The club's most important event in 1966 was the decision to embark on a Centennial project to celebrate Canada's 100th birthday.

During a lunch break on the Skogan Pass trail, Wally Drew suggested that the club should build a trail in the eastern Rockies outside the National Parks where there were already a large number of trails. Previously he, Bob Baxter and Tom Thurston had reached the summit of remote Mt. Allan from Ribbon Creek and then bushwhacked down the north side to the Trans Canada Highway. Wally felt there should be a better route and suggested constructing a trail over Mt. Allan as the Centennial Project.

When the idea was presented to the Ramblers executive and membership they felt it was a good one and made Wally Chairman of the Centennial Trall Project. The first step was to obtain permission from provincial and federal authorities. Following the advice of Ray Marriner and with the support and assistance of Mr. F. W. Keats, Superintendent of the Bow River Forest and Mr. Frew of the same organization, permission was obtained by midsummer. Wally wrote a brochure outlining the project. Jannis Allan did the typing and the map was drafted by Henk Oliemans.

Then came the job of scouting the route. After Wally had selected a couple of alternate routes using airphotos, he and Art Graham hiked them, eventually deciding upon a route up the north ridge of Mt. Allan. That long, rainy scouting day involved climbing both the east peak (Mt. Collembola) and the main peak of Mt. Allan from the Trans Canada Highway, a total elevation gain of 5,500 feet.

Next, the club scrounged among its members for tools: picks, shovels, adzes, axes, saws, machetes and crowbars. The first work party of 15 volunteers headed for the proposed trail September 18 and began work on the north, or Deadman Flats, end. The next work party on October 30, again comprising 15 Ramblers, worked on the south, or Ribbon Creek, end of the trail. Before winter set in, a couple more work parties dug. hacked and heaved, but a lot of work remained to complete a trail "suitable for hiking, backpacking and ski touring" as stated in the original objectives.

1966 was also the year Wilf Twelker began leading Ramblers on glacier trips. The first on February 26th was from Bow Lake up onto the Wapta Icefield. A trip across Hector Lake and then up onto Balfour Glacier was more ambitious - we left Calgary at 4 a.m. Wilf also led his first Ramblers glacier igloo trip that year, a trip from Bow Lake to Wapta Lake over the Wapta and Waputik Icefields. This fascinating trip is described in the Memorable trips sections of this publication.

Since the ski ascent of Snow Dome on the Columbia Icefields was late in the season, May 8, the group led by Dieter Mohr or Wilf Twelker was on the trail by sunrise and had made the ascent and returned by noon while the snow bridges were still strong - all in crystal clear weather.

Hiking trips, too, had their moments to remember. One was a May ascent of Grotto Mountain near Canmore on which Roger Woodgate came. Roger was undoubtedly the first blind man to climb that steep mountain, and possibly any other major peak in the Canadian Rockies. He did fine going up, even when they had to use their hands scrabbling up steeper parts, but going down was something else. Since there was nothing for him to feel with his hands, it took Torn Thurston and Wally Drew until nearly 8 pm. to get him down.

Although Roger can do most things sighted people can, he decided after this experience, not to climb any more mountains unless they had a trail.

There were 35 people on the 1966 Victoria Day weekend trip to Jasper led by Alastair Sinclair, our most active trip leader at that time.

Another biggie was the Ramblers first ascent of Storm Mountain on August 20 led by Wally Drew, the warm sun and gorgeous views of peaks freshly dusted with snow kept the 14 hikers on the peak for several hours. A trip of a different sort was a horse-back ride September 17. Eleven Ramblers rented horses at the Diamond Cross Ranch just south of the Trans Canada Highway next to the Rockies, and rode to Barrier Lake and back. Rounding out the evening, was a barbecue supper and dancing. It was probably organized by John Hassett or Rodger Woodgate.

The year was not without its weddings. Pain Turner and Herman Swarte were married April 23 and Hugh Peck wed a Lethbridge lady, Blanche Ford, on December 17. Another Rambler changed his name in 1966, but not through marriage. John Hickey, founder of the Ramblers, legally changed his name to John McInnis.

Membership that year increased to 94, ranging in age from about 16 to 66 and originating from 11 countries. Jim Kirkpatrick , Dieter Mohr and Alastair Sinclair received silver pins for leadership at the A.G.M. and banquet on Saturday evening, October 22. 72 turned out. Gerry Schlee was awarded an annual honorary membership for auditing our financial statements for several years. The following slate of officers were elected: Chairman, Rolf Pallat; Vice-Chairman, Alastair Sinclair; Secretary, Jannis Allan; Treasurer, Art Borron; Mernbers-at-large, Brian Crummy, Wally Drew, John Hassett and Daphne Smith. In addition, the following were appointed to the executive in November: Betty Lewington, Tom Thurston, Lynn Oliver, Sandy Vair and Henk Oliemans.


1967 was Canada's Centennial and the Ramblers hoped to complete their Centennial Trail over Mt. Allan that year. In January, Ray Marriner lead a group of 17 on the first ski tour up the north end of the trail.

In 1967, the driest summer since 1894, gave the Ramblers their best season of trip weather ever, but followed by the highest temperatures ever recorded in September, produced such an extreme fire hazard that the forest reserves were closed during late August and September. That wiped out our Centennial trail work parties during what would have been the peak of the construction season, although several parties had tackled the trail before that. As a result, the Ramblers had to wait another year to finish the Mt. Allan segment of the Eastern Rockies TraiL

Ramblers Gerry Schlee and Art Borron participated in another centennial event in 1967: the Alpine Club's Centennial Climbs in the St. Elias Mountains of the southwest Yukon. Gerry even led a first ascent.

The holiday backpack in 1967 was into Assiniboine Provincial Park where the most ambitious climb of the week was the ascent of Mount Magog by Brian Crummy, the holiday leader, and Art Barron, the food planner.

For the year ending September 30, 1967 the membership declined slightly to 81. Approximately 50 Ramblers enjoyed the A.G.M. and banquet and dance on October 21. Silver pins were awarded to Brian Crummy, Art Borron (in absentia) and Rolf Pallat. The following officers were elected: Alastair Sinclair, Chairman; Fred deVries, Vice-Chairman; Albert Kaiser, Treasurer and Jannis Allan, Secretary. Four Members-at-large elected were Robin Smith, Tom Thurston, Sandy Vair and Wally Drew. Subsequently, Henk Oliemans, Marj Soice, Quita Doornik, Lesley Dickson and Peter Gillingham were added to the executive.