Langham Adventure Travel Series kicks off with Ski Explorations in the Purcells and Selkirks – 1973-1976
Langham’s Adventure Travel Series returns with GRAND TRAVERSES OF THE CANADIAN ALPS – 1973-76, Saturday October 28th 7pm.
Amazing slide presentation on pioneering backcountry ski trips in the Purcell and Selkirk mountains. All on traditional wood Norwegian light touring skis – in the 1970s! By donation at the door, a Langham fundraising event. www.thelangham.ca
Imagine a two-week-long backcountry ski trip in the middle of winter traversing the Purcell Mountains, on a line connecting Rogers Pass to the Bugaboos. Imagine being only the second party to have ever attempted it, the first dating back to 1958. Now imagine doing that on traditional Norwegian light touring skis made of wood, carrying all your food, over a distance of approximately 135 km. In 1973.
This amazing story unfolds in the Langham Theatre Saturday Oct 28th at 7pm as the popular Adventure Travel Series opens another season. Intrepid Kootenay ski trekkers Dave Smith and Ron Robinson will present PowerPoint slides and short videos documenting two 1970’s trips that are part of what is now generally referred to as the “Grand Traverses” of the Canadian Alps.
On the Rogers Pass – Bugaboos trip the group’s line deviated from the original 1958 trek in several places using more of the high country, opening up magnificent vistas of the alpine landscapes and resulting in a more aesthetic way to ski through the country, all captured on film.
The second trip in 1976, from Mica Creek to Rogers Pass – the Northern Selkirks traverse – was a pioneering effort, blazing the way for future skiers. This trip involved more valley travel between the alpine sections, but proved just as wild and adventurous as the high elevation terrain. After 14 days, they successfully completed the traverse – the first group to do so.
“The equipment was fundamental to our success, especially the skis.” Says Dave… “They provided us with wonderful mobility. They were not as robust as synthetic skis and not designed for the rugged mountainous terrain and challenging snow conditions – a calculated risk on our part.”
Because of the significance of the equipment used, a set of these skis – now very outdated and more a museum piece – will be on display at the presentation. Winter backcountry enthusiasts, come on out and see where all the adventure started!
This event is a fundraiser for the Langham. Admission by donation at the door. Doors at 6:30pm. Presentation approximately one hour, with Q&A afterwards. www.thelangham.ca