Outstanding trips dominated Ramblers activities of 1980. That was as it should be since outings are the primary purpose of the club. Of course, there were many more less newsworthy outings providing enjoyment for the majority of the members who prefer easier or shorter trips.
An ambitious trip, the Bow-Yoho ski traverse was accomplished on a two-day weekend by leaving Calgary Friday evening, February 29, and returning in the wee hours Monday morning, March 3. The group by-passed the Des Pollus Glacier because of unstable snow conditions Saturday and a whiteout Sunday morning. Wilf Twelker broke all of his previous records when he completed an igloo in one hour at their campsite near the toe of the glacier north of Yoho Peak.
Also in early March, 10 Ramblers led by Wally Drew, made a cross-country ski ascent to junction Mountain fire lookout west of Turner Valley. It was the first time the lookout was reached on a Ramblers day trip, and 12-year-old Sonia Twelker was one of the first at the top.
A winter event on the lighter side was a fox hunt organized by Dieter Steffen on March 1, 1980, in the upper Kananaskis. As the fox, Dieter started out ahead of the 14 "hunters" (all on skis), leaving a trail for them to follow. At one point he disguised himself as a Hutterite in black clothing, black hat, beard, etc. and skied past many of the pursuing Ramblers without being recognized. Finally, Dave Ladoucer and Diane Kroeger caught him and won the prize, a wood carving of a fox carved by Dieter, the fox, himself.
Easter weekend at the beginning of April was a real bonus weekend for the Ramblers from the point of view of weather, enjoyment and accomplishment. Dick Jull led a group of 13 Ramblers on a ski backpack to the Castleguard Meadows beside the Columbia Icefields. On Sunday, 7 of them made a successful ascent of Castleguard Peak from their camp site at the mouth of the Castleguard cave. Meantime and nearby, Ordell Steen, Bob Farrell, Tony Forster and Arnold Westberg made a successful ski ascent of Mount Columbia, Alberta's highest peak and the second highest in the Canadian Rockies with an elevation of,12,294 feet (3734 metres). It was the fifth attempt by a group of Ramblers to climb the mountain but the first successful one.
Also during the ski season in early 1980, Bob and Helga Pattison organized a well-attended skiing weekend at Num-Ti-Jah Lodge on Bow Lake and Wally Drew led a sizeable group on the long Mt. Norquay - Forty Mile Creek - Mystic Pass - Johnston Canyon circuit. Arn Haase and Ordell Steen did most of the trail breaking, however.
On the Victoria Day weekend in 1980, Peter McGill led a backpack into the South Ghost - Cougar Creek area. They hiked up Exshaw Creek, over Exshaw Pass and on the last day, four of the group climbed Mt. Charles Stewart. Another ambitious backpack was led by Ordell Steen to the area between Spray Lake and Ribbon Creek. They traversed South Pass, Guinn's Pass and Galatea Pass to Lillian Lake.
In July, Helga Pattison led her second "moonlight" backpack to Mt. Bourgeau. The four who camped on top of the mountain, Helga and Bob Pattison, Zita Morgan and Linda Scarlett,, had a stormy night with fierce winds, rain and distant lightening, but it cleared before dawn for a gorgeous sunrise. One of the beautiful photos Helga took of the full moon that night graced the month of November in the 1982 "Nature Canada" calendar.
A holiday backpack that year was led by Peter McGill to a new area, Monashee Provincial Park, B.C., the first ten days of August. This high country park provided beautiful scenery, rain and excitement in the form of bears, both black and grizzly. After Dick Lee encountered one of each, he was indisputably declared "bear scout" of the tip. Jim Cunningham and Helga Pattison also took out holiday backpacking trips that summer,
In September 1980 Tony Forster arranged for the Ramblers to place summit registers atop Mt. Bourgeau, Storm Mountain and Observation Peak, leading trips up these mountains. This was the Club's contribution toward placing 75 registers on Alberta mountains in celebration of Alberta's 75th birthday. For this task, the Club received $216.00 which Tony suggested be used to help defray the cost of publishing this booklet.
On October 5, 1980, Ordell Steen and Wilf Twelker made the first Ramblers ascent of Mt. Victoria. It is described under "Memorable trips".
Leslie Hodgson organized the 6th annual Thanksgiving weekend car camp at Mosquito Creek in 1980. Three peaks were climbed as part of the activities. Ascents of Mt. Hector and Cirque Peak were led by Ordell Steen and Wilf Tweiker respectively. Some members of the large group climbed Observation Peak.
In spite of the impressive trips that went out in 1980 Ramblers membership was down to 151 for the year ending September 30. At the A.G.M. in October membership fees were increased to $15.00 for single and $25.00 for family memberships.
The following executive members were elected: President, Ordell Steen; Vice-President, Tony Forster; Secretary, Kay Kittle; Treasurer, Tony Moran; Pack Rat Editor, Art Davis., Social Chairperson, Pat Evans; Program Chairperson, Anne Bloomberg. 1980 leadership pin awards were as follows: gold pin: Bob Pattison; silver pins: Kay Kittle, Peter McGill and Ray Marriner. Subsequently, Dick Jull was approved as Leader's Chairman and Wilf Twelker as Equipment Chairman.
The last 10 weeks of the year are generally a party period for the Ramblers and 1980 was no exception. There was a good turn-out for the annual Saturday night banquet and dance October 25 at the Old Timers Hall organized by Annemarie Marriner. A week later a number of Ramblers enjoyed the Hallowe'en party organized by Pat Evans at Laurence Assoignon's house. The pre-Christmas party at Club headquarters was a big success again.
Nine of us enjoyed Jim Cunningham's Christmas ski trip to Delphine Lodge at Wilmer, B.C. (just north of Invermere) in spite of pouring rain. The food was exceptional, though the cost was high.
Twenty Ramblers saw the new year in at the Ramparts Creek Youth Hostel. I believe the trip was organized by Dick and Marg Lowndes with Mary Fletcher and Linda Scarlett looking after the group food and refreshments.
The Ramblers first 27 years ended March 29 1981 with membership increasing again and the club going strong and offering a variety of trips ranging from leisurely rambles to ambitious ascents of major peaks and long backpacks. The Rocky Mountain Ramblers Association is providing enjoyable recreation for outdoors people of diverse interests.