Island Stories:

newDanzig Mine
newZeballos Iron Mine
newConuma Peak 1910
Alexandra Peak
Argus Mountain
Bate/Alava Sanctuary
Beaufort Range
Big Interior Mtn
Big Interior Mtn 1913
Part 1
Part 2
Bolton Expedition 1896
Cliffe Glacier
Clinton Wood
Comox Glacier
Comox Glacier 1922
Comox Glacier 1925
Comstock Mtn
Conuma Peak
Copper King Mine
Crown Mtn
Elkhorn 1912
Elkhorn 1949
Elkhorn 1968
Eugene Croteau
Golden Bullets
Golden Hinde 1913/14
Golden Hinde 1937
Golden Hinde 1983
Harry Winstone Tragedy
Jack Mitchell
Jim Mitchell Tragedy
John Buttle
Judges Route
Koksilah's Silver Mine
Landslide Lake
Mackenzie Range
Malaspina Peak
Mariner Mtn
Marjories Load
Matchlee Mountain
Mount McQuillan
Mt. Albert Edward
Mt. Albert Edward 1927
Mt. Albert Edward 1938
Mt. Becher
Mt. Benson 1913
Mt. Benson
Mt. Doogie Dowler
Mt. Colonel Foster
Mt. Hayes/Thistle Claim
Mt. Maxwell
Mt. Sicker
Mt. Tzouhalem
Mt. Whymper
Muqin/Brooks Peninsula
Nine Peaks
Ralph Rosseau 1947
Rosseau Chalet
Ralph Rosseau Tragedy
Rambler Peak
Red Pillar
Rex Gibson Tragedy
Sid's Cabin
Steamboat Mtn
Strathcona Park 1980's
The Misthorns
The Unwild Side
Victoria Peak
Waterloo Mountain 1865
Wheaton Hut/Marble Meadows
William DeVoe
Woss Lake
You Creek Mine
Zeballos Peak

Other Stories:
Sierra de los Tuxtlas
Cerro del Tepozteco
Mt. Roraima
Nevada Alpamayo
Nevada del Tolima
Nevado de Toluca
Pico Bolivar
Uluru/Ayers Rock
Volcan Purace
Volcan San Jose

Island 6000

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Ralph Maurice James Hutchinson

1930 - 2008

Ralph Maurice James Hutchinson was born on April 25, 1930 in the former British protectorate of Tanganyika. Shortly after his birth his family moved to Kenya, and his father became a civil servant in the education department of the Kenyan civil service. He was headmaster of a number of up-country schools in the colony and the administrator of the primary schools in the area. In consequence, Hutchinson grew up bilingual in English and Swahili and because of this unusual upbringing, Ralph Hutchinson was early on referred to by the bar of Nanaimo as "Bwana".

During the Second World War, Ralph went to school in Kenya and in Natal, in the Union of South Africa, and as soon as World War II stopped he was sent to England and spent two and a half years at Rugby, the public boarding school, graduating in 1948. He had gained a place at Cambridge University, where he obtained his law degree then took the Bar exams in London. He immigrated to Canada in 1954, was called to the Bar of British Columbia in 1956 then practiced law in Vancouver until 1960 when he moved to Nanaimo. He was part of the firm Heath, Hutchinson, Taylor and Shabbits. In 1957 Hutchinson married Dorothy Johnstone and they had two children.

In 1980 Hutchinson accepted an appointment to the County Court in Prince Rupert and then in Vancouver. Finally he returned to Nanaimo in 1987 and remained on the County Court until merger with the Supreme Court in 1991. Hutchinson retired in 2002.

Hutchinson's initiation to the mountains was in 1951 when he went on a guided ski trip to the Otztal Alps on the border of Italy and Austria and his first summit was the Wildspitze. This was the beginning of a lifetime spent in the mountains.

In 1954 Hutchinson immigrated to Canada and started climbing mountains as a major hobby joining the British Columbia Mountaineering Club that year. A few years later he joined the Island Mountain Ramblers and then the Alpine Club of Canada in 1969. Hutchinson edited the British Columbia Mountaineering Club Bulletin from 1956 to 1958 and was the Western Vice President of the ACC from 1979 to 1982. His climbing took him from Vancouver Island, to the Coast Mountains, the Rockies, the Yukon, Afghanistan, Peru and Africa, with over twenty-five first ascents.

His climbing led him to an interest in the environment and he maintained a strong community involvement. In various capacities, he has been involved with the Society Promoting Environmental Conservation (SPEC,) the Concerned Citizens group, the John Howard Society, the S.P.C.A., the Nanaimo Area Land Trust and the Vancouver Island Mountain Sports Society to name a few.

Soon after arriving in Canada, Hutchinson bought a waterfront home near Departure Bay in Nanaimo. From this base he made numerous forays onto Mount Arrowsmith, a mountain which he has climbed with many friends over the years and which helped set a direction for his life. In the summer of 2007 Hutchinson made a trip into the Jim Haberl Hut in the Tantalus Range near Squamish with a number of his old climbing buddies: Paddy Sherman, Joe Bajan, Werner Himmelsbach and Tom Volkers, however, this was to be his last trip into the mountains. In January 2008, Ralph Hutchinson was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer and with typical Hutchinson stoicism accepted his fate. Sadly, on March 20 Hutchinson was released from its grips at the age of seventy-seven. Through his work with the Regional District of Nanaimo and the Nanaimo Area Land Trust a section at the summit of Mount Benson had been bought and part of the trail up the mountain will be named in is honour.

A brief synopsis of Ralph Hutchinson's mountaineering expeditions:
1958 Kwoiek Area with Dick Culbert, Art Dellow and Roy Mason.
Haynon Peak, Kwoiek Peak, Mehatl Peak and Tachiwanna Peak 1st ascents.

1959 Mount Raleigh Region with Werner Himmelsbach, Jim Woodfield and John Owen.
Garrulous Peak and Mount Raleigh 1st ascents.

1960 Lillooet Icefield with Werner Himmelsbach, Joe Hutton and Jim Woodfield.
Mount Toba, Mount Compton and Mount Tisiphone (The Archbishop) 1st ascents.

1961 Alaska. Mount McKinley South Summit. First All Canadian Party with Werner Himmelsbach, Jim Woodfield and John Wilson.

1963 Taseko Lakes Region with Werner Himmelsbach, Joe Hutton and Geoff Suddaby.
Mount Winstone Main Summit 1st ascent.

1964 Mount Harrison Area with Paddy Sherman, Werner Himmelsbach, Joe Hutton, Brendan Moss and Don MacLaurin
Mount Harrison 1st ascent and Mount Folk.

1965 False Creek Area with
The Beauty

1966 Elk Pass with Ron Facer and Mike Hanry.
Mount Colonel Foster Southwest Summit 2nd ascent and Rambler Peak.

1967 Yukon Alpine Centennial Expedition.
Mount British Columbia 1st ascent with Andrew Gruft, Byron Olsen and Karl Winter.

1969 Peru. Cordillera Blanca with Fips Broda, Paddy Sherman, Scipio Merler, Bob Paul, Bernie Segger and Dave Wessell.
Huascaran Western Spur 1st ascent.

1971 Mount Robson Hourglass Route with Bill Perry, Ron Facer, Bryan Lee and Roger Neave.

Mount Waddington area with Bob Paul, Nick Schabe, Mike Walsh, Carl Lund, John Fletcher, Bob Tustin and Werner Himmelsbach. Ascents around the Upper Tellot Glacier.

1972 Mount Colonel Foster with Bill Perry, Ron Facer and Joe Bajan.
Mount Colonel Foster North Tower 2nd ascent.

1973 Africa with Paddy Sherman, Roger Neave and Scipio Merler.
Mount Kilimanjaro.

1974 Stikine Icecap with Roger Neave, Bill Perry, Franz Bislin, Mike Walsh and Bob Tustin.
Some 8,000 ft peaks south of Noel Peak 1st ascents.
Mount Arrowsmith Judges Route
1st ascent with Jim Taylor and Jim Shabbits.

1975 Afghanistan. Koh-I-Baba region with Mike Walsh and Joe Bajan.
Several 1st ascents in the area.

1976 Stikine Icecap with Roger Neave, Gil Parker and Jim Craig.
Attempted Noel Peak.

1978 Peru. Cordillera Blanca with Roger Neave, Hugh Neave, Joe Bajan, Dave Fisher and Paul McEwan.
Several peaks over 5,100m near Nevada Champara.

1980 Apes Lake Area with Hugh Neave.
1st traverse of Mount Fyles and Mongol.

1981 Stikine Icecap with Roger Neave, Hugh Neave, Alfred Menninga, Mike Walsh, Tom Volkers, Carol and Walter Latter, Paul McEwan and Peg Davidson.
Noel Peak 1st ascent.

Hutchinson, Ralph. Personal communication. 1994 and 2007.

Mason, Roy. "New Ascents in Kwoiek Area." Canadian Alpine Journal. Vol. 42. The Alpine Club of Canada. Banff, Alberta. 1959. p. 36-38

Hutchinson, Ralph. "Mount Raleigh." Canadian Alpine Journal. Vol. 43. The Alpine Club of Canada. Banff, Alberta. 1960. p. 30-36.

Hutchinson, Ralph. "The Lillooet Icefield." Canadian Alpine Journal. Vol. 44. The Alpine Club of Canada. Banff, Alberta. 1961. p. 17-27.

Hutchinson, Ralph. "Mt. McKinley, South Peak." Canadian Alpine Journal. Vol. 45. The Alpine Club of Canada. Banff, Alberta. 1962. p. 89-101.

Suddaby, Geoff. "First Ascent of Mt. Winstone, Taseko Lakes Area, B.C., 1963." Canadian Alpine Journal. Vol. 47. The Alpine Club of Canada. Banff, Alberta. 1964. p. 64-67.

Sherman, Paddy. "The Unexpected 11,000-footer." Canadian Alpine Journal. Vol. 48. The Alpine Club of Canada. Banff, Alberta. 1965. p. 102-108.

Hutchinson, Ralph. "Second Ascent of Mt. Colonel Foster." Canadian Alpine Journal. Vol. 50. The Alpine Club of Canada. Banff, Alberta. 1967. p. 55-56.

Hutchinson, Ralph. "First Ascent Mt. British Columbia." Canadian Alpine Journal. Vol. 51. The Alpine Club of Canada. Banff, Alberta. 1968. p. 52-54.

Sherman, Paddy. "Huascaran: The First Ascent of the Western Spur." Canadian Alpine Journal. Vol. 53. The Alpine Club of Canada. Banff, Alberta. 1970. p. 4-6.

Hutchinson, Ralph. "Mt. Waddington." Canadian Alpine Journal. Vol. 55. The Alpine Club of Canada. Banff, Alberta. 1972. p. 73.

Perry, Bill. "Mount Colonel Foster, North Peak." Timberline Tales. Published by the Island Mountain Ramblers. Nanaimo, B.C. No. 8, January 1973. p. 8-9.

Hutchinson, Ralph. "North Baird Rambles." Canadian Alpine Journal. Vol. 58. The Alpine Club of Canada. Banff, Alberta. 1975. p. 68-70.

Hutchinson, Ralph. "Koh-I-Baba Capers." Canadian Alpine Journal. Vol. 59. The Alpine Club of Canada. Banff, Alberta. 1976. p. 25-26.

Parker, Gil. "Neophyte on Noel." Canadian Alpine Journal. Vol. 61. The Alpine Club of Canada. Banff, Alberta. 1978. p. 42-43.

Hutchinson, Ralph. "Champagne in the Champara." Canadian Alpine Journal. Vol. 62. The Alpine Club of Canada. Banff, Alberta. 1979. p. 25-29.

Hutchinson, Ralph. "Stikine Stalkoes." Canadian Alpine Journal. Vol. 65. The Alpine Club of Canada. Banff, Alberta. 1982. p. 4-5.

Guilbride, Patrick D. "El Piveto Mountain." Island Bushwhacker. Vol. The Vancouver Island section of the Alpine Club of Canada.

Roberts, David. "The Honourable Mr. Justice Ralph M. J. Hutchinson." The Advocate. July 2002.

Elms, Lindsay J. Beyond Nootka: A Historical perspective of Vancouver Island Mountains. Misthorn Press. Courtenay, B.C. 1996.


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