Hermann with pedestal on which cairn & plaques will be placed
still collecting rocks!

Conrad Kain Cairn

During his many landmark ascents, Conrad Kain took time to build his trademark summit cairns, some of which can be seen to this day from vantage points in Canada’s Rockies and Purcells and New Zealand’s Alps. Part of that tradition of cairn-building came from his many years of employment with the Geographical Survey of Canada and A.O. Wheeler, pioneer surveyor and co-founder of the Alpine Club of Canada.

In April, 2008, the CKCS initiated a project to commemorate his cairn-building legacy by constructing a concrete pedestal at the edge of the park near the site of Kain’s home in Wilmer. Members of the Society, which include mountain guides Roko Koell, Kirk Mauthner, Arnor Larson, Leo Grillmair and Tim McAllister, and IUCN conservationist Jim Thorsell, historian Zac Robinson and film maker Pat Morrow, have collected rocks from some of the peaks that Kain climbed, which will be used to build a cairn atop the pedestal in the second week of June, 2009, in time for the opening July 11. Bronze plaques and tributes from several international climbing organizations, including the Alpine Club of Canada, the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides, the Alpine Club of Austria (AOE), the New Zealand Guide's Association, the American Alpine Club and the Southern Guide and Outfitter Association will be affixed to the sides of the pedestal. Other mountaineers are contributing rocks from Kain peaks in Canada, New Zealand and Europe.

The CKCS is in the process of organizing a “gathering of the clan” on July 11 to help kick off the centennial events and projects at the cairn unveiling, which will be comprised of members of these alpine clubs and guiding associations, as well as Kain admirers from near and far.

Celebrations will take place at the site of the cairn, which is beside the Wilmer Community Hall. A one act play based on Kain's life will be enacted right after the cairn ceremony, and a BBQ hosted by the Wilmer Community Club will follow.

July 12, next day, a group of teen climbers and hikers from the area will head up to the Bugaboos for some climbing and sight-seeing, and will be led by ACMG guides, courtesy of Canadian Mountain Holidays.

There is still time to collect rocks for the cairn, if you are into doing winter or spring ascents of some of Kain’s peaks. Go to our Contacts page to arrange for a rock drop off in Wilmer, by June 30. For a list of his Canadian peaks, please go to the Kain Peaks Gallery.

Kain Summit Rocks collected in 2008:

Louis – Tim McAllister, July
Jumbo - Bruce Fairley, Jeff Dolinsky, Russ Lybarger, Pat Morrow July 10
Commander - Bruce Fairley, Jeff Dolinsky, Russ Lybarger July 11
Karnak - Bruce Fairley, Jeff Dolinsky, Russ Lybarger July 11
Bugaboo Spire - Tim McAllister, Kirk Mauthner, Leo Grillmair July 29, Aug 3
Whitehorn - David Dornian, Helen Sovdat  Aug
Monte Cinto (Corsica) Bernadette and Alan McDonald Aug
Mt Ethelbert - Jim Thorsell, Rick Kunelius Aug 5, Kirk Mauthner, Hermann Mauthner Aug.14, 08 [possible new route]
Spearhead - Bill Morris, Mike Baker, Stefan Feldmann Sept 13
McCoubrey - Bill Morris, Mike Baker, Stefan Feldmann Sept 14
Louis, Extinguisher Tower, Bugaboo Spire - Zac Robinson et al


Mt Sealy, New Zealand, Feb 7, by Aaron Halstead, president of NZ Guide's Association
Barbette Peak, March 11, by Blair Piggot
Kain's home site in Wilmer, April 10,  by Barb Nerassen, secretary of CKCS
Schnee Berg, (mountain above Kain's home in Nasswald, Austria) May 5, by Rob Torkildson