Tag Archives: Jim Boulding

Flash Back Fridays


(Excerpts) By Sean Rossiter

Jim Boulding is one of those BC characters who have turned their lives into trademarks, have built their own corners of this province. Boulding’s surroundings are exceptional. Here is the raw material for a mini Whistler, in front, sunsets which in mid – October drop right into the V formed by the mountains around the Elk River valley across from Upper Campbell Lake. From there Boulding can range out to windy Escalante Point, south of Nootka Sound, or up to the top of Mt. Waddington in the Coast Range, the tallest mountain wholly inside Canada. Boulding is intimate with the most of North Vancouver Island, somewhere near the middle of a Nootkan tribal heaven, between the mountains and the sea, the rain and the sun, warmth and the cold.

Boulding is a big man, as required by the genre and is bigger in person than his physical dimensions. Urban sophisticates find him irresistible. He has this style fine tuned down to the ten pound wool trousers, bulky Cowichan sweater and sweat blotter Clint Eastwood hat. At the Ankor bar, he ordered whiskey and within minutes came the invitation to join the manager’s table. Strathcona Lodge catalogues were passed around. Boulding uses them like business cards, 33 pages thick. As always in these junkets to the air conditioned, he was a smash. He returned with a few more lines open from the bricks to the sticks.

Jim Boulding and his tobacco pipe

Jim Boulding and his tobacco pipe

There is a stimulating blend of intelligence and celebrity at the lodge: Rod Haig Brown, Burl Ives, Ted Peck, Jim Conway, were among the guests in the early days. They came for the fishing with the best Class A guide on the North Island. Jim guided and Myrna cooked during their summers off from teaching high school in Campbell River. The town was split over the principal John Young who had strong beliefs about learning. Read more

Flash Back Fridays


Campbell River newspaper, 1979

It was the first time Jim Boulding delivered a baby, but it didn’t seem too difficult because he’d seen it done before.

Armed with nothing but a few blankets and the experience of spending 22 years training people to be leaders in the bush, Boulding recently played midwife on a rainy road miles from anywhere.

Mother and child are fine and Boulding said it’s no big deal. He’s spent years helping victims of accidents which tend to happen near his wilderness training lodge at Strathcona Park, about 45 kilometres southwest of this Vancouver Island community. Read more

Flash Back Fridays


I worked up at the Lodge first in 1973 and had to leave to go back to Swe- den. You offered me a job and I was able to immigrate in March 1974. I worked mostly through that year and parts of the next two. I took off to go on the First Whale Voyage with Greenpeace, and again to work on the United Nations Conference on Human Habitat.

One of the things I remember best was going out to the West Coast to do a Survival Trip with Jim. We were accompanying some graduate students from SFU. It was around Easter and we ate shellfish, seaweed, and nettles. But the students lived mostly on schnapps and other sweet booze. It was stormy and we had to get the 24 foot boat into the kelp line. Jim and I had a good time watching the kids get wasted and stand around under a tarp, while we went out and collected enough food to have something to eat. I was running the Zodiac and had one ofthe best times of my life. Another time Jim went down tothe Comox Air Base to join a protest against the nuclear weapons that the Americans had stored there. Rosemary Brown was the featured speaker and we must have had two hundred in the crowd. Rosemary was an articulate black woman and for years a member of the B.C. legislature as a New Democrat. Like Eileen Dailly, she was ahead of her time and the strongest advocate in government for women. The military stood on their side of the fence and threw eggs and tomatoes at us, and Rosemary did not break stride in her talk. Jim didn’t get mad. On the way back Jim and I had some good talks – peace and ecology and all that. My kind of thing. Read more

Flash Back Fridays


By John Langton, 1972

Jim teaching survival skill, wearing his favorite sweater, hand made at every stage (by Toby's mother)

The University of British Columbia sponsored a week long course on survival in the wilderness near Strathcona Park Lodge. The 25 participants of both sexes ranged in age from the teens to 50’s. Bob Somerville from the Campbell River Search and Rescue talked about water safety and techniques of dealing with boating mishaps. He described methods of drown-proofing by which a person could remain afloat in the water for long periods with a minimum of effort.  Participants practiced water safety techniques from different types of boats. They learned to right capsized canoes and clear the water from them. Instruction was given on starting an outboard motor after it had been submerged. They swam in their clothes to shore and lit fires on the beach, using matches that they had managed to keep dry. Time was spent on identifying edible plants.

One morning the group went high up on the mountain behind Strathcona Lodge to find and sample various types of plants and berries that grow at different levels. They were all very impressed by a panoramic view of Upper Campbell and Buttle Lake. The descent was very steep so this gave Jim an opportunity to teach the correct techniques for descending safely. Read more