Photo courtesy Glen Boles
Born in 1920 in Hanna, Alberta, Don Forest took up climbing at the age of 43. Maintaining a career as an electrical engineer during the week, he would venture into the mountains on weekends with a group of close friends calling themselves The Grizzly Group. Over the years the group has made numerous first ascents in the most unexplored areas of the Rockies.
One of DonÍs greatest moments came in 1979 when he completed the last of the peaks in the Rockies over 11,000 feet (there are more than 50). In 1991, then into his seventies, he climbed to the West Peak of Mount Logan. In 1993 he summited the last of the 11,000 foot peaks in the Columbia Mountains (17 in total). Not bad for someone who took up the sport in mid-life.
Don is a true gentleman and a much loved and respected member of the Canadian climbing community. He is an honorary member of the Alpine Club of Canada and the Calgary Mountain Club, and in 1991 received the Banff Mountain Film Festival Summit of Excellence Award.
His biography was written by Kathy Calvert, his daughter, and published by Rocky Mountain Books in 2003.
Don passed away while skiing near Bragg Creek in November, 2003.
Courtesy Chic Scott, Pushing The Limits