Home page Home page

Rocky Mountain Ramblers Association


1978 was a year of joining - individual Ramblers joining each other in marriage, many more individuals joining the club and the club joining several other associations: Alberta Wilderness Association, Nature Canada, Canadian Wildlife Federation, Canadian Youth Hostels Association and National Trails Association.

Rein de Wit and Dee Parsons were married in February, followed by Peter McGill and Esther Jeffrey taking the same step. Later in the year Helga Dauer and Bob Pattison were wed.

By September the Ramblers had a record 200 members.

The Easter long weekend of 1978 Arn Haase, Bill Leach and Tony Forster made one of the many Rambler abortive attempts to climb Mt. Colunbia, the highest mountain in Alberta. As usual they were defeated by bad weather with whiteout conditions and as added excitement Arn went into a crevasse and had to be pulled out by his buddies.

On Sunday, May 7, about 18 Ramblers worked from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to clean up, the Weaselhead area of Glenmore Park filling over 100 plastic bags with garbage while also dragging up assorted car doors, barrels, strollers, bicycles and old tires. Darlene Weger was credited with the most unusual discovery: a home-made toilet, consisting of a plastic seat on top of a metal bucket wit the bottom cut out, the whole thing being installed over a hole in the ground. She removed the hardware but left the hole there. Afterwards they went to Brian Westcott's, the organizer, for dinner.

July 30 to August 8, Tom and Marianne Flanagan led a group of a dozen Ramblers on a backpacking trip into the North Cascades of Washington State to hike parts of the Pacific Crest Trail and others. The weather was hot and sunny and the wild flowers were abundant.

Only about one quarter of the members attended the annual general meeting in October. In the President's Report, Brian Westcott extended special thanks to Frank Stanley for providing the coffee service, Bob Baxter for his patience in providing a telephone contact through his bookstore for weekly trips, Mike Crouch for auditing the accounts, Ian Wallis for ably representing the Club in various environmental committees, and Tony Moran for looking after the Club's equipment.

The most controversial business matter at that A.G.M. was authorizing the club to spend up to $700 for a sound system including microphone, amplifiers and turntables for the Wednesday evening meetings. The following executive was elected: President, Brian Westcott; Vice-President, Ordell Steen; Secretary, Annemarie Marriner; Treasurer, Ron Folkins; Pack Rat Editor, Tony Forster; Social Chairman. Pat Rosettis; Program Chairman, Benita Haslett. Peter McGill continued as Leaders Chairman and Dick Lowndes took over the Equipment Chairman's job.

Lil Henegman offered her home for the Ramblers Hallowe'en party on October 28 organized by Pat Rosettis and Dick Lowndes. Two beautiful ladies forced a second vote for the best costume, but Roger Woodgate won the honours by a narrow margin over Diana Gonsalves. The award for ugliest costume went to Ordell Steen - only the face and feet were fake. The funniest costume prize went to Tony Forster wearing an umbrella on his head.

Early in the winter of 1978-79, Mary and Doug Campbell brought together 21 Ramblers for a good cold weekend at Wapta Lodge. The foods rooms, skiing and snowshoeing were all enjoyable. Spare time was spent trying to start the cars. Several of the newer cars.would not come to life. Alastair Sinclair's towing did a brisk trade. One party decided to ski up the Ottertall fire road and left the car or cars parked beside the Trans-Canada highway. That was considered illegal parking and cost $35.00.


There were lots of good Ramblers trips reported in 1979.

Winter trips during January and February included a snow cave trip to Boulder Pass led by Art Davis. Two frozen waterfall climbs by Brent Davis, Ordell Steen and others; a ski backpack to Glacier Lake; and a weekend ski traverse to Bow Glacier and Peter White hut on the Peyto Glacier by Ordell Steen, Leslie Hodgson and Brent Dayis.

Peter McGill led several arduous backpacks in 1979. In July there was a long exploratory trip in the Whiteman Pass - Owl Lake area and in August he led a group of women around Mt. Robson on a holiday backpack. Over the Labour Day weekend. Art Davis led one of his favorite backpacks - to Cauldron Lake - and as usual it was plagued by bad weather. But in spite of that the group of 6 managed to climb Mistaya Mountain.

In September, Ordell Steen led a group of 7 up Mount Athabasca, which rises above the Columbia Icefield to a height of over 11.000 feet. They got up at 4 a.m. at the Icefields campsite to begin the climb in the dark and succeeded in spite of rather poor weather.

The annual weekend social car camp was held at the Highwood Group Camp on the Highwood River on September 29 and 30. It was a great success due to the efforts of Leslie Hodgson, who did the organizing, and all the others who brought the excellent food. The weather was perfect. On Saturday one group climbed Mist Mountain and many enjoyed a ridge hike in the Mist Pass area on Sunday.

During 1979 Tony Forster resigned as "Pack Rat" Editor. Evidently a replacement was not found because there was no "Pack Rat" between March and November of that year, by far the longest gap in our newsletter since its founding in 1957.

1979 was another year of Ramblers marriages. On August 24, Brian Wesceott and Pat Rosettis were married. Then at the beginning of the Thanksgiving weekend on October 59 there were two Ramblers couples married (separate weddings, of course): Dick Lowndes and Marg Grolla, as well as Ian Wallis and Marni McCall.

Two other itens made news in 1979. A grant was received from the Alberta Government to erect new trail signs on the Centennial Trail over Mt. Allan and a new by-law was enacted. This by-law proposed by Arn Haase reads in part - "if the executive committee wishes to spend a sum of money which exceeds 20% of the membership income of the last fiscal year for a capital expenditure, the executive committee must secure a majority approval from the membership present at any meeting ...."

Only 41 Ramblers, about one quarter of the membership, attended that A.G.M. President, Brian Westcott reported that the Club had taken a stand on two environmental issues: the Lake Louise development proposal and proposed changes to the Wilmore Wilderness area. The final order of business was electing the new executive as follows: President. Ordell Steen; Vice-President, Brenton Barr; Secretary, Mary Fletcher; Trreasurer, Darlene Weger; Pack Rat Editor, Art Davis; Social Chairman, Annemarie Marriner; Program Chairman, Dieter Steffen. Subsequently, Dick Jull became Leader's Chairman and Peter McGill, Equipment Chairman.

The Rocky Mountain Ramblers Association celebrated its 25th anniversary more than 7 months late on October 20, 1979 with a banquet and band in the Wainwright Hotel in Heritage Park. More than 80 members and alumni, a few from out of town, attended the gala affair. Pat Rosettis and her helpers did a real bang-up job in organizing the affair. Dieter "Threelegs" Steffen was the star entertainer.

On November 28, the Ramblers were saddened by the death of one of their favourite members, Daphne Smith, who had been active in the Club for many years. She died of cancer with dignity and courage and without complaint, being thankful for all the good years she had had in the Rockies and Foothills. There is a six-page tribute to Daphne Smith written by Alastair Sinclair in the February 29, 1980 issue of "The Pack Rat".

Over the long Christmas weekend of 1979, Wally Drew led a group of 6 Ramblers to the Isaac Walton Inn immediately south of Glacier National Park, Montana for cross-country skiing both in and adjacent to the national park.