During the 1967 Canadian centennial celebration, a range of unclimbed mountains in Kluane National Park were called the Centennial Range. Twelve were named after the provinces and territories of Canada, and another was called Mount Centennial. During that same year, the Alpine Club of Canada spearheaded an attempt to climb all these peaks by an enormous expedition with over 60 climbers, who were transported there by plane and helicopter. The expedition was a success, but five of the peaks, including Mount Manitoba, were not climbed.
On May 17, 1992, in the 125th year of the Canadian confederation, climbers from the Manitoba section of the Alpine Club of Canada made the first ascent of Mount Manitoba. The 11 members were dropped off by a ski plane on the Logan Glacier on May 9, then travelled six days to reach camp. The first attempt ended in disaster when four climbers were caught in an avalanche and carried 100 metres down a slope. The successful attempt took place on May 16, and included Tibor Bodi, Dr. Robert France, Pat Dillistone, Jeffrey Aitchison and Peter W. Aitchison.
Filmmaker Ivan Hughes and Compass Media have completed a new film about the 1992 ascent with recent interviews and original footage. We had the chance to screen the film and can say that it’s one of the best all-Canadian mountaineering films ever made. The pace, footage, information and history are balanced throughout; and the avalanche spoken about above is included in the footage. The film is called Flatlanders – the 1992 Mountain Manitoba Expedition, watch the trailer below. More information about public screenings to come.