Flash Back Fridays




Alice was an exceptional female outdoor leader. Female instructors were in hot demand by both the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and with Outward Bound, so we were lucky to get her.  She was also a registered nurse (RN). My daughter, Elizabeth, who had taken an Outward Bound course the previous year was given the job of being Alice’s assistant. Liz still talks about how much she learned from Alice.


During the summer of 1974, I was a 16 year old assistant to Alice Purdey who was the first Strathcona Lodge Instructor to teach week long mountaineering courses. Alice had been on the 1967 expedition to Mount Logan and had twice instructed the girls’ course at the former Canadian Outward Bound School at Keremeos. Alice was married to the mountaineer Dick Culbert but he was away in South America so my mother provided a full-time babysitter in Cabin 9 for their children: Heather who was almost 4 and Vance who was 18 months. Strathcona Lodge was busy teaching mountain leadership and water-safety courses that summer and tuition was free for practicing B.C. school teachers.

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