Canadian mountaineering community loses a pioneer.
Mountaineering legend Don Forest died of a heart attack November 27, 2003 while skiing with his daughter and son-in-law near Bragg Creek, Alberta. Don Forest was born in Hanna, Alberta on June 6th, 1920.
Amazingly, Don had little interest in mountaineering until he was 43, when his teenage children took an interest in climbing and decided to join the Alpine Club of Canada in 1963. Shared experiences with his son Ken, and daughters Kathy and Sylvia inspired a deep passion for the mountains. Though in his 50s, Don developed a rare stamina that allowed him to reach the remotest peaks and to climb the tallest and most difficult of mountains. After a triumphant ascent of Mount Robson in 1977, Don decided to climb the rest of the 11,000 foot peaks in the Canadian Rockies, a goal he achieved two years later at the age of 59.
At a time when most climbers decide to give up difficult and physically demanding routes, Don was just getting started. In 1991, he became the oldest person to have climbed Mount Logan, the highest mountain in Canada. In 1993, at the age of 73, Don became the first person to climb all the 11,000 foot peaks in both the Rockies and the Interior Ranges of British Columbia.
midst of all this summiteering, Don also took time to become the President
of the Alpine Club of Canada and, later, one of its most respected Honorary
A memorial service for Don was held at Woodcliff United Church, 5010 Spruce Drive, S.W. in Calgary at 1:30 PM on Wednesday, December 3rd, 2003.
Link to Tributes read at the Funeral Service.
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