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Rocky Mountain Ramblers Association


The primary emphasis during the winter of 1961-62 was on downhill skiing. Eight Ramblers lead by Jean Nicholls spent Easter weekend skiing at Whitefish, Montana.

On the July 1st weekend Gerry Schlee lead a group of 14 backpackers into Skoki. A snowstorm on the second night drove most of the group from their tents into the cabins. On a rainy August weekend eight Ramblers backpacked Numa Creek - Tumbling Creek - Marble Canyon. As if the rain weren't enough, they really got wet fording waist-deep Ochre Creek. They had to form a chain to keep their footing in the swift current.

On Thanksgiving weekend, 10 Ramblers braved Glacier Park, B.C. again. This time they were able to drive all the way to the Alpine Club hut where they stayed and didn't report seeing any bears. Their longest hike was up to Nakamu Caves on Sunday.

For the third year in a row, membership declined. The final count was only 37. That Fall the average attendance at the Wednesday evening meetings was about 15 people. Silver pins were awarded to Jean Nicholls, Bob Baxter, Don Hopkinson and Ed Lynn. Some new blood appeared on the executive among the old-timers with the following elected and appointed: Chairman, Sandy Vair; Vice-Chairman, Herman Swarte; Secretary, Sheila Davies; Treasurer, Laurie Portigal; Members-at-large, Eloise Walls, Frede Jensen, Henk Oliemans and Tom Thurston. Subsequently Henk Oliemans was appointed Chairman of the Leaders Council. Eloise was soon replaced by Gerda Leer.


This, the tenth year of the Ramblers' existence, saw the club bounce back. Membership picked up and some more firsts were accomplished. At the leaders meeting on January 14, 1963 a grievance committee was formed consisting of the Chairman of R.M.R.A., Chairman of the Leaders Council and the leader concerned. The grievance committee was for use if people had grievances against the leader or a leader had grievances against some members of the club.

One first was a January ski trip to the new Pigeon Mountain ski development organized by Dieter Mohr. It provided little snow, no moguls, but a plentiful supply of rocks covered by straw. The 11 who went tested their skills steering a perilous and hilarious course among the hazards.

The biggest first was the ascent of Mt. Temple in August, at that time the highest mountain climbed on a Ramblers trip, in August. The night before the trip, the leader, Dieter Mohr, was sent out of town by his employer without notice, but Gerry Schlee saved the day by taking over as leader. Ten Ramblers, who had camped at Moraine Lake Saturday night, got up at 4:15 a.m., hit the trail at 5:45 a.m. and were all on the summit by noon. Under clear skies the views were awesome, ranging from the easternmost range of the Rockies to the Selkirks and from Mt. Assiniboine to the Columbia Icefields. We carried down a lot of litter found on the summit.

Trips that summer included rambles in Jasper Park on Victoria Day weekend, Henk Oliemans' three day backpack on the Baker Lake circuit described in Memorable trips, a Labour Day backpack over Sunset Pass to Pinto Lake by Ruth Thurston and a rainy-snowy backpack in September to Lake O'Hara.

In May Wally Drew moved back to Calgary and was soon busy leading Ramblers trips again including: Cascade Mountain; Moraine Lake - Taylor Lake larch hike; Thanksgiving trip to Beauvois Lake, Corner Mountain and top of Frank Slide; ice cave on Canyon Creek in November; and Christmas ski trip to Apex Alpine, Big White and Silver Star in the Okanagan.

Ramblers also gained a songbook, assembled and printed during the summer, and a cabinet made by Don Hopkinson to house the Ramblers library. The cabinet still [1983] serves that function. Also, a list of Club Policies on matters not covered by the constitution was drawn up.

Attendance at Wednesday evening meetings grew from less that 15 early in the year to 30 or so turning out for the popular summer wiener roasts at Glenmore Reservoir. Other evening programs away from headquarters ranged from skating, skiing or swimming at Happy Valley to bingo at Ruth and Tom Thurston's to square dancing to bowling. By September membership was up to 47 and the new executive was: Chairman, Wally Drew; Vice-Chairman, Don Hopkinson; Secretary; Pam Turner; Treasurer, Bob Baxter; Members-at-large: Sandy Vair, Tom Thurston, Henk Oliermans and Richard Prince. Subsequently Wally added Leslie Morrison, Ruth Thurston. Marg Sharpe, Stuart Lunn and Brian Looker to the Executive. Ruth Thurston was awarded the silver pin. Brian Looker was pushing publicity a little harder and twice got time on TV for Wally Drew and Shella Davies to talk about the Ramblers and show some of Sandy Vair's and Henk Oliemans' slides.