Introducing the Louise & Richard Guy Hut
The ACC made a big announcement last Saturday night at the Mountain Guides Ball – that being that long time member and friend, Richard Guy, has made a significant donation towards the building of our new hut near the base of Mont des Poilus on the Bow-Yoho ski traverse.
Richard and the late Louise Guy have given the ACC more than four decades of volunteerism, participation and support. It was easy for the ACC’s Board of Directors to unanimously decide that the newest addition to the ACC’s hut system be named the Louise & Richard Guy Hut.
The announcement came to the full house during the ACC’s annual ball in Banff. Ninety-eight year-old Richard was obviously thrilled when when ACC President Gord Currie made the announcement – Richard’s grin could be seen across the room. As soon as Gord finished talking about it, the entire crowd of 260 people spontaneously stood up and applauded Richard and the new hut name.
We are officially starting a fundraising campaign today for the remaining money required to build the Louise & Richard Guy Hut. Our campaign document lays out our vision for the hut and donations can be made online.
The hut will be an extension of the ACC’s commitment to reducing environmental impact in the backcountry and will incorporate sustainable technologies and reduced dependence on fossil fuels.
The Wapta’s Missing Link
The Wapta Icefield is justifiably famous around the world as North America’s premier high-level glacier traverse. The ACC hut system gives access to amazing glaciers, high summits and fantastic powder. The most natural route across the Wapta is North-South from Peyto Lake to Wapta Lake and that route is served by four huts and is very popular in summer and winter. But there’s always been a missing piece: the route from Bow Lake to the Yoho Valley near Field, BC has always involved either a very large day between the Bow and Stanley Mitchell Huts, or a night out in a snow cave on the shoulder of Mont des Poilus. The Louise & Richard Guy Hut will fill that gap, allowing for more comfortable and safer travel on this route.
Status of the Hut
The hut, which has been talked about for more than 20 years, received final approval from Banff National Park this past year and is now in the design and planning stage. Final drawings will be in our hands by the end of December and major construction is scheduled to begin during the second week of July, 2015 and take about four to five weeks to complete. Occupancy will be winter only (due to grizzly bear migration routes) and the hut will be open for bookings for winter 2016. We’ve technically broken ground as the grey water disposal system was installed in the ground this past summer.
Our team will be busy in the office and in the shop through this winter pulling together all of the details to make this happen. We’ll be sending out a request sometime in January for volunteers with all sorts of skills to assist in next summer’s construction. Watch this space for more details on how you can help us out.
Louise and Richard Guy
For those who don’t know about Louise and Richard, here is a bit of background. Richard Guy is now 98 years old. He still goes to the University of Calgary five days a week to work (for free) as a professor in the mathematics department. He doesn’t teach anymore, but he is an advisor to staff and students. He still climbs the Calgary Tower every year in support of the Alberta Wilderness Association. When he was 96, he climbed his last mountain – Ha Ling Peak in Canmore – to take the ashes of his lovely wife Louise to the top. Louise Guy died four years ago at the age of 92. She was one of the most caring and genuine people you could ever meet. She is, among other things, credited with saving the ACC’s General Mountaineering Camp from demise in the 1980’s by personally promoting the event through personal letters and phone calls to our members. The GMC thrives today, but if it weren’t for Louise that would not be the case.
The beautiful wood shelf in the Canmore Clubhouse entryway was made during the Club’s centennial, and it is a representation of Louise and Richard’s relationship. The two sliding shelves work independently, but they also fit together perfectly. Check it out next time you’re in Canmore. If you want to find out more about these incredible ACC members, take a look at Young at Heart: the inspirational lives of Richard and Louise Guy by Chic Scott – it is one of our Summit Series books.
Louise and Richard have been more than members of the ACC. They have been committed volunteers, mentors, and true friends of the Club.
The ACC is seeking to raise $500,000 for the construction of the Louise & Richard Guy Hut. Thanks to Richard’s generous donation we are now well on our way. Please consider helping us build this hut.