Long gone are the days when travelling to the base of Mt. Garibaldi involved a steamship, a train, and a long horseback ride, but on July 1 a crew of die-hard mountaineers dressed in period costume will re-create the original ascent of one of Squamish's most celebrated peak.
The British Columbia Mountaineering Club (BCMC) will most likely carpool to the provincial park to tackle the ascent, which was planned to celebrate the club's centennial anniversary and honour members who first accessed the unruly terrain in 1907.
"Mt. Garibaldi was first climbed by BCMC members, and it just so happens that 100 years later, we're still here, so we decided it was appropriate to choose it as our climbing destination," said BCMC member and centennial celebration organizer Dave Scanlon. "If you look at all the local mountains and Coast Mountains, they were almost all opened up by B.C. mountaineering people; many were named by the club, and a lot of them after club members."
Not solely content with exploring Garibaldi Park, the BCMC vigorously petitioned the government of the day to pass legislation to protect it.
Since then, the BCMC has been one of the premier groups to access and protect many of the mountains and wilderness areas popular with the public.
"The club has always been about exploring to some extent, but today conservation is a huge thingwe're heavily involved in Sea to Sky land management issues."
Over the years, BCMC coups include movements to reduce and restrict the use of motorized vehicles in sensitive areas, and rallying government to ensure tracts of land aren't over-used by backcountry tour operators.
"In the near past, it wouldn't be uncommon to have two or three helicopters landing on the same spot on the same mountain, with skiers all looking to ski the same lines," said Scanlon. "This chunk of land [Sea to Sky corridor] is so full of people, and so overused, that there had to be something done because so many people want to use what is a relatively small area."
The BCMC has had an impact on search and rescue in the Coast Mountains, as prior to the late 1970s authorities consistently called upon the BCMC and the Alpine Club to look for lost hikers and rescue those lost or hurt in the wilderness.
On top of offering regular courses and classes on a variety of outdoor pursuits like rock climbing and winter/summer mountaineering, BCMC members meet 10 times a year, and are always looking to recruit new members of all ages and levels of experience.
For more information on BCMC, go to www.bcmc.ca.