Jim Tarrant, Honourary ACC Member and Calgary mountaineer passed away quietly in a NW hospice after a long battle with prostate cancer complications. Jim was an original Calgarian attending school at Colonel Walker and Crescent Heights. At the time of his death at 89, he was the longest standing member of the ACC, having joined the Club in 1939. Jim's climbing career was interrupted by WWII but he still managed to do some climbing in the Lake District and in Wales while on leave. His ashes will reside in the Bugaboos, one of his favourite climbing areas.
A very active member with the Calgary Section Jim also attended over 25 ACC Annual General Mountaineering camps and did hundreds of climbs with his lifelong friends, Bob Hind, Marjory Hind and Bruce Fraser. He has nine first ascents to his credit, and claims his most memorable, climb was the East Buttress of Mt. Odaray with Don Morrison in 1955.
He was awarded the Silver Rope from the ACC in 1950. An unfortunate accident in 1963 where a cornice broke on the summit ridge of Mt. Baker near Peyto Lake with Peter Verrall and Geoff Davis resulted in their spectacular fall down the near vertical rock and ice face to the glacier below. Miraculously all were able to walk away with fairly relatively minor injuries. Jim continued to climb for many years but abstained from leading.
He has climbed in Austria, Switzerland, Germany,trekked in the Himalaya and climbed extensively in the Canadian Rockies, Purcells and Selkirks.
He was a fine pianist and often played the organ or piano at many ACC functions. His love of music took him to Austria many times to the opera houses and concert halls. He promoted Austrian wine and travel and was awarded the Silver Medal from the Austrian State Government for services to the country.
By Bruce Fraser
The following obituary appeared in the Calgary Herald on December 26, 2007:
TARRANT _ James Frederick October 4, 1918 - December 22, 2007 Jim passed away peacefully at the Agape Hospice, after a lengthy illness, at the age of 89 years. He is survived by his sister Betty (Ken), numerous nieces and nephews as well as many friends, particularly his close friends Bruce and Margaret and their family. Jim was born and raised in Calgary, attending Central School and Crescent Heights High School. He enlisted in the Canadian Army in February 1941, serving with the 2nd Canadian Corps in England. He landed on Juno Beach, serving in Holland, Belgium and Germany. He received the "Gallantry in the Field" award twice. Jim also received the Belgium Croix de Guerre with Palm for recognition of distinguished service; the Netherlands Anniversary Medal to veterans on the 50th and 55th Anniversary of the Liberation. On his return to Calgary in February 1946, Jim started his career with the Canadian Western Natural Gas Company and worked there until his retirement. Jim's passion was classical music and he devoted a lot of time and energy to the musical society in Calgary. He was a fine accompanist and conducted the Austrian Canadian Club's Heimatecho, as well as founding and conducting their men's choirs. Jim was also an avid mountaineer, beginning his climbing career in 1935. He has climbed throughout North America, Europe and the Himalayas. He was an active member of the Alpine Club of Canada, receiving an award in 1989 for fifty years of membership. In October 2007, he was awarded an honourary membership from the Alpine Club of Canada in recognition of outstanding service to the Canadian Climbing Community. Jim traveled extensively and felt most at home in Austria, particularly Vienna "the city of his dreams". He has also been recognized by the Austrian Government. The family would like to express their sincere gratitude to the staff at the Agape Hospice for the wonderful, compassionate care provided to Jim. A Celebration of Jim's Life will be held in the Chapel of Mountain View Funeral Home on Friday, December 28, 2007 at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Jim directly to the Agape Hospice (1302 - 8 Avenue N.W., Calgary, AB, T2N 1B8). Arrangements entrusted to MOUNTAIN VIEW FUNERAL HOME and CEMETERY, 17 Avenue S.E. at Garden Road, (1.5 km east of 84 Street S.E.) Telephone: 403-272-5555.
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