Monday, November 8, 2010

History at UNB Rock & Ice

Since I've taken on the job at the climbing club I've yet to write anything about the experience. Mainly, it's because I'd be stretched to have positive things to say. I've had a rough time this year and I've felt squeezed from both the University and occasionally from other climbers. It seems as if all new ideas are bad ideas... and that has me wondering whether I'll ever bother again. Now, that's been my personal experience and not a reflection on the club as a whole. The many volunteers we have this year have been stellar and new climbers are appearing with enthusiasm all the time. Which is great.

Anyway, my perspective on the job brightened up considerably when I received an interesting letter, right 'out-of-the-blue'. It was addressed to me from a Mr. George Strunz. I've pasted in some snippets below:

Hi there:

A recent e-mail from a Shay O'Hanlon of the Irish Mountaineering Club got me reminiscing about the joy I got from climbing when I was much younger, and brought about the attached little article.
While it is mainly concerned with climbing in Ireland, at the end, it does mention some climbing I did in the White Mountains and especially on Mt Kahtahdin with a group from MIT in the 1960s, and later the efforts of a small group of us start a climbing club here in NB. We explored quite a few routes on Eagle Rock though I have forgotten most of them by now! The hoped-for club never really got off the ground (unintended pun) and after its demise, I used the small amount of money left in our treasury to buy a book on mountaineering for the UNB library. (Unfortunately I have also forgotten what the book may have been something by the late Gaston Rebuffat, a member of the French team who were first to climb Annapurna in the Himalayas in 1950.)

I am delighted to know that the UNB Ice and Rock Climbing Club is thriving. It may be interesting for you to know that the rock climbing potential of Eagle Rock was explored some 50 years ago...and possibly earlier for all I know!

All good wishes
george strunz

George wrote again today to mention the names of several other climbers now in their 70's & 80's, some of who still reside in Fredericton. Unfortunately, he doesn't believe any documents or photographs of their climbing days in Welsford during the early 1960's still exist. I'd be curious to see if anyone can track down the book mentioned above.

Just thought I'd share this interesting piece of history. I've always been told that the club as it exists today was formed in the 1970's by Steve A. This piece of information would date club back another decade... and I think that's worthy of mention.

1 comment:

  1. That really is cool Chris - thanks for sharing. For the record - I'm sorry things are rough with the climbing gym - - sometimes people must forget that it's a volunteer position. YOU are doing a great job, and I, for one, am greatly thankful for all you do!

    take care,