The 24th Section of the ACC: Columbia Mountains

 
 

The newest section of the ACC, designated at the Club’s board meeting in late October, is based out of Revelstoke, BC, a mountain town with deep roots in exploration and guiding. The section will represent a hugely historically important mountain area and will fill in the space on the ACC membership map between our Okanagan (BC) and Rocky Mountain (Alberta) sections. In addition to Revy, the Columbia Mountains Section will service climbers, hikers and skiers from Golden to Salmon Arm and include the Caribou, Monashee, Selkirk and Purcell mountain ranges.

We are happy to be able to grow the ACC family and proud to welcome the Columbia Mountains Section members!

Area History - The Undisputed Birthplace of Canadian Mountaineering

Upon the completion of The Canadian Pacific Railway in 1886, Rogers Pass (the chosen passage through the Selkirk Mountains) became an international hub for valley and mountain exploration. A key figure in the early mapping of the area was Arthur Oliver Wheeler who would later become the ACC’s first President. Wheeler was tasked with surveying work in the Pass in 1901, which he combined with his climbing experience and was able to produce the region’s first climbing guidebook in 1912, The Selkirk Mountains: A guide for Mountain Pilgrims and Climbers.

Mountaineering in “the Pass” was dominated early by the interests of many visiting European climbers, but difficult winter travel and an avalanche disaster in 1910 that killed 62 workers would stifle alpine activities for many years. Canadians would press on though, constructing the A.O. Wheeler Hut in 1946, and after the completion of the Trans-Canada Highway in 1962, Rogers Pass would see a resurgence of interest in climbing.

The town of Revelstoke is the centre for mountain enthusiasts in Rogers Pass, with an expanded list of mountain activities, now including backcountry skiing, mountain biking, mountaineering, alpine rock climbing and XC skiing.

ACC Huts in the area

With the variety of terrain and activities in the area, it’s no surprise that the Pass is also home to a few ACC Huts.

Fairy Meadow and Great Cairn are primarily heli-accessed huts, north of Revelstoke, providing some of the best backcountry shelters for skiing in the winter.

Fairy Meadow Hut in winter. Photo: Pebbleshoo

Powder country. Photo: Dave Preissl

The A.O. Wheeler Hut, Asulkan Cabin, Sapphire Col Hut and Glacier Circle Cabin all provide a variety of climbing, hiking and backcountry winter activities, with varied distances from the closest car lot depending on skill levels and commitment.

A little ways out from Rogers Pass, but still firmly in the range of the Columbia Mountains Section is the Conrad Kain Hut, home to the world-renowned alpine granite climbing.

 Conrad Kain Hut

Conrad Kain Hut

Columbia Mountain Section and the Community

Joining the Columbia Mountains Section will provide community members with a platform to make long-lasting friends to share the outdoors with. Additionally, the section will also provide opportunities for personal development in the form of courses and events in safe learning environments to further your skills.

Courses and events on the docket include (but not limited to):

  • Ski and safety (AST, beginner ski tour, glacier travel)

  • Climbing (Intro to rock, Skaha trips, weekly cragging)

  • Hut visits

  • Movie screenings

Who’s Who of the Columbia Mountains Section

The Columbia Mountains Section will have a Board of Directors, which will be comprised of the following awesome individuals:

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President - Karla Kuharic

Karla’s favourite mountain activity is Mountaineering, walking on glaciers and reaching the top of a challenging climb. On her time off you will find her mountaineering, rock and ice climbing, mountain biking, backpacking, snowmobiling and pow-surfing on her NoBoard.

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Vice President - Dave Healey

Dave has worked in the mountains since 1991, starting with the Rockies around Lake Louise, then slowly moving West following the setting sun. He has been guiding for 13 years now throughout the ranges of BC and the North Island of New Zealand.

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Secretary - Shannon Gibson

Shannon recently returned home to Revelstoke after being in the Yukon for almost 6 years. She enjoys getting out and connecting with the natural world - skiing, camping, hiking and swimming. Not much has changed in her adult life, except she’s added cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, mountain biking and kayaking to the mix.

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Treasurer - Steven Cross

Steven has deep roots in the outdoor industry, helping to bring in big brands like North Face, Patagonia and Timberland to Canada. His former experience as a GM for MEC has helped him establish a local store and B&B in Revelstoke, where he also teaches management and leadership courses to new generations.

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Travis Hunt

Travis has lived in Revelstoke since 2007.  He is a family physician who enjoys the small town lifestyle and availability of outdoor recreation that defines this mountain town. He enjoys backcountry skiing, climbing, mountain biking, and exploring in the surrounding mountains with his family.

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Crystal Como

Crystal has been snowboarding, splitboarding, and adventuring in the mountains for years. More recently, she’s focused on introducing her son to the outdoors through many hiking and backpacking trips. Before moving to Revy she worked for The Alpine Club of Canada in the National Office in Canmore, AB for nearly 10 years and is excited to be involved with the ACC again.

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Ben Wilkey

Born and raised in Revelstoke Ben has been gifted inspiration among the Columbia Mountains for a very long time. Despite having lived in Revelstoke most of his life he can still find true excitement in planning and participating in adventures within these home mountains.

At the heart of mountaineering history

We’re very proud to watch the initiatives of our members in helping to develop the ACC across Canada - it only makes sense that we have a section at the heart of where it all began. As our mountaineering community grows a bit more every day, we look forward to seeing the Columbia Mountains Section grow as well and can’t wait to see what types of adventures they go on!

Welcome Columbia Mountains!


Come join the ACC!

The Alpine Club of Canada has 24 local sections across the country from Newfoundland and Labrador to Vancouver Island and the Yukon. We've been passionate about climbing, hiking and skiing in alpine environments for over 100 years. Everyone is welcome.

The Alpine Club of Canada is open to everyone. Select just the right options for your membership and include a local section affiliation to get the most out of the club in your area.

Join the Columbia Mountains Section or add the section to an existing ACC membership.