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Lloyd “Kiwi” Gallagher is a Canadian Climbing Legend

From first ascents in the Himalayas to a career in search and rescue

Lloyd “Kiwi” Gallagher arrived in Canada from his native New Zealand in 1965 and quickly became a leading climber in Canada. He was one of four candidates on the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides’ first exam in 1966, which he passed.

Through his guiding career with Canadian Mountain Holidays, which was followed by work establishing the elite public safety and mountain rescue service in Alberta Provincial Parks’ Kananaskis Country, Gallagher made an amazing contributions to Canada’s mountain recreation industry.

Gallagher is highly respected for his role as a member of Canada’s first successful expedition to a major Himalayan peak, 7,146-metre Pumori in 1977, and as Deputy Leader of the 1982 Canadian Mount Everest Expedition.

Chris Shank later summarized the climb with: “At 9:45 we were all standing on the summit, drinking tea, marvelling at the brown Tibetan plains, the massiveness of Everest, the vast galaxy of peaks over 20,000 feet and the fact that we, inadequate as each of us secretly thought ourselves to be, were actually standing atop a Himalayan peak. Our burnt and battered faces cracked behind our grins.”

A loving husband, father and grandfather, Gallagher is a generous volunteer who never ceases to find time and ways to help others, including the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, the Mountain Haven women’s shelter program and the ACMG, just to name a few.

Gallagher has received many awards, including the Summit of Excellence Award (1994), the National Search and Rescue Achievement Award, Patron of the Mountain Guides Ball (2007), ACMG Honorary Member and the Honorary Platoon award of the Rocky Mountain National Army Cadet summer training program. He was awarded Honorary Membership in the Alpine Club of Canada in 2012.

In 2019, he talked to Lynn Martel about what he’s learned over his years in the mountains here and said, “Celebrate your imagination and nurture your determination to get outside and enjoy the mountains every day you are able.” Read more about Gallagher here.

Lloyd “Kiwi” Gallagher