The ACMG is proud to introduce our Honoured and Honorary Members. This august list is comprised of members of the mountain community who have distinguished themselves through their contributions to the guiding profession as well as general mountain safety and knowledge.
It is we who are truly honoured by their membership in our association.
Thank you to our partners for their excellent support and commitment to professional guiding in Canada.
When Tim read The White Spider at age thirteen it "plucked an immediate cord" and before long he found himself climbing the unexplored walls of the Squamish Chief. In the mid-1960s he made the second ascent of The Grand Wall and the first ascent of University Wall. These two climbs established him as a leading Canadian climber, and 35 years later he still holds this distinction.
After Squamish Tim went on to fine achievements in Yosemite, the Rockies and the Himalaya. He climbed Triple Direct and West Face on El Capitan, established new routes on Mount Louis and Yamnuska, pioneered waterfall ice climbing with first ascents of Bourgeau Right-Hand and Bourgeau Left-Hand, and climbed Pumori in the Nepalese Himalaya. In the 1990s, well into his forties, he climbed the east face of Mount Babel, the northeast buttress of Howse Peak, the north face of Mount Temple and the north face of Mount Alberta. On his fiftieth birthday he climbed the modern waterfall testpiece Sea of Vapors, and led his share of the pitches.
Tim has worked all his adult life for the Canadian National Parks system. Beginning in 1967 on trail crew, he later became a seasonal warden for six years at Lake O'Hara in Yoho Park. In the mid-1970s he moved to Banff Park to join the fledgling mountain rescue group, and is now considered one of the leading mountain rescue specialists in North America.
Always full of enthusiasm, yet modest and unassuming, Tim was recognized for his contributions to the mountain community in 1996 when he received the Summit of Excellence Award at the Banff Mountain Film Festival.
Reprinted courtesy of Chic Scott. Photo Pat Morrow
Colani Bezzola came to Canada from Switzerland in 1974 to guide for Hans Gmoser's Canadian Mountain Holidays at the Cariboo Lodge and in Valemount. In 1978 he became the Area Manager of CMH Bobbie Burns and oversaw the construction of the lodge that opened in 1981.
In 1991 Hans asked Colani to take on a new position at CMH as the Mountain Safety Manager where he was instrumental in leading a culture of continual improvement in all aspects of CMH's mountain safety program. He retired from that role in 2011.
Colani's contributions to mountain guiding and mountain safety in Canada span several organizations. In addition to the ACMG he is also an Honourary Member of the Canadian Avalanche Association where he was the Chairman of the Education Committee and one of the developers of the Level 2 curriculum. He was also the Vice President at the time of the founding of the Canadian Avalanche Centre with its mandate of public safety.
Following a number of accidents in the heli-skiing industry Colani was instrumental in the start of the InfoEx, which remains a world-leading daily exchange of observations and assessments between avalanche professionals. And as Chairman of the Standards Committee of HeliCat Canada he established the system of operations inspections that ensure high standards throughout the sector.
But perhaps most importantly Colani has been a true friend and trusted mentor to so many ski guides. He has challenged the status quo and all of us to raise our personal standards and those of our trade. For that we are truly honoured to have him as a member of the ACMG.
Herb Bleuer came to Canada from Switzerland, via New Zealand, in 1969 to work avalanche control at the Grand Duc mine near Stewart, BC. He became a full mountain guide in the Bernese Oberland 2 years later and then found a job heli-skiing at CMH Bugaboos.
Herb was a tireless advocate of the profession of mountain guiding and was the West Coast Director for many years. During his tenure he lobbied the Ministry of Parks and higher levels of government to recognize the ACMG standard as mandatory to guide in BC. And he attended numerous meetings with the Outdoor Recreation Council of BC where he introduced the concept of mountain guiding and heli-skiing as benefits to the region.
Herb's 25 year presence in the Whistler area as a heli-ski employer, a jack of all mountain trades, and a CAA avalanche course instructor, inspired several generations of young skiers and climbers to become certified mountain guides and seek careers in the mountains. His career has spanned a large portion of the modern era of ski guiding, from the early style of seat-of-the pants forecasting to the current style of team meetings and remote weather observations. He is a man who has had the most amazingly wide range of mountain jobs, and is adept at making the right decisions in any hazardous situation.
Daniel Bonzi has been a mountain guide since 1984, actively guiding for 39 years. Originally from France, Daniel has been an ACMG examiner and instructor. He had a long, successful career as a heli-ski guide (in Canada and the Caucases).
He was always respected for his attention to detail and ability to provide a memorable ski holiday for his many guests. Those fortunate enough to work with Daniel heli-skiing, hiking or big mountain guiding recognize what a great mentor he is. Daniel contributed significantly to the development of the Hiking Guide program, including contributions to writing the instruction manual.
Jeff was raised in the desert of Australia which triggered a liking for things cool. He guided in New Zealand, performed post-graduate research in physiology in Antarctica and migrated to Whistler as a professional avalanche controller. Jeff became a mountain guide with the IFMGA in 1978 and was involved in the development of the CMH avalanche safety program in its formative years.
After working with CMH since 1978 he took time out in the late 80's to develop the Emergency Medicine Program in the Banff Hospital, which included building a new Emergency Department, and certified helipad.
Jeff has also been very active in the research and development of backcountry medical protocols along with pioneering work on avalanche terrain exposure classifications and the Heli-skiing Operational Guidelines.
Jeff loves to talk about the Himalayas and offshore sailing.
Guy was president of the ACMG during the mid and late '80s, a time of significant growth in the industry. As president he focused his experience and energy on securing financial stability and establishing professional training standards for the association. These efforts resulted in the funding and publishing of the ACMG's first manual - the Technical Handbook for Professional Guides.
Guy guided with CMH from 1980 to 2012 and, in collaboration with Marc Piché, created and produced a series of Mountain and Helicopter Safety films.
Guy is an award-winning filmmaker, IFMGA mountain guide, professional sailor and commercial fixed and rotor wing pilot. Combining his unique skill sets with a passion for storytelling, Guy's depth of international production experience spans the globe and world's oceans. From 2013 to the present he has been a senior producer of The Amazing Race Canada on CTV.
Guy and Judy live in Banff - they have four sons and a new granddaughter.
Scott was an ACMG examiner for over a decade, and the ACMG West Coast director for several terms. He advocated strongly for specialized guide certifications to fill the demand for ski and rock guides, and he pushed for non-certified guides and institutions to join the ACMG as a national organizing body. He battled hard for the ACMG to accept seat harnesses for all climbing activities, lobbied BC Parks to recognize ACMG certification, encouraged independent guides to gain knowledge and certification through guide courses, and educated numerous wilderness institutions as to what a guide does and what the ACMG is.
Scott worked heliskiing at Canadian Mountain Holidays for seven years and over the course of his career has been an avalanche industry consultant, wilderness film producer, stunt rigger and racecourse designer for productions such as the Eco Challenge that have taken him to numerous locations around the world. Scott has been a dominant figure within the ACMG for decades, providing mentorship and employment for many others within our association.
Dan Griffith claimed he was most comfortable with crampons on his feet. His passion for mountaineering propelled him to climb and guide extensively around the world. In 2006 he made the Guinness Book of World Records by climbing all Seven Summits in 187 days.
Dan was an ACMG examiner and instructor for many years, and was the ACMG technical director for eight years. He guided for decades in Canada and internationally with youths and adults. Dan was a mentor to many guides. These are the bare bones of Dan's contributions to the ACMG and mountain culture.
In June 1909, the 25-year-old Austrian mountain guide Conrad Kain arrived in Canada with the promise of employment as the Alpine Club of Canada's first professional guide. Over the next quarter century, he would register an impressive list of first ascents and original routes in Canada and New Zealand, and he would become a role model for generations of guides and mountain lovers following in his footsteps.
Conrad Kain is credited with 69 first ascents in Canada alone, including Resplendent Mountain and Mount Robson, Mount Farnham, Mount Louis, Howser Spire and Bugaboo Spire, North Twin Peak and Mount Saskatchewan. Between 1914 and 1916 he made about 30 first ascents in New Zealand as well.
While he considered his climb of Bugaboo Spire the most challenging, and it was considered the most difficult alpine climb in Canada until the 1940s, his most notable first ascent was that of Mount Robson in July 1913. He guided Albert MacCarthy and William Wasbrough Foster over the northeast face by hacking hundreds of steps and famously told his clients at the top "Gentlemen, that's so far as I can take you."
Reprinted courtesy of conradkain.com. Photo Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies
Swiss born, Bruno Engler had become a ski racing champion and experienced mountaineer as well as a trained photographer by the time he first came to Canada in 1939. He began working as a ski instructor for Jim Brewster at Sunshine where he lived the quintessential ski instructor’s life, teaching the skill during the day and entertaining his clients with his antics after hours. The following summer he began work as a guide at the Chateau Lake Louise with such veterans as Edward Feuz jr. and Rudolph Aemmer.
During the war Bruno taught survival and mountain warfare as a member of the Canadian Army. During these years he completed many first ski-mountaineering ascents in the Canadian Rockies. Following the war he became interested in film-making. After an unfortunate financial failure involving a trip to northern Canada, he moved to the Crowsnest Pass area where he helped design and build a ski area.
In 1952 he was hired by the Province of Alberta as a photographer and moved to Edmonton. Soon after, he began a forty year career as a freelance cinematographer and film consultant. His outstanding collection of black and white photos taken in the Rockies is a treasured possession of the Whyte Museum and archives in Banff.
One of his greatest talents was that of a storyteller. At this he is said to have been one of the best who ever practiced the art in the Canadian Rockies. During his 35 years of guiding he climbed with mountaineers Frank Smythe, Tony Cromwell, and Georgia Engelhard; politicians including Peter Lougheed, Roland Michener, and Pierre Trudeau; and as a cinematographer worked with movie stars such as Paul Newman, Jimmy Stewart, and Dustin Hoffman.
Syd started guiding at Temple Lodge near Lake Louise Mountain Resort at the age of sixteen. In 1973, he took an Apprentice Guide course with the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG). For nearly 30 years, he worked as a heli-ski guide for Purcell Helicopter Skiing Ltd. Syd showed an early passion for skiing. He skied on Victoria Glacier and around Lake Louise years before the existence of a ski area. In Golden BC, he skied on the hill that today is known as Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. Its location can be attributed to the pursuits of Syd and his colleagues.
To honour his contribution to the Golden community, where he lived with his wife Baeda for many years, Syd Feuz was chosen as the community's 2010 Olympic Torchbearer
Ilona Spaar. Reprinted courtesy of The Consulate General of Switzerland from the "Swiss Guides" catalogue
George is grateful to both Don Vockeroth and Dave Smith for their guidance, prodding, and mentorship in his goal setting and achievement of becoming a Mountain Guide. Dave gave George his first rock and mountaineering lessons and Don pushed him forward. With the foundations in place, George completed both Summer and Winter Assistant Guides courses, allowing him to work with CMH and the Banff National Army Cadet Camp.
By 1983, Lloyd Gallagher hired George as an Assistant Public Safety Specialist with the Alberta Government in Kananaskis Country. Teaching and liaising with a multitude of public safety agencies in and around Kananaskis Country was a key part of George's public safety role. His leadership in this area helped these many agencies participate in safety and security to visitors and participants in such high profile events as the 1988 Winter Olympics and the G7 meeting.
During this time, George actively volunteered with the ACMG in the role of Secretary/Treasurer. Holding this position for over 13 years, he worked alongside six different presidents and completed a variety of thrilling administrative tasks â€“ which are now distributed among four different admin positions! Also during this time, George obtained his Mountain Guide qualification. He then became an ACMG examiner for both levels of ACMG ski guides exams.
In 2010 George left his government job and went back to his roots, guiding for CMH in their Intro to Powder Program and in summer guiding cadets on the Bow Glacier and in Yoho Park for the Yamnuska Adventures program. Back in these roles, George continued to appreciate the approach of his friend and mentor, Lloyd Gallagher: let people learn by experience while supporting both the strongest and the weakest participants.
Peter Fuhrmann arrived in Canada from Germany in 1955 with his friend Heinz Kahl. Starting out in Edmonton the two made their way to Banff where Fuhrmann, having worked in administration for Shell Oil in Germany, accepted the regional draughtsman position for Banff National Park's public works department Fuhrmann started climbing with Kahl, earning his guide's license with Walter Perren in ]961 by assisting with a rescue on Eisenhower Tower. In July 1968, Fuhrmann was appointed regional Alpine Specialist for Banff, Yoho and Kootenay parks Peter served as president, secretary treasurer, as examiner into the late 1970s and was made an honorary member. He continues to guide the Alpine Club of Canada's classic Rockies Panorama Traverse each summer.
Lynn Martel. Reprinted courtesy of The Alpine Club of Canada
After being inspired at an early age by Maurice Herzog's book Annapurna and Edmund Hillary's ascent of Everest in 1953, "Kiwi" arrived in Canada in 1965 on a one-way boat ticket from his native New Zealand. A member of the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides, he worked for 14 years as a guide and manager with Canadian Mountain Holidays, founded by Hans Gmoser in 1957 and now the world's foremost operator of heli-skiing and heli-hiking tours. In 1978, shortly after the creation of the 4,000 square kilometre Kananaskis Country recreation area in the Canadian Rockies, "Kiwi" became emergency services coordinator for a region now visited by over four million people annually. Over the next 18 years, he personally worked on more than 500 rescue missions and trained a search and rescue team of some 30 members, now recognized as one of the best in North America.
In 1999, his concern for solving the problems of others was recognized by the Government of Canada, who awarded him the National Search and Rescue Secretariat's "Outstanding Achievement Award for Search and Rescue in Canada."
Native of Germany and came to Canada in 1957 Robert (Bob) Geber joined Canadian Mountain Holidays in 1966 during the early stages of heli-skiing in the Bugaboos. He has been with the company ever-since and has gained wide experience in all the operational areas of CMH. In 1967 he earned his full mountain guide's diploma. Because of his great ability, and his easy going manner and unceasing humor, he has always been very much in demand as a guide.
In 1973, Radium Glacier Skiing and CMH joined forces to offer ski trips with the Stol Aircraft. In 1975, CMH heli - skiing started its 6th heli skiing area in Radium. With Bob's extensive climbing and heli skiing experience, he was the logical man to manage this operation. Bob worked in this position until the end of 1981 where he has then continued to guide in all areas of CMH and also helping on public relations and marketing. And is the longest serving guide for CMH with over 40 years.
Born in Wengen Switzerland at the foot of the Eiger. A second generation Swiss Mountain Guide Rudi arrived in the Canadian Rockies in 1966 and ended up guiding in the Bugaboo that summer. In 1967 returned to Switzerland at the age of 22 years old to complete his Swiss Mountain Guide diploma. Back in Canada he coached the Banff Ski Runners before guiding in the Bugaboos. The Canadian Wilderness captivated Rudi as it was so nice to on a peak, just you and a client, you couldn't do that in the Alps.
In 1968 he joined the ACMG and in 1969 began more than a decade as an examiner and assumed the position of technical examiner. Rudi dedicated himself to teaching aspiring guides to be as adept on skis as on a sharp end of the rope, just like European guides. During his tenure, he was instrumental in developing the Ski Guide's training program.In 1973 Rudi was the Canada's first ACMG's representive to attend the Union International Associations de Montagnes (UIAGM) annual meeting in Liechenstein This was the Canada first IFMGA meeting and the executive welcomed Canada as the first non-European member.
Hans Gmoser came to Canada at his friend Leo Grillmair's suggestion; eager to climb. He earned his guide's license from Park's Canada in 1953, completing a questionnaire and paying a $2 fee. Gmoser guided summer climbing weeks and ski touring weeks in the winters In 1952, he made the first ascent of Mount Yamnuska's south face, Grillmair's Chimneys, with Grillmair and Isabel Spreat - the first of many ascents that would profoundly influence Canadian climbing.
When some clients expressed interest in using a helicopter to lengthen their ski day, Gmoser followed through. Starting with the Bugaboos Lodge in 1968, he built Canadian Mountain Holidays, the worlds first and largest heli-skiing company; now employing over 100 guides every winter Gmoser served as the ACMG's first technical director as examiner and as president in the 1990s He was made honorary president 1997 and honorary member of the International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations in 1992.
Lynn Martel. Reprinted courtesy of The Alpine Club of Canada
John became a mountain guide in 1967 on the second guide course the ACMG ran. John became ACMG president around 1968. He was president from approximately 1968 to 1974.
Only a year after he became a guide John was involved in a small airplane accident near Golden. The pilot Bernie Royal was killed in the crash and John was injured but not incapacitated. After a period of unconsciousness he in a confused state of mind started to walk out to Golden which was about 15 miles away on an old forestry road. It was spring and the snow was bottomless and deep which made a seemingly doable trip a real epic. He struggled for 3 days and in the process of walking out and developed frostbite it his feet which required major surgery. He has a prosthesis on each leg - one 8 inches below and the knee the other mainly of the foot. John was one never to be defeated by such a disability. 18 months after his accident he climbed the gooseberry route on the back of Tunnel Mountain.
John currently still skis at an expert level and occasionally still teaches skiing. He has recently done several weeks of lodge based ski touring and did a first ascent on Robinson peak north of Golden.
Brian Greenwood is a legend in the Rockies, having been at the cutting edge of Canadian climbing in the 1960s. Born in Yorkshire, England, his climbing philosophy influenced by reading Rebuffat, Buhl and Gervassutti, Brian arrived in Canada in 1956 and quickly established himself within the Calgary Mountain Club and racked up an unprecedented resume of serious new routes.
On Yamnuska, his name became synonymous with steep, classic and conservatively-rated routes such as Belfry, Corkscrew, Missionary’s Crack, Balrog, and the most famous of all, Red Shirt, certainly one of the most popular rock climbs in the area. But it was on serious alpine routes that he really established his reputation. In 1957, Brian established the first route up the steep quartzite of the Tower of Babel at Moraine Lake. The following year, with Dick Lofthouse he completed the fourth ascent (and first in one day) of Mount Alberta. Three new routes were completed in 1961: the North Ridge of Mount Babel, the Northwest Ridge of Deltaform, and the North Face of Mount Edith. In 1966, he set new standards of commitment with his new route on the North Face of Mount Temple, the now famous Greenwood-Locke route. But his crowning achievement may well have been the epic East Face of Mount Babel in 1970. Brian’s last serious climb in the Rockies was the North Face of Mount Kitchener, followed by Salathe Wall in Yosemite, which he climbed in 1974. He retired to the West Coast in 1982.
Brian Greenwood was one of the founding members of the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides, but he lists his most important contribution to Canadian climbing as representing an alternative attitude to the sport, which was more attractive to the younger generation of climbers who emerged in the 1960s.
Leo Grillmair grew up in Austria, where at 15 he was training for mountain warfare when WW II ended. After exploring the mountains of Austria and northern Italy for six years, he came to Canada with Hans Gmoser, taking his guides exams with Walter Perren in 1957. A plumber by trade, he ran construction of Canadian Mountain Holidays’ Bugaboo Lodge through the summer of 1967. He was Lodge Manager and head guide for 25 years, many of those with his wife Lynn as chef. Grillmair served as the ACMG’s first secretary treasurer and as examiner, but soon became to busy hosting guests at the Bugaboos. He retired from guiding in 1992 to hike and ski tour and travel the world.
Lynn Martel. Reprinted courtesy of The Alpine Club of Canada
Diny broke the norms of conventional female occupations in 1992, when she became the first female ACMG/IFMGA moun- tain guide. Leading up to that point she taught rock climbing and mountaineering at the Banff National Army Cadet Camp, worked for Yamnuska Mountain School, and ski patrolled at Lake Louise for several years.
In 2001 Diny volunteered on the board of directors and went on to become the first female vice president (1 year), and then president (3 years), of the ACMG. By extension, she also became the first female representative of an IFMGA countryâ€” in the world! Not one to conform to status quo, Diny took the opportunity to reconfigure the ACMG and helped create a more dynamic association with broader goals, by implementing a visioning session which resulted in the ongoing revision of the constitution and by-laws.
Diny worked 17 years at CMH (nine as assistant manager), 16 years for a German Guide Office in Europe, and currently at Mustang Powder Catskiing, but she is so much more than her accomplishments. Always interested in health and holistic healing, Diny successfully overcame cancer through natural meansâ€”something that took the same intellectual curiosity, determination, and discipline as it did to become a mountain guide. She is funny, energetic, and truly a one-of-a-kind friend and mentor to many.
Bruce is equally known to the guiding community. Most of us rely on many of the decision making tools that Bruce has developed. Rutschblocks, compression tests, fracture character and snow profile interpretation are basic tools we take for granted however we owe Bruce the credit for taking these tools from the realm of voodoo to professional practice.
Bruce's role in training is huge. Contributions to the CAA Education Committee, educator on CAA ITPs; and annual ongoing training of Ski and Mountian Guides makes his influence felt through all our winter work. Unlike many researchers, much of Bruce's work had it's genesis in the needs of the guiding community and as such retains a particularly useful and practical bent. We would like to recognize Bruce for his huge contribution.
"Ken Jones is a real guide, he takes people out, has them do more than they ever thought possible, and brings them home laughing and talking about an early start in the morning." Lizzie Rummel, a mountain legend in her own right, used these words to describe the man who completed two first ascents in the Vermilion Range during the summer of 1933.
Born in Golden in 1910 (or maybe it was 1912, he wasn't sure), Ken was raised on a homestead in the Columbia Valley on what he referred to as a "stump ranch." He was in his second year of medical school at McGill University when the depression hit and his money ran out. He returned home to become a mountain guide, but along the way completed degrees in engineering and biology by correspondence. His experiences with Walter Feuz and Katie Gardiner in 1933 marked the beginning of a remarkable career as a mountain guide. The first alpine guides in the Rockies had been "imported" from Europe in the late nineteenth century and even thirty-five years later all the practicing guides were European. Ken was able, through hard work and a winning personality, to become the first Canadian born mountain guide.
As well as being an alpine guide, his life has included working in the Yukon in the mining industry, becoming a pilot during World War II, training the legendary Lovet Scouts in mountain warfare, training to be a commando himself, becoming accomplished in the construction of log buildings, and studying polar bears in Churchill, Manitoba. In addition, from 1967 until 1974 he was the first warden of Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park.
Ken resided with his family in Nanton, Alberta until his death in 2004. He passed away suddenly and was a regular visitor to the Assiniboine and Skoki areas where, well into his ninties, he led visitors into the mountains he loved and knew so well.
Leo Grillmair recalled that Heinz Kahl "was the happiest character I've ever seen." Don Vockeroth remembered his "tremendous enthusiasm." It brought a great sorrow to the climbing community when he died of leukemia when only 33 years old. Kahl came to Canada from Germany in 1955. With his friend Peter Fuhrmann he first settled in Edmonton, but soon moved to Banff where he worked for the government on highway construction He was already an experienced climber when he arrived, and in Canada he found a land of opportunities. He was a dreamer and always had plans for new climbs His finest routes were on Yamnuska: Diretissima in 1957, and Red Shirt and Chockstone Corner 1962 and 1963. In 1958 he made the third ascent of Mount Alberta.
He was a founding member of the ACMG (the inaugural meeting took place at his cabin near Lac des Arcs), and with Hans Gmoser formed Rocky Mountain Guides which eventually grew to become Canadian Mountain Holidays. Heinz Kahl fought his illness right to the end. In the summer of 1966 he made an attempt on the north face of Mount Temple with Charlie Locke and Brian Greenwood, but was too weak to continue. Just the day before he died he could still be found on the ski hill.
Rudi Kranabitter grew up in Neustift, Austria and was an avid climber from a young age. In 1968, fresh faced at16, Rudi climbed the north face of the Eiger - one of the youngest ever to climb the wall. Clearly talented, in 1969 Rudi completed the Austrian guides training program and became a UIAGM Mountain Guide at the age of 18.
In 1972 Rudi came to Canada - not speaking a word of English - to work as a ski guide for Canadian Mountain Holidays, and to lead summer climbing trips in the Bugaboos. He thrived in Canada, quickly learning English and becoming immersed the Canadian mountains. By 1976, Rudi had become involved in the ACMG Training and Certification programs, and he continued in this capacity until last year - almost 30 years.
For many guides Rudi is their most respected icon and mentor. He represents what we all aspire to be: safe, efficient, highly skilled, and maintaining a love for the mountains year after year. In some circles he is jokingly referred to as the “Wayne Gretzky of guiding”.
Yet despite his elevated status, Rudi has always remained firmly grounded. His dry sense of humor is legendary among aspirant guides, having provided countless young hopefuls with moments of panic while being examined - followed afterwards by years of laugher and storytelling. Within the ACMG, tales of Rudi are famous and told with great delight through several generations of mountain guides.
Pierre arrived in the Banff/Lake Louise area in 1965 at age 18 to hike, climb and explore the mountains. He also began his progression from knowing a few words of English to fluency. Work at the Chateau Lake Louise, Lake Louise ski hill and the Plain of Six Glaciers Tea house supported the hiking, climbing, skiing and photography that filled his time off.
From 1971 to 1974 Pierre worked at Rogers Pass. In 1975 he started working for CMH in all the different areas, plus ski touring, climbing etc. He worked as a Examiner for the ACMG from 1980 to 1990, alongside Rudi Kranabitter & Kobi Wyss. He has worked at the Cadet Camp for 23 years; Pierre is an Honorary Platoon Member. Pierre has been a major influence on a generation of mountain guides, through his work as an examiner with the ACMG Certification Program and his mentorship of guides in various places of work.
The following tribute from Dave Stark captures the essence of Pierre's contribution to the guiding community: "Pierre was my examiner on three of my four exams, starting in 1989 and ending in 1992. At the time it was primarily Rudi and Pierre doing the courses. All of the candidates knew that if Rudi stepped in and told you to take a certain route you were going to be extremely challenged. When Pierre suggested a certain way or route, that was always the safest and most reasonable way to go. Pierre exemplified caution in the mountains and taught us all how to travel with safety as our first priority. He showed a genuine interest and care for the well-being of all the candidates; this taught us how to look after our guests. Pierre disarmed us and eased the exam stress with his obvious love for the environment and also, of course, with his corny puns and play on words. He kept us calm and created smiles. It was always a pleasure to spend time in the mountains with him."
Dick Lofthouse was one of the founding members of the British expatriate fraternity, When he came to Canada in 1954 he had already been climbing several years in the Lake District and was leading climbs of 5.7 to 5.8 standard, At first he had difficulty finding someone to climb with, but when Brian Greenwood showed up they established a partnership that lasted several years Perhaps their finest achievement together was the fourth ascent of Mount Alberta in 1958. It was the first time the mountain had been climbed without a bivouac, Lofthouse returned to England at the end of the decade to do a Master's degree in biochemistry, but by 1962 was back in Canada, By now the CMC was in full swing, and "all the like minded people were getting together."
Lofthouse teamed up with Greenwood and Heinz Kahl in June of that year to finish Red Shirt on Yamnuska. That same year he also climbed Gollum Grooves and over the next few years added Chockstone Corner, Bottleneck and Pangolin his list of first ascents, In 1968, with Greenwood, Archie Simpson and Jon Jones, he made the first winter ascent of Eisenhower Tower on Castle Mountain.
Originally from the north of England, Eric Lomas took up rock climbing at 18, making four trips to the Alps before coming to Canada in 1955 in his mid 20s. He reached Banff in 1957, took his guide’s exam with Walter Perren in 1960 and operated the Banff Climbing School (BCS) with Peter Fuhrmann in the early 60s. Lomas worked avalanche control for the US Forest Service in Washington Sate, taught skiing and worked avalanche control at Lake Louise under Walter Perren. He was Whistler's ski hill manager before accepting an avalanche control job in Stewart B.C. from 1967 to 1969, where he was the first civilian in Canada to use the avalauncher. Returning to Banff in 1980, Lomas took over the BCS and guided and taught avalanche safety courses with Bernie Schiesser. He served as ACMG secretary treasurer for four years in the mid 80s. He now operates Campbell Icefield Chalet with Schiesser.
Lynn Martel. Reprinted courtesy of The Alpine Club of Canada
Lloyd MacKay was an inspiration to all of his friends. He was an active member of the Banff community, and a first-rate lawyer who also worked hard on behalf of the Stoney Indians. On the occasional free weekend he would climb. A gifted mountaineer, Lloyd was unique in that he could climb at a high standard with little training and after weeks of inactivity.
Lloyd was born in 1939 in Nova Scotia. After graduating from his law studies he moved west, and by the mid 1960s had a practice established in Banff. During his prime he pioneered the hardest routes of the day: Forbidden Corner(1964) and The Bowl(1965) on Yamnuska, and the outstanding northeast buttress of Howse Peak (1967). He explored the climbing potential of Tunnel Mountain, and also discovered the East End of Rundle where he put up the first line called Guideâ€™s Route (1970). Most of the routes on Bankhead Buttress along the east face of Cascade Mountain are MacKay routes climbed in 1971. Lloyd climbed on several occasions in the French Alps, making ascents of the south ridge of the Aiguille Noire de Peuterey, the east face of the Grand Capucin, the north face of the Aiguille du Dru and the north face of Les Courtes.
Lloyd died of cancer in 1976. In 1990 he was posthumously elected an Honorary Member of the ACMG.
The Father of Modern Mountain Rescue in Canada's National Parks.Legend tells that as soon as Walter Perren arrived in 1950 at Lake Louise after the long trip from Switzerland, he stepped off the train and "stretched his legs" with a climb of the needles between Mt. White and Mt. Niblock.
Perren came from a famous family of Swiss mountain guides in Zermatt, home village of the legendary Matterhorn that he climbed not less than 140 times. After his contract with CPR ended in the autumn of 1954, Perren stayed in Banff with his family. By February1955, he received an offer to work for the Canadian National Parks Service.
Under Perren, mountain rescue as an integral component of the warden function had begun. Eventually, Perren became the Chief Warden of Mountaineering Services, a position that soon after evolved into the roles of the National Parks Alpine Specialists.He pioneered the use of the helicopter as an aid for transport in rescues and instituted the technical rope and cable systems that form the basis of today's system.
Walter is credited with proposing the formation of the ACMG. In 2013 he was posthumously elected an Honorary Member.
Willie Pfisterer grew up in a family of mountain guides near Salzburg, Austria, climbing his first 3000 metre peak at 11 and competing on the national Nordic ski team. Pfisterer arrived in Quebec's Laurentian mountains in 1955 with Frank Stark and taught skiing there. His first Canadian climb was a solo ascent of Mount Sir Donald in Rogers Pass, his first guiding work with Bill Harrison on an Alpine Club of Canada camp. Earning his Apprentice guide's license in Austria, in 1955 he passed his guide's test in Jasper under Tony Messner.
Pfisterer helped develop downhill skiing in at Penticton's Big White and in Jasper and was instrumental in developing Rogers Pass' avalanche research program. With Walter Perren, he trained wardens through rescue school and in 1968 became Parks Canada Alpine Specialist responsible for Jasper, Revelstoke, Glacier, Kluane and Nahanni parks.
Pfisterer served as examiner on several ACMG guide's exams.
Lynn Martel. Reprinted courtesy of The Alpine Club of Canada
William Lowell Putnam was born in Springfield, Massachusetts in the United States in 1924 and studied geology at Harvard University. Putnam has filled many positions in the American Alpine Club. In 1957 he became the editor of the AACâ€™s Canadian guidebooks. Later he served as Councillor, Director, Treasurer and last but not least President from 1971-73. Putnam was responsible for overseeing the construction of three mountain cabins in western Canada.
For 30 years he was the U.S delegate to the UIAA and for many years he also represented Canada. Since 1974 Putnam sat on the UIAA Council and he was elected Vice President in 1993. He was the main drafter of the UIAA Kathmandu declaration on the protections of mountains, which was adopted by the General Assembly in 1982.. Bill Putnam is an honorary member of the Appalachian Mountain Club (America's oldest such society), the American Alpine Club, the Alpine Club of Canada, and the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides.
William Lowell Putnam was elected UIAA honorary member in 2002.
Growing up a 100km NE of Switzerlandâ€™s Matterhorn - to which Mount Assiniboine is frequently compared, Sepp Renner devoured Jack London's books and dreamed of coming to Canada, "The land of Adventure". With help from his uncle who was a professional mountain guide, Sepp earned his Swiss Mountain Guides license.
For 14 winters he guided for Canadian Mountain Holidays and helped pioneer heli-skiing and ski touring in Canada. Then in 1983 seeking a more family- friendly environment, he took over management of the Assiniboine Lodge.
Barb & Sepp Renner operated Assiniboine Loge for over 30 years. This became his stopping ground, the place where he raised his family and where he truly felt at home. Sepp is a grandpa, philosopher, storyteller and your ultimate guide.
Sepp has spent a lifetime of guiding in the mountains. With the complete contentment, the ease of his movements and the passion for the mountains still pouring out of him, he embodies what it is to be a mountain guide.
Bob Sandford is a well known speaker and consultant on the history, nature and culture of the Canadian West. Bob is an historian, a respected film-maker, a playwright and the author of seven books on life in the Canadian Rockies, as well as two commissioned corporate histories. He has addressed hundreds of conferences and gatherings all over North America on a variety of subjects related to the way people perceive where they live and places they visit.
After working for seven years with the National Parks Service of Canada, Bob Sandford established his own consulting company offering natural and cultural history training for national park operators. Since 1976, his consulting experience has expanded to embrace human resource, environment and tourism issues in more than 70 Canadian private and public sector organizations.
With more than 40 years experience studying avalanches, Peter Schaerer spent most of his career as a senior research officer and head of the Avalanche Research Center of the National Research Council of Canada.
He was instrumental in forming the Canadian Avalanche Association and in setting up professional avalanche training programs in western Canada, now recognised internationally. Peter held the position of the President of the Canadian Avalanche Association from 1981 to 1984.
Peter is a 1999 recipient of the Order of Canada, for his contributions to avalanche safety work in Canada and the world.
Bernie grew up in Moberly BC. With a background in the outdoors and skiing - stimulated by Ken Jones a neighbor - Bernie worked for the location survey over Rogers Pass in 1966 and continued on the following winter as an "avalanche observer". With a BC industrial First Aid background Bernie became the patrol foreman at Lake Louise where he worked with Hans Phillip a Swiss guide. Several serious climbing routes with Hans gave Bernie the skills and interest to further develop his mountain skills. With 2 seasons working for Yoho Park he became the "Alpine Technician" based at Lake O'Hara.
Bernie attended Warden Rock Schools with Walter Perren which increased his skill and rescue knowledge. In 1967 Bernie attended the second Canadian Mountain Guides course. Starting in 1967 Bernie and John Gow started a mountaineering school for teenagers called High Horizons. Active in the ACMG Bernie became Vice President and then President in 1974 and was president until 1980.
In 1999 Bernie and Eric Lomas started a ski lodge 43 km. North of Golden adjacent to the Campbell Icefield.
Peter Schlunegger is the fourth generation of Swiss mountain guides in his family, and the first since his great-grandfather Karl at the turn of the 20th century to work in Canada.
In 1967, on his way back from a trip to New Zealand where he worked as a guide, Peter, along with Swiss friend Herb Bleuer, stopped in Banff to work as ski instructors at Lake Louise.
A year later he was offered the opportunity of a lifetime by Hans Gmoser - a position as a guide with the fledgling heli-skiing company, Canadian Mountain Holidays (CMH).
During the early â€˜70s he completed his Swiss Mountain Guide Certification, guided numerous ski touring trips in the Rockies and throughout B.C., and led a group of glaciologists to Mt. Logan, Canadaâ€™s highest peak. As well, in 1975, Peter became a partner with Rudi Gertsch and began working together developing Mountain Canada.
In 1978, Schlunegger looked at expanding into Revelstoke and started Selkirk Tangiers Heli Skiing, becoming one of the pioneers of heli-sking in Canada.
As a child in Bern, Switzerland in the 1930s, Hans Schwarz skied to school every day, climbing on limestone cliffs after classes. In the Swiss Army he advanced his skiing and climbing skills to join the elite corps. In 1956 he arrived in Toronto, learned to canoe then made his way to Hinton, AB. He helped cut the Banff-Jasper highway route and worked for Parks Canada at the Whistler's Mountain ski hill. After taking mountaineering and rescue courses through the warden service, he passed Walter Perren's guide's exam in 1962.
Based in Jasper, Schwarz climbed Robson a dozen times. He served as ACMG vice president before becoming president in 1969 and served as Apprentice examiner to Brian Greenwood on the first exam in 1966. Schwarz retired from guiding in 2000 and was made an honorary member.
Chic Scott was born in Calgary in 1945 and is a fourth generation Albertan and a third generation Calgarian. In 1962 he took up mountain climbing and skiing and these two passions have dominated his life ever since. He was part of the first wave of homegrown Canadian climbers who were to earn their place in this British and European dominated sport.
Chic was the first Canadian to break into the international climbing scene, when for five seasons during the 1960's and 1970's he climbed and guided in the European Alps in the employ of Dougal Haston. During this period he climbed the north faces of the Aiguille du Dru, Dent d'Herens, Les Courtes, the Aiguille d'Argentiere, and the Aiguille de Triolet. In 1973 he was one of the first Canadians to climb in the Himalaya as a member of a British Expedition to Dhaulagiri IV.
Chic founded the Canadian Himalayan Foundation in 1977, served as president of the Calgary Mountain Club (1985-1987), organized The Calgary Climbers Festival in 1988 and founded the prestigious John Lauchlan Award in 1995. Chic's original idea to hold a Banff Mountain Film Fesival has grown into the largest event of its kind in the world.
In 1995 Chic was elected an honourary member of the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides, in 1997 an honourary member of the Calgary Mountain Club, and in 2000 and honourary member of the Alpine Club of Canada. In 2000 he received the Banff Mountain Film Festival Summit of Excellence Award for a life-time's contribution to the mountains.
Dave has had an amazing life in the mountains and was also guiding in Europe for Dougal Haston at the International School of Mountaineering at Leysin Switzerland from 1971 to 1973, instructing and leading many technical rock & serious alpine ascents in the Monte Rosa area.
In 1974 he received his assistant guides course and in 1975 he became a full ACMG Mountain Guide of the UIAGM.
Over the last 43 years Dave has taught and examined on many ACMG courses and certainly was a mentor for the ACMG hiking program. Plus pioneering many long and difficult ski traverses from the Rogers Pass to the Bugaboos and the Northern Selkirks & the Monashees.
For over 40 years Dave has worked for the ACC on many of their camps and has a extensive group of personal clients, plus taking over the 55 plus program.
Most of his focus has been as avalanche forecaster at Kootenay Pass; his tenure was very large, stretching from Fernie to Grand Forks and operating out of Nelson. It was an amazing effort to organize the road maintenance contractors when he had to ratchet up the Avalanche Hazard.
He also was lead instructor for the Level 1 & 2 CAA courses. And in 2016 he finally hung up his credentials after a stellar career of sharing his knowledge of avalanche safety.
Frank Stark and Willie Pfisterer came from the same Austrian town; they came together to Canada in 1955. Starting in Quebec's Laurentian mountains, they drove west in Stark's car, taking odd jobs in logging camps and accepting Salvation Army accommodations. When they finally arrived and caught their first sight of the Canadian Rockies, Stark kissed the pavement, having not seen mountains for a year.
Stark was a strong climber and guided with Gmoser on Mount Robson in 1957. He took his guide's exam with Walter Perren that year, but retired soon after shattering his kneecap in a car accident. Hans Gmoser coaxed him out of retirement to work in the Bugaboos Lodge after it opened in 1968. Tragically, Frank was killed in a crash while flying his own plane in 1984.
Chris is well known to most ACMG members. He has been involved in avalanche field work, education and consulting since the mid 1970's. Chris had a key involvement with the early BCIT avalanche courses and as such has been an educator and mentor to several generations of ACMG guides. Several key initiatives have felt Chris's hand including: the formation of the CAA & CAP; the development of the INFOEX - which are major influences to daily guiding decisions.
His contribution to operational training and standards continues to set the bar to which Mountain Guides are trained to. Work in the area of legal defence has strengthened and clarified the standards to which Guides are held accountable. We would like to acknowledge his contribution to professional guiding over the last 30 years.
Hans Peter Steller was born in Grindelwald Switzerland a small town at the foot of the Eiger and has had the Hotel management & Mountain Guiding in his blood every-since. After graduating from Hotel management in Lausanne, he immigrated to Canada in 1968 to learn English and explore the mountains. After working in the Bugaboos and Mt Assiniboine he went back to Switzerland and passed his guides exams in 1974. The experience cemented his attachment to Canada, and which opened the door to his involvement with the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides, where he finished off his guiding courses and worked with some of the legendary figures at that time.
Hans Peter attended the IFMGA annual meeting in 1974 in Briancon, France where he made a formal presentation for Canada's inclusion to all the delegates, including Walter Bonatti & Anderl Heckmair. For the next decade Hans Peter represented Canada in twice yearly trips to IFMGA's meetings in Europe.In 1978 he decide to settle down in Canada permanently and bought Rocky Mountain Chalets in Canmore and has been able to offer local clubs and host teams accommodations from all over the world for Cross Country racing & Dog Sledding.
Ferdinand (Ferdl) Taxbock was born in Vienna, Austria on June 15th, 1942. In 1967 Ferdl decided he would like to visit his father in Mexico, but to enable this trip financially he needed work on the American continent. Canada was the country to grant him a work visa and it was as a farmhand. Ferdl contacted and met with Hans Gmoser who hired him as a guide for the summer of 1968. The general mountaineering camp at Lake O’Hara (1968) was Ferdl's introduction to the Alpine Club of Canada. As well, he guided climbs in the Bugaboos and in the Banff area. Ferdl states "climbing and guiding in Canada was heaven for me."
Ferdl joined the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides in 1968. He was an instructor on guides courses and volunteered some time with the Association, as when he represented the ACMG at the International Conference in 1996. He was also a lifelong member of the Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists of Alberta. As well, he volunteered with the "Kids Stay in School" program where underprivileged children were given free ski lessons.
Until his death in 2013 in a climbing accident in the Bugaboos, Ferdl continued to be active as a Mountain Guide, often in the employ of the Alpine Club of Canada, particularly for the "Plus 55" camps. Most every August he had been invited back to Innsbruck, Austria, to teach mountain rescue techniques to medical doctors.
It is very rare that a non-ACMG member receives an honorary member recognition. In fact, there are only six individuals who have garnered this recognition in the history of the ACMG. Peter is the seventh. This is because it takes an enormous contribution to the ACMG to receive this recognition. Peter has earned this in spades. Yes, Peter was 'hired' as the Executive Director, a position he has occupied for 16 years. But if I were to guess, I would say that he has volunteered at least as many hours as he was ever paid for. He has a firm belief in volunteerism, and he has walked the talk in every way. Peter changed the course of our association, (not unlike trying to change the course of the Titanic..), and has brought it from teen hood into adulthood. His dedication to protecting the public interest has resulted in positive and critical reforms, and his deep caring for our members has helped many get through difficult times.
I am incredibly honored to have worked with Peter for six years on the Board of Directors, and to be able to present him with this recognition. Thank you, Peter, for 16 years of dedication to the ACMG and its members.
Born in Drumheller, Alberta, in 1937, he was first introduced to mountaineering through the pages of a boy's magazine. Using army entrenching tools as ice axes, his first climbs were along the frozen banks of the Red Deer River.
When he was eighteen years old he moved to the mountains, where every spare moment was spent learning climbing techniques. Before long he was the leading climber of his generation, pioneering Missionary's Crack (1964), Forbidden Comer (1964) The Bowl (1965), Pangolin (1965), Corkscrew(1967) Mum's Tears(1968) and Kahl Wall (1971), all on Yamnuska. They were amongst the hardest climbs North America at the time. Don also excelled as an alpinist, his finest achievement being the first ascent of the Northeast Buttress of Howse Peak (1967). He also made first ascents of the North Face of Mount Biddle (1968) and the North Face of the South Tower of Mount Goodsir (1970).
His climbing achievements and appreciation of mountain environments led to his designation as patron of the 16th annual Alpine Club of Canada Mountain Guides Ball in 2005. Don became a Mountain Guide in 1967 and was one of the first Canadian born members of the IFMGA. He also worked as a trainer and examiner on ACMG Guide Courses.
As someone who inspires without intention, Kobi's subtle style of mentorship has touched the careers of countless ACMG members since the early 70's.
Kobi travelled from Grindelwald, Switzerland to Canada in 1971 where he worked in Lake Louise as a millwright for a short time before starting what has become a forty-five year (and counting!) career with CMH Heli-Skiing. In the early years, Kobi ran the ski touring program while spending many days guiding in the Bugaboos and Rockies during the summer months. Throughout his time at CMH, Kobi has filled many roles including operations manager, radio technician and, has guided in most CMH areas both in summer and winter. For the last decade, Kobi has spent most of his time sharing his wisdom at CMH Bugaboo Lodge.
He was a popular instructor with the ACMG guide training program having worked a variety of courses in the mountain guide stream through the late 70's until the mid-2000's in the hiking guide program. He also did a stint as the technical director. Kobi's quiet, adventurous spirit has steered him to take the path less travelled both recreationally and with his private guiding. Through his numerous remote traverses and expeditions, Kobi has explored many parts of the Canadian mountains that rarely see human traffic.
A creative and resourceful problem solver, Kobi is a reliable and welcome friend when problems arise. Kobi is also famous for knowing exactly when to start growing his winter beard. Once you notice he has stopped shaving, it is time to start waxing your skis!