and even some straggling Devil’s club grew here and there; we were becoming hopeful. We arrived once more on the creek, walked a short distance, stopped, and gazed some three hundred feet into space; as far as we could see on either hand, there was no chance of descending. It was a quarter to eight, so we climbed back into the timber, flung down our packs, then had supper on a rock in the middle of the creek. We had not much energy left, after travelling ten hours.

Difficult Going

The next morning we started northwards along the mountain side, and after seeking in vain for a place to descend, with some difficulty we retraced our steps, crossed the creek, and struck a deer trail which led us to the top of a bluff; the descent from there looked possible although not easy; so after casting about we found a safe way round the end of a huge boulder, and on to a rock slide covered with fallen timber; we scrambled down without trouble and finally found ourselves on the trail we had followed on our way in. The trail eventually disappeared among some Devil’s club; so crossing the creek we climbed a little way into the timber, where for some time we had good going, until the way became too steep, forcing us through a jungle of brush, through a swampy place, back on to the creek. After this we waded the creek, walking the shingle bars, or taking to the woods as suited best. We at last reached the Cruikshank River. After a rest and a meal, we crossed the river, and found a trail on the north side, which we followed until it stopped at a shingle bar; having by this time passed the bad patch of devil’s club on the south side of the river, we crossed over on a log and struck the trail which brought us out again at the starting point on Comox Lake.


Mountaineers Sail Thursday

Ss. Shidzuoka Maru Sails Thursday with Famous Japanese Mountaineers Who Recently Conquered Mount Alberta, 11,875 Feet High

Reported in The Daily Colonist Wednesday August 26, 1925, p.15.

Mr. Y. Maki, famous Japanese Mountaineer, and five companions of the Alpine Club of Japan, will sail for the Orient when the Nippon Yusen Kaisha liner Shidzuoka Maru departs from her on Thursday. The party only recently conquered Mount Alberta, one of the highest and most formidable peaks in the Canadian Rockies. The party was assisted in its mountain climbing feat by Mr. Hans Fuhrer and Mr. H. Kohler, Swiss guides of Jasper Park. Mount Alberta is 11,875 feet high. With Mr. Maki are Messrs. S. Hashimoto, H. Hatano, N. Okabe, T. Hayakawa and Y. Mita. After a week’s journey with saddle horses from Jasper Lodge, the party began reconnoitering about the base of Mount Alberta. A day was spent searching for the most favorable approach, and the base camp was established near the Athabasca River. On July 20 the climb was started. After sixteen hours of continuous effort the climbers reached the summit at 7:30 p.m. July 21. They spent the night on a snow-blanketed ridge with-out fires, while the thermometer dropped to four degrees below zero. The descent was made the following day in fourteen hours. At the highest point of Mount Alberta, a rock cairn was built and an alpenstock, emblematic of the conquest, was lodged in the monument. The mountaineers will embark on the liner here, coming from jasper Park over the C.N.R. line. Shortly after his arrival in Japan Mr. Maki will go to London to spend considerable time with Prince Chichibu, second son of the Emperor of Japan, and an enthusiastic mountaineer.

What Opportunities Does Canada Offer?

Miss D.E. Pilley, London Newspaper Woman Here Studying Conditions

Reported in The Daily Colonist Tuesday October 13, 1925, p.3

What opportunities does Canada offer to educated English women? A big part of the reading public of Great Britain awaits with interest this answer which will be given to this question by Miss D. [Dorothy] E. Pilley, a London newspaper woman who is visiting Victoria in the course of a Dominion wide tour. Miss Pilley has been on Vancouver Island for the last week, part of the time in Victoria, studying conditions generally and opportunities for women particularly. She reached Canada last July, representing several of the London newspapers, The Daily Express, T.P. O’Connor’s Weekly, The Daily mail, The Westminster Gazette, and The Daily News, to all of which she is contributing articles. She came West with the immediate object of camping with the Alpine Club at lake O’Hara, and after that enjoyable experience and some further visiting in the mountains at Banff, Glacier and Mount Assiniboine, came on down to the coast. She “hiked” one hundred miles, spending three days on the trial going in, and two days coming out, an experience which she recalls with pleasure. She seems to regret that this tour and the mountain camps organized by Mr. A. [Arthur] O. Wheeler, director of the Alpine Club of Canada, are not better known and patronized than they are.

Interests Are Patriotic

In addition to her newspaper work Miss Pilley is organizing secretary of the British Women’s Patriotic Aid, the president of which Lady Cowan, is expected in Victoria almost any day. Lady Cowan and her husband, Sir Henry Cowan, came over to the United States last Summer for the purpose of attending the session of the Interparliamentary Union at Washington, D.C., to which Sir Henry was sent as a delegate. Sir Henry is a member of Parliament for North Islington. Both have considerable reputation as speakers. The object of the British Women’s Patriotic Aid, Miss Pilley explains, is to co-ordinate the patriotic efforts of British women. To this end it organized patriotic lectures, and is conducting a direct campaign against communism. One means they use to combat the spread of the doctrine is education. British Communists have established Sunday schools throughout England for the purpose of undermining the faith of the children in God and government. The British Women’s patriotic Aid has conducted a house-to-house canvas for the purpose of warning mothers, many of whom do not seem to know what kind of Sunday school their children attend. “We have been instrumental in closing quite a number of Communistic schools,” says Miss Pilley, although she does not by any means claim that theirs is the only organization working along these lines.

“Empire Week” Supported

One of the activities of the Patriotic Women’s Aid in which Canadian women should be most interested, thinks Miss Pilley, is the “Empire Shopping Week,” which Lady Cowan started in 1921, the idea of which is to demonstrate the vast resources of the Empire. London shops have responded to the appeal by making magnificent displays, and everything displayed is labelled, so that people can know from what part of the Empire it comes. “And now we want this movement to be reciprocal in the Dominions,” says Miss Pilley. Other activities sponsored by the Patriotic Women’s Aid are immigration of children and physical training among cadets.


Public May See Mt. Logan Scaled

Reported in The Daily Colonist Thursday November 19, 1925, p.3.

The opportunity to be afforded the public of Victoria to hear Col. W. [William] W. Foster, D.S.O., describe the scaling of Mount Logan during the past season. Col. Foster, who is past-president of the Alpine Club of Canada and Canadian national Parks’ Association, will illustrate this lecture with lantern views taken during the ascent of the mountain. The lecture will be given next Tuesday evening [November 24] in the auditorium of the Chamber of Commerce. Col. Foster comes under the auspices of the local branch of the Engineering Institute of Canada. In view of the tremendous interest that centers about Mount Logan the institute has decided to give the public the full benefit of the lecture and the splendid views that will be shown. It is therefore the desire that the auditorium be filled next Tuesday to hear the lecture. There is no admission charged for the evening and it is particularly requested that as many ladies as can attend be there. The lecture begins at 8:15.

Alpine Club Holds Annual Meeting

Mr. W.H. Dougan Re-elected Chairman of Vancouver Island Section

Reported in The Daily Colonist Thursday December 10, 1925, p.9.

At the annual general meeting of the Vancouver Island section of the Alpine Club of Canada held last evening [December 9] at the home of the secretary Mrs. R. [Robert] W. Healey-Kerr, 1537 Gladstone Avenue, the following were elected officers for the ensuing year: Chairman, W. [William] H. Dougan; secretary, Mrs. R.W. Healey-Kerr; executive committee, Mr. R. [ Robert] D. McCaw, Miss [Margaret] Cowell and Mr. Gordon Cameron. The chairman Mr. Dougan, in a brief address, gave a synopsis of the activities of the section for the past twelve months, and there was also read a satisfactory financial statement from the treasurer, Mr. Cameron. Before dispersing the meeting, on motion of Mr. McCaw, moved a hearty vote of thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Kerr for their hospitality, both on this occasion and during the Summer, when they had entertained the club at their Summer home.

Is Timber Sold in Strathcona Park?

Road to Buttles Lake is Again Discussed

Reported in the Comox Argus Thursday December 10, 1925. p.7.

Despairing of the government to continue the Island Highway through to Buttles [sic] Lake, it is reported the Automobile Club of British Columbia may undertake the task. Strathcona Park and its importance as a tourist trade attraction to Vancouver Island formed the subject of quite an animated discussion at the meeting of the Tourist Trade Group of the Chamber of Commerce at Victoria. With little prospect that the government, which owns the park, will undertake anything looking to early development of the place as a summer home for campers and visitors, the suggestion was made that an appeal be made to try and have something done by private enterprise. The Automobile Club of British Columbia, it was reported by Mr. R.R. Webb, had already had the matter of doing something along this line placed before it. The suggestion was that by means of concession obtained from the Provincial Government allowing capital to be interested in a scheme which would result in the cutting of auto roads and bridal paths and the erection of summer hotels and camp sites, the place could be converted into one of the great attractions of the Pacific Northwest. To accomplish anything in this line it would be necessary, it was pointed out, to have the road continued to Buttles Lake. The situation at the park was explained by Mr. Webb, who had intimate knowledge gained at first-hand concerning the place. In addition to this the secretary Mr. Palmer, presented extracts from the report of Mr. R. [Reginald] H. Thomson, engineer, charged with the laying out of the park. These showed that at the time Mt. Thomson had in view the making of a great attraction for summer tourists. Mr. F. Waring and Mr. J.A. Griffith, who were both enthusiastic over the possibilities presented in this connection, felt it would be a mistake for any division of energy in connection with the carrying out of the proposition in view. They, therefore, advocated the fullest co-operation on the part of all organizations that might be interested in this work.

Is Timber Sold?

The question arose as to whether the timber in the park was in whole or in part alienated. It was considered that this matter was something that should be ascertained before any steps were taken. A committee was therefore appointed to investigate this aspect of the situation and also to gather further information regarding the feasibility of carrying out the scheme as suggested. The committee consists of Messrs. D.W. Campbell, J.A. Griffith, Herbert Kent, B.R. Kerr, R.R. Webb and J.W. Archer.


Mount Mumm

Reported in The Daily Colonist Friday December 11, 1925, p.4.

Sir,—With reference to the enclosed item entitled “John Munn’s Ground Sought by Descendent of Early B.C. Resident,” the Mount Munn next to Mt. Robson which is referred to by Mrs. Jessie Munn Macleod as having been named for John Munn, who died in Quebec in 1859, is evidently intended for Mt. Mumm, which is situated directly opposite Mt. Robson, across the summit of Robson Pass. Mt. Mumm was named by me in 1911 in recognition of A. [Arnold] L. Mumm, past vice-president of the Alpine Club (Eng.), who has made a name for himself in Alpine circles as a climber in the Himalayas and Caucasus and a traveler in many parts of the world. Mr. Mumm is a member of the publishing firm of Edward Arnold & Co., of London, England. He is a very much respected member of the Alpine Club of Canada, and has been attendant at many of the annual camps during the past twenty years. The mountain was named at the time of the Alpine Club of Canada expedition to the Rainbow Mountains in 1911, of which group Mt. Robson is the kingpin. There is no mountain named Munn that I have ever heard of.


Director. Alpine Club of Canada, Sidney, B.C. December 9, 1925.

[Unfortunately, some of the above information by Arthur Wheeler regarding Mt. Mumm is incorrect as the mountain that he is referring to was named Mumm Peak not by himself but by J. Norman Collie who made the first ascent with Arnold Mumm and Swiss guide Moritz Inderbinen in August 1910.]



ACCVI Executive:

Chairman – William Dougan

Treasurer – Gordon Cameron


April 10 – Annual club meeting at home of James White at Lake Killarney, Sidney.

Alpine Club Dinner

Reported in The Daily Colonist Tuesday April 6, 1926, p. 6.

The annual meeting and outing of the Vancouver Island section of the Alpine Club of Canada will be held Saturday [April 10] at the Lake Killarney Summer camp of Mr. and Mrs. [James] White, of Sidney, kindly thrown open for the occasion. Those who can leave the city in the morning will be given the opportunity to join an excursion to the top of Big Saanich Mountain, this party will leave camp at 11 o’clock. There will be an afternoon walk leaving camp about 2:30, for late arrivals. Those who wish to join the outing should bring provisions, and full information about transportation facilities may be had by telephoning 3911R.

Strathcona Trail

Local Party Scale Quartz Creek Mountain in Snow

Reported in the Comox Argus Thursday April 8, 1926, p.1.

Gradually the country over the high ridge of Quartz Creek Mountain [Mount Becher] is being explored by nature-lovers and climbers: and they all are eloquent of its rugged beauty and possibilities. With Mr. C. [Clinton] S. Wood as its leader a party of a dozen or so had made preparations to go up Strathcona Trail to the top of Quartz Creek Mountain on Good Friday [April 2]. The start was to be made at daybreak but when the first light came it showed leaden skies with little or no visibility and the party was postponed. Two members of the party set out later but ran into a snow storm while still low on the trail and apart from the delight of a day in the open saw little but snow and trees. Another hike was planned and executed on Easter Monday [April 5]. The party consisted of Mr. H. [Hamilton] M. Laing, the ornithologist, Mr. Cecil [Cougar] Smith, the cougar-hunter and trail leader, Mr. C.S. Wood, City Clerk of Courtenay, Mr. J.M. Mitchell, City Solicitor of Courtenay, and Messrs. Fred Wood and Ian Inglis. A great deal of snow had fallen and trail had to be broken from about two thousand feet to the head of Quartz Creek Mountain, which the party reached. But it was very hard work. Each member of the party took his turn at trail breaking. There were nothing but blazes to follow although these are well defined. However, the wonderful views obtained compensated the whole party for the rigors of the climb. The sky was a deep blue and to the east looking back over the peaceful Comox valley and the blue waters of the gulf: and to the west with its jumble of snow-clad mountains, the view was crystal clear.

Stopping to make a brew on Mt. Becher 5 April 1926. Left to Right: Murray Mitchell, Fred Wood, Ian Ingles, Geoffrey Capes, Clinton Wood

Stopping to make a brew on Mt. Becher 5 April 1926. Left to Right: Murray Mitchell, Fred Wood, Ian Ingles, Geoffrey Capes, Clinton Wood

Ideal for Winter Sports

After the recent snow storm the foliage of the trees was fantastically white and beautiful. At the top of the mountain where it was proposed to build a cabin, there is a good deal of open country which should be ideal for winter sports such as

snowshoeing, ski-ing and tobogganing. And the Strathcona Trail has the advantage of accessibility. Once the trail was broken it was no trick for the party to come down from the altitude of about five thousand feet to Bevan, where their cars awaited them, in three and a half hours. With pack ponies, and a little clearing of the trail and with a cabin at the top of the mountain it could be made a jaunt, which the less robust could take without too much travail. Three hours away from the mild temperature of Courtenay, those who delight in winter sports could enjoy themselves at an altitude of five thousand feet until well into May. And in the summer time there is the whole of the country beyond to explore.

On the summit of Mt. Becher 5 April 1926 – Clinton Wood, Geoffrey Capes, Fred Wood, Ian Ingles

On the summit of Mt. Becher 5 April 1926 – Clinton Wood, Geoffrey Capes, Fred Wood, Ian Ingles


Alpine Club Holds its Annual Outing

Lake Killarney, In Highland District, Is Rendezvous For Enjoyable Assembly—Campfire Meeting

Reported in The Daily Colonist Sunday April 11, 1926, p. 6.

The Vancouver Island section of the Alpine Club of Canada yesterday afternoon held its annual meeting at “Killarney,” the summer camp of Mr. and Mrs. James White, of Sidney, which for several years has been very hospitably been thrown open for the occasion. The early morning thunderstorm did not abate the interest of those who had announced their intentions of joining the gathering, and fifteen members railed on the shores of Lake Killarney in the charming forest retreat to participate in the outing. Big Saanich Mountain expedition being abandoned owing to the sodden condition of the undergrowth after the rain, the afternoon resolved itself into two smaller expeditions, each most enjoyable. One was to Durrance Lake, the other to Aladdin’s Cave, where under Mr. White’s personal guidance, tyros were initiated into the ghostly wonders of the subterranean cavern. Supper time brought the explorers together once again round the hospitably spread table, set beneath a great “fly” in the open, with a crackling bonfire nearby radiating its cheerful warmth.

Strathcona Park

Reported in the Comox Argus Thursday May 27, 1926, p.2.

The admission of the Hon. T.D. Pattullo, Minister of Lands, that the government can do nothing to prevent the logging off of a large area of Strathcona Park will sadden but not surprise a good many members of the Courtenay-Comox Board of Trade. Two years ago, the board was asked to endorse a resolution asking the government to spend money to complete the road into Forbes Landing. A member then said he had heard that much of the timber in the park had been sold and could be logged off at any time, and it was suggested that before any further action was taken information should be sought. A question was asked in the Legislature and it was admitted that some parcels had been sold but no further action was taken: now it has been admitted that these parcels have been sold and will shortly be logged off. Mr. Pattullo says “you cannot both have your cake and eat it; we cannot keep timber standing and hope to build up a timber industry.” The minister also intimated that the government had been offered the timber for half a million but they had not the money to spare. We might say to Mr. Pattullo that too often the timber cake is eaten and the people of the district get nothing but crumbs in the way of industry, for that is what happens if the logs are not manufactured into lumber on the spot. The very least the government should do if they cannot prevent the cutting of the timber is to follow the good example set by the E. & N. Railway and compel the owners to manufacture on the spot. If a casual glance at the map of Buttles Lake and vicinity showing the areas sold, can be relied upon, it would appear that when all the privately owned timber is taken off, Buttles Lake will be surrounded by blackened stumps. We ought to have a full statement from the minister as to what timber has been sold, when, and to whom? It would also be pertinent to inquire if similar conditions obtain in other “parks.” Where big towns have grown up, names of streets soon lose their meaning: Covent Garden, for instances, is far from being a garden, but if Strathcona Park is logged off it will bear as much resemblance to a garden as Strathcona Park will to a park.

Strathcona Trail

Reported in the Comox Argus Thursday May 27, 1926, p.5.

In the City of Courtenay is a street named the Lake Trail Road. Many years ago this was the route used by those who wished to visit the beautiful Comox Lake which nestles in the centre of the historic Comox Alberni pass, with the magnificent Dome [Comox] Glacier towering over it on one side, one end of the crescent pointing to Alberni on the West Coast, the other to Courtenay on the East Coast of Vancouver Island. Abounding in fish with its many numerous beaches and its numerous mountain streams dashing into it from the wonderful alpine area on the north west, it offers itself a paradise to the sportsman and nature lover. Strathcona trail leaves the old Lake Trail at the village of Bevan, crosses the Puntledge River and leads at an easy grade away up over the foothills of the Beaufort Range. At an altitude of 3,000 feet, which can be easily reached in two hours either on foot or horseback, one can get a magnificent view of the Courtenay-Comox districts, the Straits of Georgia with the beautiful Coast Range rearing its jagged snow-clad peaks on the eastern horizon.

A Fine Lookout

After leaving the vantage point, the trail winds through a most delightful natural park area unique in its absence of undergrowth and windfalls, broken by a long stretches of open meadow lands and save for the blazes on the trees, untouched by human hands. Two hours of easy travelling takes one by a very uniform grade to an elevation of 4,000 feet where a truly splendid panorama of the East Coast of Vancouver Island and West Coast of the Mainland can be seen. A short half hour’s climb from this point and the mountain top is reached where at an elevation of 5,000 feet one can gaze to their heart’s content on some of the most magnificent scenery on Vancouver Island, nay, in the world.

Some Fine Peaks

Mount Albert Edward, Alexandra Peak and the great Dome Glacier rear their rugged ice-clad heights just across the way, and Comox Lake gleams like a jewel far below; Alberni is seen in the misty distance; Quinsam Lake makes a glint of blue away to the north; the Comox Valley stands in detail before your astonished eyes. Individual buildings are picked out with ease. But most interesting of all, away to the north west stretches the practically unexplored portion of Vancouver Island. Here is the birth place of the Cruikshank, Oyster and Brown’s Rivers dotted with countless lakes, rich in Alpine flora and inviting in its virgin purity. From this point which is covered with snow until the month of June, one can return to the highway at Courtenay in less than three hours.

Into Mountain Fastnesses

The Strathcona trail, however, winds on across the unknown territory right into the mountain fastnesses of Albert Edward. It is now hoped that with government assistance the trail will be continued through the pass between Alexandra Peak and Mount Albert Edward to Buttles Lake and the famous Strathcona Park, a distance of only twenty-three miles from the City of Courtenay and through splendid scenery for its entire length. It is expected that this summer a string of pack horses and saddle ponies will be available, if desired, for those who wish to visit this truly wonderful area.

Leave Strathcona Park Alone!

Protest Against Despoilation of Public Assets

Reported in the Comox Argus Thursday June 24, 1926, p.4.

That the desire of retaining Strathcona Park in all its virginal and natural beauty is becoming more and more universal, is evidenced by the fact that public bodies, not only on Vancouver Island, but on the Mainland are taking up the cudgels against those who would dispose of the timber for commercial purposes. The latest protest is from the Vancouver Island Branch of the Alpine Club of Canada, who at a recent and well-attended meeting passed the following resolutions:

“In view of the report that Strathcona Park, which for over fifteen years has been recognized as the property of the people and is the only area set aside for a National Park on Vancouver Island, may be disfigured by the cutting of timber for commercial purposes, this organization protests most emphatically against such actions. This protest is based upon the general principle that once an area has been set aside for the use of the people in general—not only for the generation but for all time—it should be beyond the power of any but the people’s representatives in Parliament to alienate any portion of it.

Beauty Park Threatened

“It might be pointed out that in the United States, where the economic value of parks has been more fully recognized, the late President Harding enunciated the doctrine that once an area has been dedicated to the use of the people it should remain inviolate and free from the intrusion of our modern civilization. In connection with Strathcona Park the timber is so situated that logging operations will not only mar the beauty of the park by despoiling it of the great attraction of a stand of wonderful timber, but at the same time the present method of logging will create a dangerous fire hazard. There is a further point to consider, and that is, the outlet for this timber being via the waterways, which are another of the big attractions of the park; to cut and market the timber would in turn spoil the waterways and as a matter of fact defeat the whole purposes for which the park is created.

Timber Not Replaceable

“The contention has been made that in time the timber could be replaced but it would take many hundreds of years to grow timber of equal beauty and in the meantime the damage would be done and the park rendered useless. It might further be pointed out that any immediate return for the present-day speculator is indefinitely small compared with the economic value of the timber in its present state as an integral part of the park, and the return from the park that could be obtained in the development of national character, and its direct contribution to the more material wealth of the nation in the advertising, investment and settlement that follow the trail of the tourist.” The Victoria Chamber of Commerce is also becoming interested in this great natural asst and have appointed a special committee composed of Messrs. D.W. Campbell and C.P. Hill to make a thorough investigation. At a recent meeting of the Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Campbell reporting on Strathcona Park subject, said that it had been decided by himself and Mr. Hill that it would be inadvisable to make any definite recommendation at present. Mr. Campbell went on into history of the timber holdings on the lake that have been alienated. From the year 1907, when these were taken up the various transactions were referred to until 1914, when they were formally transferred to the Vancouver Island Lumber and Trading Company, of which Mr. Alvo von Alvensieben was managing director. He felt that the timber had not properly become the property of the Crown under the head of alien property provisions during the war.

Timber An Asset

The timber so alienated extends along practically the whole south shore of Buttles Lake and also along one half of the north shore. To cut this would remove from the shores the green timber that would be reflected into the lake. Mr. Campbell said neither of the previous governments were to blame for the situation. The Park came into existence under an Act in 1911. The government of the day could not be blamed for the condition that arose, while the present Government also appeared to be free of the blame. Mr. C.P. Hill also spoke to the report and said it had been found that the Government was quite friendly to the move which had been on hand. It was decided to refer the matter to the directors of the Chamber with a recommendation that it be made the subject of a resolution to come before the Associated Boards of Trade at the annual convention. It was further recommended that the Vancouver and New Westminster Boards of Trade should be asked to aid in this move as Strathcona Park would become as asset to the whole Province.

Strathcona Park to be Preserved

Reported in the Comox Argus Thursday July 22, 1926, p.4.

There is now every prospect that logging will be stopped in Strathcona Park; it will be taken up on the floor of the Legislature at Victoria. At the next meeting of the Legislature the Conservative Party will launch a scheme not only to preserve Strathcona Park but other beauty spots. The preservation of Strathcona Park will be one of the subjects of debate at the meeting of the Island Board of Trade at Port Alberni. Mr. R.H. Pooley is firmly of the opinion that no cutting should be allowed in Strathcona Park. “Strathcona park should certainly be preserved not only as an asset for Vancouver Island, but for British Columbia, and, in fact Canada as a whole,” Mr. Pooley declared. “We shall take up our cudgels in defense of the park, and not only that, but I am in favor of purchasing other timber areas to protect the beauty of our roads.

Pay Fair Price

“My proposal is that the government pay the owners of private timber in the park a fair price, nothing exorbitant, for their holdings and put them beyond all possibility of cutting. I do not blame the present government for the fact that there is private timber in the park, of course, nor is the former Conservative government to blame either, because the timber in question was alienated before the park was created. To allow it to be cut and the park desolated, however, to my mind, would be a terrible mistake. We should preserve not only Strathcona Park, but also stretches of timber beside the highway at various points,” Mr. Pooley asserted. “First of all, I would suggest the purchase of timber in the famous Cameron Lake forest, east of Alberni, where thousands of visitors can annually motor through a stretch of the most magnificent trees in the world. I would also favor the preservation of some of the Nitinat forest which, in some ways, is even finer than that at Cowichan Lake to the West Coast of Vancouver Island. What timber should be preserved in this way, of course, would be a matter for careful consideration and investigation.”

The Last Chance

Mr. Pooley emphasized that the present offers the last opportunity of preserving some of British Columbia’s finest timber stands. In a few years the chance will have passed, he pointed out, as the logging industry is rapidly eating into every timber area accessible by road. “The tourist crop is certainly the most valuable Vancouver Island produces,” he said. “How can we expect it to continue if we cut all our timber and leave nothing but the wilderness of stumps which follow modern logging operations? When timber areas like Cameron Lake are gone and our roads are lined with hideous wastes barren of vegetation, how can we expect tourists to come here? I believe a system of preserving timber along the highways is not only sound from the sentimental standpoint, but from the standpoint of good business as well. The point to realize is that we must make our decision soon. We have our chance now of keeping at least some reminders of our present forests. In a little while we won’t have this chance. We should start by putting Strathcona Park beyond all possibility of desolation which would certainly follow the logger there. There at least we can preserve the natural beauty of our Coast.”

Government Is Ready to Buy

Mr. Pooley’s announcement makes certain that the whole question of timber preservation, at which the Legislature has long nibbled but never taken any definite action, will receive full attention in the next session. This discussion, it is learned, will be welcomed by the government. Members of the government explain that they are not hostile in any way to schemes of this sort. The government’s attitude, as set out by Hon. T. [Thomas] D. Patullo, minister of lands, is that if the people want to pay the bill, it is quite ready to expropriate the necessary timber in Strathcona Park and elsewhere. Mr. Patullo simple asks whether the tax payers think it worth their money to undertake such a programme. The opinion of the Legislature on the question thus is considered desirable by the administration. As a matter of fact, it is known that Mr. Patullo himself has had the whole question of timber preservation under careful advisement for a long time. He had investigated the possibility of saving stands of timber along various highways, and also the precise effect of logging along the shores of Buttle Lake, in the heart of Strathcona Park, where the privately owned timber stands. On these question Mr. Patullo will be ready to offer some definite advice to the Legislature himself.


At Upper Campbell Lakes

Reported in the Comox Argus Thursday July 29, 1926, p.2.

By Mrs. M. Morrison

On the road to Upper Campbell

There’s a river murmuring;

Where by-path hugs the mountain,

There the woodland songsters sing,

And the breeze from out the fir trees

Bears a healing on its wing.


Friends, this would be full of beauty

For discerning eyes to see.

And the woodland fairy’s beckon

Where the soul likes best to be,

And the music in the tree tops

Make a mystic symphony.


If you are weary of life’s trouble

And would fain lie down and rest,

Seek the mystery of the woodland

When all natures at its best.

Let your soul gain strength and beauty

Close to mother nature’s breast.


You will find your faith grow stronger

And your eyes get clearer sight

When you’ve listened to the whisper

Of woods in deep o’night,

And there comes a breath of healing

With the wind adown the height.


There the peace past understanding

That is nature’s gift you take,

As you stand and watch the water

Into myriad wavelets break,

As frightened loon takes cover

‘Neath the surface of the lake.

Strathcona Park

Reported in the Comox Argus Thursday August 12, 1926, p.2.

Mr. [Thomas] Patullo went and saw, and Strathcona Park conquered. It was almost a foregone conclusion that it would, for to one at all susceptible there is no propaganda so strong as the appeal of natural beauty. The minister’s trip has evidently been a revelation, and its outcome promises to be most satisfactory. The Vancouver Island wonderland is not only to be preserved, but is to be enlarged if the Legislation can be persuaded to provide the funds. If the Legislature hesitates, we would suggest that Mr. Patullo make arrangements for a summer session in the park, next year, that he take a bundle of fishing rods instead of the mace, and that flapjacks and slices of bacon be allowed to do duty for bills and orders of the day. If he plays his cards this way he will win, without a doubt. We hope, now that Mr. Patullo has seen the park and has appreciated its attractions and its possibilities, that he will use his influence to have it made more accessible. If the government will let the people in, and make it a playground, they will find no difficulty in keeping the logger out and in saving it from becoming a wreck.


Timber Will Not be Logged Off

Minister Makes Announcement Re-Strathcona Park

Reported in the Comox Argus Thursday August 12, 1926, p.4.

As announced in last week’s paper, Strathcona Park will be preserved. Mr. [Thomas] Patullo came back with his announcement after his trip with other government officials up Buttles lake. They went in on horseback to Buttles Lake and explored it in a canoe. Among other matters which will be studied is the possibility of increasing the size of Strathcona Park by including within in it some particularly fine areas near its present reserve. “There is good commercial timber bordering the lake in places,” Mr. Patullo said, “but one would not choose it as ‘show timber.’ For many miles on either side of the lake there are stretches of non-commercial timber which, from the bird’s eye view, are quite as pleasing as the commercial stands. There are a number of areas at the mouth of creeks flowing into the lake that are very attractive, and these should be preserved. These areas will serve as points from which visitors can radiate up through the deep gulches and to heights reaching as high as 6000 feet. Strathcona will be a resort for those who have leisure and the opportunity to enjoy the hospitality of its rugged beauty. The shore line of Buttles Lake is too sheer for enjoyment of swimming and bathing by small children, and in this sense the lake will not become a popular resort. Strathcona is essentially alpine in character. There are some areas, not now a part of the park reserve, to which consideration might be given, but the undertaking is one of considerable magnitude and requires careful study.”


Hold Meeting in Mountains – Part I

Mayor And Alderman Take Trip to Brown’s River Source

Reported in the Comox Argus Thursday August 19, 1926, p.1.

The Courtenay City Council held its regular meeting on Monday night in the centre of Vancouver Island under the snow crest of Mount Albert Edward, or they might have done if the Mayor had not been too busy flipping pancakes for the crowd, the City Clerk in rustling balsam boughs for the bunks of Anderson’s old cabin and Ald. [William] Douglas in wrangling the horses. Officially, the object of the trip was to set up a water notice on Goose Lake [Lake Helen Mackenzie], which is now recognized as chief source of Brown’s River and this was done properly and in order. The city under this water notice will have the right to take enough water to supply the City of Victoria—or Courtenay when this gets as large as our somnolent neighbor down to the south. It was on Saturday night that Ald. Douglas and City Clerk [Clinton] Wood swam the four horses across the river to the old barn on the Puntledge. Thither the rest of the party followed them on Saturday night to be in readiness for an early start on Sunday morning.

Hit The Hay Early

The whole party consisted of four horses and eight humans and they very literally ‘hit the hay” early in order to get a good start. Save for the shuffling of horses’ feet just on the other side of the stall there was silence for a space until the City Clerk rolled out of the hay at half past three announcing that it was daylight in the swamp and it was time to be up and doing. The dawn of the dun day had come and the Mayor, who learned in all wood craft, soon had the “billy” boiling on the fire and in a few minutes there was tea strong enough to put hair on any chest. The Man of Law, who takes his straight, thought that it was a trifle too skookum but the rest acclaimed it as of “sergeant major” strength. Meanwhile Alderman Douglas had fed and watered the horses. In passing it may be mentioned that it is pretty hard to imagine anyone less like the average portly alderman. “Bill” learnt dog and mushing in the Yukon and horses and packing in the American southwest and since there isn’t much that the Mayor doesn’t know about horses, there is not much danger of the crowd losing their packs. The City Clerk, too, seems to have assimilated a good deal of lore regarding cinches and horse craft and it was no more than half past six when the cavalcade was ready to march. The horses were an assorted lot from the sturdy pony “Sparke-plug” to the twenty-six year old, Minnie, who at a pinch could carry a load along with the best of them though a trifle slow.

A Half Mile Straight Up

About the trail from Bevan. It’s probably not more than a mile and a half to the First Look-Out but it’s straight up. Recently the Mayor has prevailed upon the government to cut a few logs on the trail. “How far,” said the road foreman—who really does look like an Alderman—“how far is this log that needs to be cut?” “Oh, about half a mile from the bridge,” said the Mayor, but he neglected to tell the foreman that that half mile was almost straight up. Anyway, the log was cut.

Up Went the Pack Train

Up went the pack-train, three mounted, one pack-horse and the hikers making good time with the real aid of horse’s tail or a rope trailing from a pack. Up they went: past the first Look-Out where an incomparable view can be obtained of the whole of the Comox Valley: but most of the outfit had been up before several times and so were blase of this particular view: up to Anderson’s first cabin at an elevation of two thousand feet. For twenty years Tommy Anderson, who is now driving a truck out of Merville, set fur-lines in this country and he built himself cabins into the back of beyond which have come in very handy since. In the one on Goose Lake, Tommy lay for three weeks with a broken leg, all by himself and no attendants but the squirrels and an occasional deer—then he was found.

At the First Cabin

After the first cabin the big trees are left behind and there is more open country; beaver ponds and thousands of acres of upland huckleberry of a most delectable flavor. Signs went to show that Brer Bear also found these berries very much to his liking. They are, indeed, delicious and grow in profusion. Now the going is easy through glade and pond—most of them dry this season and this year- until the high rocks are reached, with stunted balsam scattered here and there, and the heather gay with blue, white and red flowers of sub-arctic species. Up goes the cavalcade following the tree-blazes over the north shoulder of Quartz Creek Mountain, a huddle of bare rocks a thousand feet above the trail which crest the divide at four thousand feet down as steeply as it went up through bare passes until the thick forest is reached and horses and men are sliding down fast to the lands below. The worst trouble is with the yellow jackets nests on the trail—there is a wild rearing and lashing out of hooves and an angry buzzing of insects while some of the party got a red hot needle in their ankles—but it was nothing serious. Down again into the wooded country. There is a marked difference in the vegetation of the east and west slopes of the mountain: on the east slope it was so dry that a fiery glance might have set fire to the moss and the bark: on the west slope descending into the valley of Goose Lake the trail was boggy and damp with many springs. Through the boles of the trees on the steep decline one or two incomparable glimpses could be obtained of the delectable country beyond, of its dark tarns on the mountain side still full of water from some hidden source and far below the shine of Goose Lake lying in its meadow.

The Goose Lake Meadows

Down to Goose Lake where Tommy Anderson set his second cabin at an altitude of 3,300 feet in a pleasant grove of trees and here the party made its halt for the night. Rough-Rider Douglas off-saddled and fed the horses and in a few minutes the tea was on the boil over a brisk fire. Just below the cabin trickled a pellucid stream and a few minutes away, the Goose Lake meadows. Set in the middle of the hills where but few white men had seen it till Courtenay began to take an interest in her water works here lies fifty acres of fine pasture, all green with wild grass. The horses were soon munching in it and a picture taken of it would give the impression of some prosperous ranch rather than a meadow where foot of kine [archaic for cows] or sheep has never trod, a play-ground for the deer and the beaver. The meadow tilts gently towards Goose Lake, the object of the party’s expedition. After a hearty meal the Mayor, Chairman of the Board of Works Douglas, Alderman [Theed] Pearse and the Learned Clerk set out on an exploration of the sources of the city’s water. To the east rises a great bastion of rock, one side of the great gorge of Brown’s River: below lie the two lakes. Goose Lake lies about north and south and is about three quarters of a mile long but not very wide although at the exit where Brown’s River begins the water is dark and deep, probably thirty to forty feet.

Geese But No Fish

A small trickle is passing over the stones at the outlet and Brown’s River tumbles steeply down in dark pools. Strangely enough is the clear waters of all these mountain lakes there are no fish but there are many goose feathers and presently the Man of Law with his glasses picked out five magnificent specimens of the Canada goose standing in the water and watching. Presently as the little party moved they rose out of the water with their melancholy “honk-honk”: their deadly foe, man, had arrived. These beautiful Canadian birds evidently breed here and it is one of their ports of call on their southbound flight over the continent: long may it remain a sanctuary for these, the finest and most sagacious of all Canadian birds. The lake on which the geese were seen lies to the east of the main Goose Lake and is higher than it. A twelve foot dam thrown across the outlet would raise water on 100 acres two feet! The water notice was posted by the Mayor on a tree at the foot of Goose Lake where at a very small cost a dam could be thrown across which would conserve all the water Courtenay is ever likely to want. Round Goose Lake were to be found salmon berries as big as logans and everywhere was rank vegetation.

Hold Meeting in Mountains – Part II

Reported in the Comox Argus Thursday August 26, 1926, p.3.

Not the least of the fascinations of this secluded plateau in the centre of Vancouver Island is its aloofness. Thirty-five to forty years ago it was better known than it is to-day: colors of gold were found in a stream on one of those lakes and one of the party picked up a rusty pan, which fell apart in his hands—no doubt a memento of those days. But nothing worthwhile was found and beyond a few trappers like Tommy Anderson these smiling meadows and gleaming lakes have been left to the deer and wild geese. There are no government maps of it, although logging companies have been more enterprising, and it is unsurveyed: from Courtenay to Buttles Lake there is not one man who makes his home in this country. Of course there is a reason: wild Nature here is sheltered and protected by a four thousand foot ridge which rings it on all sides and till the little mining syndicate of Cumberland cut their mining claims at the foot of Mount Albert Edward there was no trail.

An Unspoiled Paradise

Here is a paradise for those who love the wilderness not five miles away from the reek of petrol and hard surfaced roads! Will this country ever be settled? Why not? Goose Lake [Lake Helen Mackenzie] lies at an altitude a thousand feet lower than that of Calgary and the whole of this wild plateau is completely sheltered from the cold winds which make zero weather so trying on the prairies. How do we know this: because there are no dead-falls in the bush: no south-easter or norther has rushed through here and snapped the trees down. Snow falls early and would protect the earth and what grows in it from the severity of the frost. However, we have plenty of land at low altitudes that is to be developed yet and the charm of this plateau is its aloofness from modern life and its untamed solitude. On a brilliant morning the party broke camp at Goose Lake and crossed the meadows for the high plateau to the west, up the trail through defiles of timber until it emerges on a sunlit plateau from which the snow-clad mountains to the west can be seen. Here is our old friend the Glacier, still bathed in snow and ice but with the black masses of rock showing through, and with it other giants of the snow-line. There is nothing but scrub-pine and hemlock scattered over great areas, berry land through which the trail strikes due west towards Nootka Island.

A Woodland Tragedy

Here and there lie dark pools of water, cupped in the heather and here only a few feet from the trail was spread that gay morning a wood-land tragedy. It was all written there plain for a hunter such as Bill Douglas to see. There lay the victim, a three spike buck, fat as a seal from this upland grass. Twenty-five feet away was the scrub tree from which the great cat had sprung as the deer stooped to drink. The claws had raked on neck and flank and the struggle had been feeble and the deer had been thrown down by the force of the impact from the spring. There the deer lay as it fell, save for a hole in the neck and side where the cougar had fed. This was beyond Gosse Lake, a body of water about four times as large as Goose Lake and in the watershed of the Oyster, and about half way to the cabin which the mining syndicate of Cumberland has established at the foot of Mount Albert Edward. It is a commodious cabin as cabins go and is the way with the prospector and the fur-trader where civilization has not come, food and shelter is yours for the taking. If you need it, take it; the unwritten law which is seldom or never broken being that you replace what you can. This our party scrupulously did.

Down Came The Mists

It was the intention of some of the party to scale the seven thousand foot slope of Mount Albert Edward and get a glimpse of the open Pacific to the west. But it was not to be. Even before the party reached the welcome cover of the cabin the mists had shut down until the bush was dripping. The next day it was worse; a steady drizzle set in. Naught could be seen but the trail ahead and careful watch had to be kept for the next “blaze” as the little party wound their way back over the high plateau to Goose Lake meadows and up the tremendous climb to Quartz Creek saddle; over the huckle berry glades beyond and down to Bevan, where the rain ceased and the heavy, moist atmosphere of the Coast brought out the sweat and the stride lagged; a great contrast to the inspiring air of the upper levels. And so home and to bed, as Pepys would have said.


Tragedy in Woods

Remains of Miner Lost 13 Years Ago Found on Cruikshank River

Reported in the Comox Argus Thursday November 11, 1926, p.1.

Lost, himself, in the peaks and valleys of the rugged country back of Comox Lake, Harry Rees stumbled upon the last remains—a boot, a rifle, a few bones of another man, who had been irredeemably lost thirteen years ago. He marked the place as well as he could and then set himself the task of finding his own way out. This done he informed Mr. Conway, the Government agent, at Cumberland, who sent word to the provincial police at Courtenay, who took up the search. There is very little doubt that the remains are those of a man named Cook, a miner who was lost in 1913. At that time the strike was on and many miners having nothing else to do went trapping and hunting. Cook and a partner went into the broken country on the south east branch of the Cruikshank River and built a cabin. One day they both went out and Cook never came back. His partner after vainly searching for him came out and gave the alarm and for days hundreds of men were scouring the bush—but all in vain. It so happened that Mr. Rees was a member of the search party for Cook and he has no doubt whatever that the identification is correct. Under the lee of a tall crag on a little ledge he found a boot. Thinking that it might be of some use to him he was proceeding to take it out with him when he found bones in it and jumped to the correct conclusion.

Other Lost Men

On the report first reaching Cumberland, it was thought that the remains might be that of George Ellison who was lost in the mountains some twenty-three years ago. Old-timers, however, say that the remains found could not possibly be that of George Ellison, as he was lost in the vicinity of Percy McDougal Mountain, which is in an entirely different locality from that which this skeleton was found. A very extensive search was made for Ellison but his body was never found. The next day Constable Condon went back with Mr. Rees and after one of the hardest trips he had ever experienced, says Constable Condon, they found the spot where the boot was and proceeded to make the search. Under two or three inches of moss they found a rifle and a revolver, the butt-end of the rifle half moldered away. With these pathetic, scanty few remains of the tragedy they came out and another mystery of the woods has been solved.






ACC-VI History is a work in progress.