Barry Blanchard, a legend in Canadian climbing whose participation in hard new climbs from the 1980s to the 2000s expanded the sense of what was possible in Canadian alpinism has been awarded the Bow Valley Sports Hall of Fame Award.
Barry’s words “it doesn’t have to be fun to be fun” are often quoted, and highlights from his climbing career (first ascents unless otherwise noted) show what he meant: The Andromeda Strain with David Cheesmond and Tim Friesen, The North Ridge of Rakaposhi, Pakistan (first alpine ascent with David Cheesmond and Kevin Doyle), the East Face of Mount Fay (with David Cheesmond and Carl Tobin), the North Pillar of North Twin (with David Cheesmond), the Blanchard-Twight on Les Droites, (with Mark Twight), M-16, on the East Face of Howse Peak, (Canada – first ascent (in winter) with Steve House and Scott Backes, Infinite Spur on Mount Foraker, (third ascent with Carl Tobin) and Infinite Patience on the Emperor Face of Mount Robson.
Also inducted was climber, writer and historian Chic Scott. Chic made first winter ascents of Mt. Hungabee and Mt. Assiniboine (1966 and 1967). He also pioneered major ski traverses in the Canadian Rockies, and Interior Ranges of British Columbia.
The biggest adventure was his (along with Charlie Locke, Don Gardiner, and Neil Liske) first traverse of the icefields along 300 km of the Continental Divide from Jasper to Lake Louise, which became the Great Divide Ski Traverse (1967). Chic has a storied climbing career, but is perhaps best known for his beloved history of Canadian climbing, Pushing the Limits.
Other inductees this year include biathletes Rosanna Crawford and Brendan Green, hockey player Alex Kaleta, builder/hockey player, Graham MacDonald, hockey school founder Glen Sather and alpine skier Paul Stutz.
Watch a trailer to a new film about Blanchard below.