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Born in Britain and raised in South Africa,
after seven years of traveling the world Mortimer settled in Calgary 30 years
ago, where he ran the popular retail store, The Hostel Shop, selling climbing
gear and outdoor equipment for 22 years. A prominent member and prolific
volunteer with the Alpine Club of Canada, he
served as chair of the ACC C
algary Section and the Huts Committee, where
he laid the foundations for the modern hut system — now numbering 23
huts. In the 1980s he organized three major mountain leadership conferences for
the ACC, and in 2001 organized and ran North America’s first conference on
energy and waste management systems in alpine shelters. He served as ACC
President from 1994 to 2001, represented North America at the UIAA, served as
the ACC’s first external relations director, and also assumed the role of
centennial committee chair for the ACC’s 100
anniversary in 2006.
In 2005, Mortimer was made an Honorary ACC member.
With his latest posting — also volunteer
— Mortimer said his main goal would be to bring a sense of cohesiveness
to the organization, and to lead the organization to recognize a more external
view, beyond a Euro-centric one.
“At micro levels, the member organizations all
have the same problems and challenges and opportunities,” Mortimer said. “I see
what I’ve been doing with the ACC for the past 20 years as an apprenticeship.”