There were some good ski backpacks in early 1974. In February Helga Dauer led the first of many over the Bourgeau parking lot-Healy Pass - Pharaoh Creek - Redearth Creek Traverse with overnight in Egypt Lake cabin on Pharaoh Creek. Wilf Twelker's group of 8 built igloos on their tour to Balfour Glacier via Hector Lake. 12 Ramblers on skis and snowshoes participated in the Baker Lake igloo trip on March 9 and 10. The ten skiers in the party made the full traverse from Mt. Temple chalet to Baker Lake and out Baker Creek.
The biggest social event the Ramblers have ever had was the 20th anniversary dinner and dance held at the Wainwright Hotel in Heritage Park on Saturday night, March 2, 1974, organized mainly by Doreen Ogborne. 105 people attended. All but 2 of the ten past presidents joined the current president Roger Woodgate at the head table. Past presidents in attendance were John McInnis, Sandy Vair, Ted de Waal, Wally Drew, Alastair Sinclair, Brian Crummy and Robin Smith.
Ramblers were very active during the summer of 1974. Three weekends in a row during late June and early July there were 7 trips out per weekend. Then on the long weekend of August 3 to 5 there was a choice of 9 trips.
There were 3 separate Ramblers holiday trips July 20 to 28.
Jack Carter led Brent Davis and Frank Anscombe on one 9 day holiday trip. The first three days they car camped along the north forestry road and David Thompson highway and hiked to the Baseline, Ram and Old Baldy fire lookouts. The last 5 days they made a backpack to Elysium Pass in northern Jasper National Park, one of the few wilderness areas remaining in that huge park. It was a wild unspoiled country carpeted with flowers and inhabited by animals, which scarcely knew how to be afraid of man. The high point was an ascent of Elysium Mountain. For those interested in more details of this unusual holiday trip, Brent Davis has a 6-plus page write up in the September 1974 issue of The Pack Rat", volume 17, no. 5.
At the same time Claire Aghion led a backpack into Mt. Robson followed by a shorter one on the Skyline Trail in Jasper National Park.
Also, from July 20 - 24, Jim Kirkpatrick led a group of 8 Ramblers on a combined car camping and backpacking trip to Slocan, Kokanee and Manning Parks area in British Columbia. It was a relaxing holiday trip.
There was also a 10-day backpack from August 2 - 12. Daphne Smithy Arn Haase and Peter McGill led nine Ramblers on a two part backpack. The first part was in the Kananaskis - Palliser Valley area and the second part in the Bugaboos further west in B.C. where East Post Spire was climbed. Peter had bear bombs along for the defence of the group.
Over the Labour Day weekend, August 31 - September 2, Wally Drew led eight on the first Ramblers backpack over the Tamarack Trail in western Waterton National Park. The weather varied from pouring rain the first day to a frosty 19 degrees F the second night.
That summer was not all happiness however. On July 19, 1974, the Ramblers were saddened by the death of a long time member, Kathleen 'Kathy' Shires, who suffered from a legacy of respiratory ailments from her childhood. With deteriorating health, she had hiked as long as she could with the Ramblers and served for two years as Secretary and one year as Treasurer of the Club.
At the October 1974 A.G.M. the following officers were elected: Tom Flanagan, President; Carol Munro, Vice-President; Pat Donald, Secretary; and Ron Folkins, Treasurer. Later Daphne Smith, Brent Davis, Barry Hollingshead and Esther Jeffrey were added. At the annual dinner and dance, organized by Doreen Ogborne, gold pins were presented to Daphne Smith, Helga Dauer and Art Davis, and silver pins to Bob Pattison, Jack Carter and Claire Aghlon.
Fall weather persisted into November, even in the high country. That month Brent Davis led a party of 9 up Cascade Mountain in warm sunshine with very little snow, even on top.
Conservation and evnrionmental interests competed with trips for Ramblers attention in 1975 - more so than in previous years. On behalf of the Club, Tom Flanagan, the President, made submissions to several government agencies on issues such as the future of Waterton Park,, the twinning of the Trans-Canada Highway in Banff Park, the creation of the Great Divide 'frail, the ubiquitous presence of snowmobiles in the Alberta Forestry Reserve and the creation of a provincial park in the Valhalla Range of the Selkirks, B.C.
Trip activity continued high. On March 16, Brian Crummy led a cross-country ski trip around Cascade Mountain. They left at 6 a.m. The steepest part of the Elk Lake trail was so icy that 5 of the party had to climb on foot and carry their skis and the other 3 climbed with skins. There was a good run down the north side of the Pass through unknown territory and then a tricky descent through the north end of the Cascade Range to the Cascade River, which was crossed on a snow bridge. The snow was sticky for the run back out on the Cascade fire road, but the 21 miles were completed by 6:30 p.m.
Victoria Day weekend, 8 Ramblers in four canoes guided by Captain' Bill Leach made a 55-mile canoe trip down the Red Deer River from Sundre to the Innisfail Bridge. Two of the canoes were swamped by collision with logs. There was good weather for the first half, but the voyageurs had to endure thunder, lightening, rain and snow after that.
July 19-27, Jim Kirkpatrick led a group of 5 on a car camping and backpacking trip to three B.C. provincial parks: St. Mary's Alpine, Kokanee and Cathedral.
August 2 - 10,1 Daphne Smith led a group of 10 on a holiday trip to the West Kootenays in B.C. The first 6 days were a backpack in the Valhalla Mountains and the last two days, car camping in Kokanee Provincial Park. For those interested in more details on this trip there was a five page write-up by Brian Crummy in the November 1975 issue of The Pack Rat".
On August 10, 7 Ramblers led by Wally Drew climbed some peaks south of the forestry experimental station in the lower Kananaskis. After the 5th peaks four of the party started down to the cars while Arn Haase, Bill McVeigh and Wally climbed 3 more peaks.
Bill Leach was awarded the silver pin that year for leading a large number of trips that were often unique. They consisted of canoe trips, day hikes, backpacks and a holiday trip, and organization of ice and rock school lessons for Ramblers.
There were other things going on in 1975 too. More memorable Wednesday evening programs were a talk by Steve Herrero on grizzly bears, slide shows of the Valhalla Mountains, Great Divide trail, Easter Island, South America, Central America, Europe and Asia and the visit of former Lieutenant-Govemor, Grant MeEwan.
When Carol Munro moved to Edmonton in June, Bob Pattison took over as Vice-President. He also acted as aucetioneer, looked after equipment for the last several weeks and for most of the year was the librarian. Ian Wallis joined the executive in mid-year and arranged the annual dinner and dance. Frank Stanley looked after the coffee and snacks virtually every Wednesday and Marni McCall typed "The Pack Rat" more than her share of times. Jay Reed spent many hours putting out a new Ramblers songbook that included the Club song. That year Helga Dauer had some of her photographs published in a new book on the Rockies by Andy Russell.
For the fiscal year ending September 30, the membership remained more or less stable at 168, but the cash reserves grew by almost $500.00.
At the October A.G.M. the following executive was elected: President, Ian Wallis; Vice-President, Ron Folkins; Secretary, Zita Haase; Treasurer, Dee Parsons. Sharon Sutcliffe, Helga Dauer and Doreen Ogborne were elected Members-at-large. Bill Leach and Ed Stacey were added later.
On November 8, there was a first for the Ramblers - a canoe trip and a cress-country ski trip on the same day.