Alpine Club of Canada

Gazette Summer 2018

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2018 Board election I n accordance with Club Bylaws, we are happy to report the results for the 2018 elections to the national Board of Directors: David Foster, Ottawa — VP Services and Athletics Toby Harper‑Merrett, Montreal and under Bay — VP Sections Zac Robinson, Edmonton — VP Mountain Culture (acclaimed) David, Toby and Zac will each serve a three‑year term expiring in 2021. 28 The Alpine Club of Canada Gazette Summer 2018 Climbing Rocks! by tom gnyra A s climbing season slowly moves in, I start remembering all the reasons why I love this sport. From chasing shade in the depths of summer to numbing out from the cold in the fall, I cannot wait to get this year of climbing started. I started climbing in the great province of Québec, where the tight knit com‑ munity feeling kept everyone together. In the East, there are many months of cold weather followed by many months of sweaty, hot summer days. Making the most of every day was just part of it all. I initially started climbing in univer‑ sity. I joined a group of ragtag climbers who met every Friday for a night of social climbing. Larry, the leader, entrusted us to his quickdraws and old shoes, making sure we were being safe when top‑roping at Lac Larouche. Being originally from Alberta, I couldn't wait to move back to experience the mountains I knew in this new and different way. What I didn't know, however, was how dramatically different my life would become after climbing took root into my soul. I thought I wouldn't become some‑ one who obsessed over weather. Turns out that rock climbing is much more involved when you are chasing that perfect day and the perfect venue. Admittedly, Alberta does have a fair share of good weather, and climbing here is much more access‑ ible due to nature's cooperation. What's even more important than good weather is having a community to support each other and to keep access open for all. Climbing in Québec is very different from climbing in the West. Climbing on people's property seems inconceivable when growing up in Alberta, but climbing in the East is very much surrounded by access issues and grey areas. When I was there, I knew it was important to join local climbing initia‑ tives and to take care of the crags. I was a card‑carrying member of the FQME (Fédération québécoise de la montagne et de l'escalade) and an active participant in all climbing related initiatives. I knew how precious it was to keep our areas open for all and how quickly access can be removed to groups that don't take the proper care to treat climbing areas with respect. Admittedly, I've never used e Alpine Club of Canada as a resource to learn or to lead rock climbing. I am much more involved within the ski programs, helping with the BIT (Backcountry Skiers in Training, Rocky Mountain Section) pro‑ gram when I have time. However, as more and more climbers get started, I hope to see what resources I can help with or participate in. I've recommended the ACC to many friends due to the ease of access that it brings to participating in this sport. e evening top‑roping, Introduction to Rock program (Rocky Mountain Section) and seminars are all great resources to have access to. My girlfriend, Sarah, who's also been climbing for as long as I have, has used the ACC to learn to backcountry ski Tom Gnyra sticks a dyno on some of the Rockies' best rock at Echo Canyon, just a 50-minute (ish) hike from the ACC Clubhouse. photo: greg tos as well as the occasional afterwork crag‑ ging session. I also commend the ACC for all the fighting they do for access as well as pro‑ viding medical insurance to rock climbers [through partnership with TuGo Travel Insurance]. Climbing is much more enjoyable when you know that breaking a bone won't ruin your savings account. Before moving back to Alberta from Québec, Sarah and I took a few months to travel the USA, and this service was vital in us knowing we'd be covered for all of life's adventures. e ACC also has a great culture, knowing that climbing is something that ought to be respected and preserved. As more climbers are coming through the gym scene, it's important to impart these values to new climbers. I hope that our areas stay clean and well managed as we grow into an even larger community. Returning to Alberta has been such a great and magnificent time. I've met many climbers through different avenues. Being able to forge friendships all while complaining about conditions and get‑ ting scared on rock faces is what makes climbing one of the best sports I've ever participated in. is year I hope to continue my quest to tick off more big routes in the Rockies and to enjoy all the afternoon sport climbing that comes my way. I hope that we all stay safe out there this year and know how precious this sport is to all of us. An ACC Rocky Mountain Section member, Tom Gnyra lives in Calgary from where he launches regular missions into the mountains.

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