Thanks to everyone who submitted applications—all of your projects were extremely worthwhile and we wish we could have supported them all! And thanks to the FMCBC’s Member Club Grant Committee for your hard work on putting these awards together.
Congratulations to this year’s recipients:
Amount received: $650
The project: Acquisition of Trail Maintenance Equipment
The details: The Kamloops Outdoor Club (KOC) has a partnership agreement with Recreation Sites and Trails BC to assist in trail maintenance of the backcountry ski trails on Mt. Morrisey near Sun Peaks resort. The maintenance had previously been carried out using club member owned chain saws and manual equipment such as loppers and hand saws. This involved a total of approximately 130 person-hours per year by 26 volunteer club members!
The FMCBC awarded the KOC a grant to be put towards a gas-powered brush cutter/clearing saw, which the club will make available to other local organizations for similar maintenance work, including the Kamloops Hiking Club and the Kamloops Thompson Trails Alliance.
Amount received: $650
The project: Replacing old Tracker DTS (2-antenna) transceivers with modern 3-antenna models
The details: The UBC Varsity Outdoor Club (VOC) owns and maintains a wide variety of skiing, hiking, mountaineering, ice climbing, paddling, snowshoeing and climbing gear that members can use when they put down a deposit. This is an extremely popular service in the
club and one of the most popular items are avalanche beacons. Not only can the VOC not keep up with the demand, but most of them are old Tracker DTS (2-antenna) transceivers. A combination of tests and complaints from members has confirmed that these older beacons do not function well enough to remain in use and must be replaced.
The VOC will use their Member Club Grant towards the replacement of their old transceivers with Mammut Barryvox beacons (3-antenna) which are better in terms of range (30m vs 75m), speed, accuracy for single and multiple burials and its fine search capabilities.
Amount received: $500
The project: Larsen Cabin chimney replacement
The details: In the summer of 2019, the Mt. Remo Backcountry Society (MRBS) will carry out some necessary upgrades and renovations to the Larsen Cabin, one of two huts managed and maintained by the society. Of top priority is the replacement of the woodstove chimney. The current chimney has reached the end of its natural life and requires immediate replacement in order to be used safely. During the same maintenance trip, society volunteers will also repair damage to the floor insulation, replace the woodstove with a smaller, more efficient model, and restock the hut
Grant funding for the Mt. Remo Backcountry Society will be put towards materials for the chimney replacement. The remainder of the maintenance costs will be covered by society funds (primarily accumulated through user fees).
Amount received: $600
The project: Mountain Mentors 2019 Summer Skillshare
The details: Mountain Mentors is an all-female mentorship program that empowers the next generation of female outdoors leaders. They requested funding from the FMCBC to specifically support their “2019 Summer Skillshare”—a day for the entire mentorship cohort to come together and participate in a rock rescue course taught by Hannah Preston of Rock Solid Guides, followed by a group crag day and BBQ. Their 2017 Summer Skillshare was undoubtedly one of the highlights of their season—they received resounding positive feedback from their mentorship pairs who felt that having this time to connect with the wider mentorship community, in addition to further skills-based training, was invaluable. Mountain Mentors would like to instill the Skillshare as a staple in their programming for seasons to come.
Amount received: $600
The project: Bridge and culvert restoration
The details: The Hickory Wing Ski Touring Club (HWSTC) received funds towards backhoe work to repair a section of their West Touring Trail, and then to build a new bridge across this problem area. The trail is used by skiers, snowshoers, hikers, mountain bikers and horse riders and the upgrade will benefit all the groups.
Amount received: $700
The project: KMC Grassy Hut woodshed
The details: The Kootenay Mountaineering Club (KMC) manages four backcountry huts (Grassy, Steed, Copper and Huckleberry huts) in the Bonnington Range of the Selkirk Mountains on behalf of the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. Each of these winterized overnight huts is equipped with a wood-burning stove, wood supply, gas stove, kitchenware and bunks to accommodate six individuals. They can be booked by any member of the public for a modest fee which covers the cost of maintenance and firewood. The huts are heavily used from November to April by backcountry skiers from the Kootenays, the province and abroad. In the 2018-2019 season, for example, hut usage in person-days was: Grassy 453, Steed 382, Copper 412, Huckleberry 390. The huts are used not only as a base for ski touring in the surrounding terrain, but also, linked together, they facilitate the popular 4-5 day Bonnington Traverse.
KMC undertakes regular maintenance of the huts and supplies firewood for winter use. In the autumn every year each hut is supplied with up to three cords of firewood. However, at the most heavily used hut, Grassy, additional firewood has had to be flown in by helicopter in the late winter in recent years. At this hut the bucked-up firewood is currently stored beneath the front porch and under the eaves at the back of the cabin, as there is no woodshed at the site. Having a free-standing woodshed will provide several benefits: it will reduce the numbers of insects and rodents adjacent to the cabin, reduce physical pressure of the wood against the cabin wall, and permit storage of a two-year supply of wood which will be dry, well-seasoned and thereby burn more efficiently.
Faced with this situation, the KMC requested funds towards the building of a large, durable woodshed at Grassy Hut during the summer of 2019.
Amount received: $500
The project: “Operation – Show Me The Way”
The details: The South Okanagan Trail Alliance (SOTA) is putting their Member Club Grant towards the purchase of a Carsonite flexible sign post installation tool and a 20-pack of Carsonite flexible signs. These are the same type and style of signs that are used by Fortis to mark buried gas and electric lines throughout BC, though SOTA’s will be brown as opposed to yellow. This type of sign is a recommended solution from Recreation Sites and Trails BC. SOTA further intends to loan the installation tool to other FMCBC clubs in the area which are interested in signing their trail networks in this manner.