Preface to the Online Edition

The Rocky Mountain Ramblers Association has a long and interesting history. Thanks to Wally Drew, much of the history of the early years of the club has been preserved. I thank him for granting permission to reproduce his work online.

The History not only provides interesting and entertaining information about the Club's past, it also provides a snapshot of the times.  It is fascinating to realize, for example, that the accepted word for a female adult was "girl".  The Trans-Canada Highway did not exist, and travel times to trailheads, using what is now the 1A highway, were much longer than they are today.

The History also provides insight into the origin of the Ramblers' reputation for matchmaking.  An astounding number of Rambler weddings are documented.  Happily, that is a tradition that continues today.

This document was scanned from the printed edition of Wally's book. Scanners and Optical Character Recognition software are not perfect, and careful proof-reading is required. I take responsibility for any errors that may have slipped through the proof-reading.

Keith Walker
April, 2001


Although several people have spent a lot of time helping to prepare this Ramblers history (see Acknowledgements), I take responsibility for its accuracy and errors. There are bound to be mistakes in a story drawn from a variety of sources and memory spread over so many years and involving so many people. Omissions are much more numerous than errors. Time and space permit only a sampling of the available information on the Rocky Mountain Ramblers. Some trips and events, more significant than those included, are missing simply because there is no record of them in "The Pack Rat" or elsewhere. An example is our first (and so far, only) Ramblers one day 25-mile cress-country ski trip from Bourgeau Lot to Redearth Creek via Healy and Whistling Passes. The English system of measurement has been used where it was in use at the time of the event. For those who want to study the Club's history in more detail, the very rough draft containing much more information is in the Club files.

I have tried to give a representative and interesting picture of the evolution of the Rocky Mountain Ramblers Association during its first 27 years. This involves trips, meetings, policies, social events and other facets, but mostly people. Therefore names appear in abundance. It is the active members who have carried our Club through boom and slump. Don't get discouraged when we hit the downside of a cycle. You can see from this history that our Club is strong and enduring and able to bounce back. If sequels are written in future years to update this history it is expected that they will show continuing success and vitality of the Rocky Mountain Ramblers Association.


Tony Forster, current [1983] President of the Rocky Mountain Ramblers Association, spawned the idea of creating the booklet containing this history and got the project underway. The information for the history could not have been compiled in reasonable time without dictating. Dick and Marg Lowndes loaned their tape recorder and tapes for that purpose. Then the difficult task of typing from the tapes was done by Marg Lowndes and Marg Yamanaka. After the typing, the draft received a preliminary edit. Shirl Bayer spent a lot of time doing a professional job of writing the information in readable form. After that 1 undertook the responsibility for final edit and rewrite. The first half is primarily in Shirl's form and the last half, primarily in mine due to my desire to continue a chapter per year rather than lumping years into groups after 1966. The final typing is by Marg Lowndes. Thanks also to Anne Moran for typing up the "Anecdotes". The time and effort contributed by these people is greatly appreciated. This history would not have appeared without their help.

Special thanks to Lynn Donnelly ROBB for the calligraphy on the front cover.  [shown below]

Cover Art


As you read this history you will see how much Sandy Vair contributed to the Rocky Mountain Ramblers Association over many years. Sandy has never received recognition commensurate with his great contributions. The following article which I wrote for the October 1968 issue of "The Pack Rat" helps explain why I dedicate this Ramblers History to Sandy Vaid in appreciation for his services to the Club.

Sandy Vair retires from Executive

Sandy Vair has retired from the R.M.R.A. Executive after serving on that governing body during all 14 years of the Club's history. Sandy is a charter member of the Rocky Mountain Ramblers Association and served as Vice-Chairman of the organization in the early years. He then served as Chairman continuously from 1956 until 1960 and again from 1961 to 1963. Sandy has headed the Club for 6 years - three times as long as anyone else has.
Sandy is both a trip leader and a ski touring leader and has been awarded both the silver pin and the gold pin for his leadership duties.
An expert in both camp cooking and tent making, he has supervised the construction of our Club tents. Also excelling at photography, Sandy has even had his pictures on calendars as well as Ramblers' schedules. In recent years Sandy has published "The Pack Rat" among other chores. He says he will continue to do this without being on the Executive. His experience and advice will surely be missed at Executive meetings.
Sandy married fellow Rambler, Nancy Gay Stewart, in 1958 and they now have two children.
If you newcomers don't know whom we're talking about, just look and see who is running the projector next time we have slides or movies at our meeting. Most likely it will be Sandy Vair.

Past Presidents of the R.M.R.A.

1954-56 John Hickey
1956-60 Sandy Vair
1960-61 Ted de Waal
1961-63 Sandy Vair
1963-65 Wally Drew
1965-67 Rolf Pallat
1967-68 Alastair Sinclair
1968-69 Brian Crummy
1969-71 Robin Smith
1971-72 John Woodhatch
1972-74 Roger Woodgate
1974-75 Tom Flanagan
1975-76 Ian Wallis
1976-77 Bob Pattison
1977-79 Brian Westcott
1979-81 Ordell Steen
1981-83 Tony Forster