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28 The Alpine Club of Canada Gazette Winter 2018 By Marla Heim T ransforming an idea into reality. That's exactly what an intrepid group of volunteers invested in Whistler's backcountry have done. Thanks to this tireless group and their many supporters and partners, the mountains of Garibaldi Provincial Park will soon be home to a brand‑new hut‑to‑hut system that will offer safe and responsible year‑ round adventure along the Spearhead Traverse. The ACC community gives back: Spearhead Huts Society Key among the supporters and part‑ ners is the ACC. Club representatives, Spearhead Huts Society (SHS) members, volunteers, friends, partners and support‑ ers recently gathered at the Longhorn Saloon and Grill in Whistler to celebrate the accomplishments of the "First Stop" fundraising campaign that raised more than $170,000 in support of the three‑hut project. The generosity of The ACC and its members played a key role in this latest fundraising effort by donating $120,000 to the project. "More and more people are seeking to experience the majesty of Canada's mountain backcountry. The Spearhead Project will serve an important role in providing access to a new generation of enthusiasts as well as reducing the impact of backcountry travel. The ACC is excited to be a supporter of the project," says Neil Bosch, ACC President. The seeds of the project were planted nearly ten years ago in 2009 when a small group of backcountry enthusiasts hatched a plan that they hoped would encourage safer, more sustainable access to the out‑ standing views, high peaks, and narrow passes that define the area. Since then, sites for three strategically located huts have been chosen and construction of the first of these huts – the Kees and Claire Hut at ACC Grants Program Through the generosity of many donors, The Alpine Club of Canada has established funds to support mountaineering related projects and initiatives. The deadline for submission of grant applications is January 31 each year. Grant recipients will be announced mid-March. The Environment Grant provides support that contributes to the protection and preservation of alpine flora and fauna in their natural habitat. The focus of the grant is wilderness conservation. The Jen Higgins Grant promotes creative and energetic alpine related out- door pursuits by young women. These projects should demonstrate initiative, creativity, energy and resourcefulness with an emphasis on self-propelled wilderness travel, and should provide value and interest to the community. Jim Colpitts Grant encourages young climbers between the ages of 17 and 24 to participate in mountain related courses and programs such as wilderness first aid, avalanche training, rock/crevasse rescue and mountain leadership training. For info and application forms visit: or call the ACC National Office at 403-678-3200 ext. 108.

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