Story highlights from the ACC Gazette


Editor’s Note - On any given weekend, from coast to coast to coast of Canada and beyond, you’ll find our 17,000 ACC members climbing, hiking, skiing and exploring mountains, crags, and slopes.

Beginning with our summer 2019 issue of The Gazette, we'll be specifically featuring and highlighting adventure stories from our members, with each issue will including three feature articles from different parts of the country and abroad.

The ACC Gazette is our club’s stories told by our members for our members.

See below for a few examples of what kinds of stories are included and for submission details!

What is the Gazette?

The Gazette’s our print and online publication that includes stories about current ACC events, news, safety tips, history, science and more. But more than anything, it’s an outlet for our members’ stories of adventures from across the country and around the world. We publish the Gazette three times a year (March, July and November) and the core of the content is created and submitted by readers and members like you.

Who can contribute and who reads it?

If you’re a member of the ACC, you can submit a story for consideration. See our submission guidelines here.

The print publication is available to all members of the ACC (all 17,000+ of them) and shared at events we take part in (ie. Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival).

Along with the print publication, the online version is available for all to read and download.

Stories worth sharing:

We’ve collected a few cool stories from the Gazette through the years to inspire you. Read on, link through, and if you start thinking “yeah, I could write something like that”, get in touch.

Our club’s story can’t be told without our members.

Edziza traverse a spectacle of colour and light

As the float plane left us alone, we felt the elation of having arrived in a vast wilderness without an escape route; a world of self-reliance and trust in each other. The saturated alpine landscape immediately embraced us. Its bright blue skies welcomed us as the evening sun began to draw long shadows. Mountains in every shade of gold were capped by pristine snowfields. Green patches interrupted the creek bed gravel. @inga.petri

Vol. 32, No. 1 • Spring 2007 - ACC Yukon and Ottawa member Inga Petri travels to Mount Edziza Park to complete the traverse with Jordan Anderson.

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Indian Creek meet ignites climbers’ common bonds

Most people there had only ever seen pictures of the area’s stupendous and completely unique cracks and had dreams of hand and finger jams dancing in their minds all night. The excitement spilled over to the next day as we loaded five almost full 15-passenger vans with climbing gear and sweaty-palmed climbers. @sarah.hueniken

Vol. 24, No. 2 • Summer 2009 - ACC representative Sarah Hueniken travels to Utah for the first International Climbers’ Meet with the American Alpine Club, where they revel in desert beauty, splitters and camaraderie.

The Lotus Flower Tower

In my haste to pull the ropes down onto the ledge, I forget to take the knot out of the other end. The knot is three metres up in the rain-slicked wall before I realize my error.

“Climb onto my shoulders!”

Nancy climbs up my back and onto my shoulders, her shins digging painfully into my shoulders.

“Hurry!” I wince.

With her nut tool, she barely reaches the knot. @doug.fulford

Vol. 24, No. 2 • Summer 2009 - ACC Ambassador Nancy Hansen and Doug Fulford make a trip to the Cirque of the Unclimbables to send the fabled Lotus Flower Tower.

Yes, there is ice climbing in southern Ontario

Ice climbing in southern Ontario does not offer the above challenges [compared to Canmore], but instead entails different orders of difficulty, including getting up before sunrise to fight traffic, driving for two and a half hours and the honour of fighting through line-ups to find an unoccupied line on a wall of ice that would be deemed diminutive when compared to the ice on a drainage culvert in Canmore, AB.

But that’s all there is in proximity to the ‘big smoke’ and southern Ontario ice climbers love it. The region is called the Muskokas and Skeleton Lake is a popular destination for ice-faring Torontonians. @rob.leblanc

Vol. 19, No. 1 • Winter 2004 - Just a regular (and humorous) day out at one of Toronto’s favourite ice crags with a small group from the ACC Toronto Section.

ACC Safety Committee field test report #6

Both of the tests point out that while a well-placed ice axe may provide a very secure anchor, the holding power depends upon the design of the axe used. Even in apparently good placements in ice, the axe may come out under relatively low loads. Further, these anchors are obviously highly directional in their loading and holding ability. @kevin.o'connell

No. 102 • Autumn 1983 - Technical field testing for the benefit of member knowledge… back in 1983!

Austerity - Audacity - Perversity

On our final evening, we sat around the dinner table in the muted halo of candlelight. Generous amounts of whiskey and wine softened our conversation as we talked of humorous, embarrassing and awkward moments in mountaineering and guiding. Then, inevitably, we spoke of the sadder side of our passion - the near misses, the mishaps and the deaths. As we blew out the candle and retired for the night, I was saddened that the week had come to a close. But at the same time, I appreciated how much each of my guides and teammates had contributed to the rich experiences and enduring memories of the week. @margaret.imai-compton

Vol. 19, No. 3 • Fall 2004 - Margaret Imai-Compton shares her experiences during the 2004 ACC Fairy Meadow Climbing Camp and the summit bid on Mt. Austerity.

Wabi-sabi for alpinists

It may be a philosophical stretch, but this view may provide a framework for managing our climbing experiences. You may have a harness you’ve been using for the last 10 years. It’s comfortable, familiar, and proudly shows the wear marks of someone who’s been on more than a few routes. You love that harness for all those reasons, for its wabi-sabi. Maybe it’s time to move it to the display wall. Maybe it’s no longer a harness but an “objet d’art”. @frank.pianka

Vol. 25, No. 2 • Summer 2010 - Frank Pianka shares his mountain musings on the relationship of the Japanese Zen aesthetic of Wabi-sabi to climbing - how we should cherish the coming and going of our experiences and gear.

Who do I contact to share a story?

Interested in contributing a story to The Gazette? Before you send us your content, please read our submission guidelines at the bottom of this page to ensure a speedy response from our team.

If you have an adventurous member story to tell, please contact

We prefer to work closely with authors. Drop us an email and pitch your ACC story - we'd love to hear from you!