Order of Canada mountaineer offers conservation encouragement to Six Mountains debate

One of the world’s great mountaineers, Pat Morrow, visited North Cowichan last weekend — and he had a few words to say about the grassroots campaign to save the Six Mountains from logging.

Morrow, and his wife, Baiba, attended the WildWings festival gala at Bird’s Eye Cove Farm, a fundraiser for Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society. Morrow gave a presentation, with photos, on his latest book, Searching for Tao Canyon, https://rmbooks.com/book/searching-for-tao-canyon/, co-authored with Jeremy Schmidt and Art Twomey.

Morrow, who is also an accomplished photographer and video documentarian, lives in the Invermere area of BC’s East Kootenays. He reached superstar status as the second Canadian to hike Mount Everest, in 1982. Then, he became the first person in the world to hike the tallest peak on each of seven continents, in 1986. He received the Order of Canada for his lofty accomplishments.

While visiting North Cowichan, Morrow took time to explore the Six Mountains in the contentious 5,000-hectare Municipal Forest Reserve. He stood on the flanks of Mount Tzouhalem and looked across the Cowichan Valley to Mount Prevost, Mount Sicker, Mount Richards and Maple Mountain. Later, he hiked to admire the stunning views from the Stoney Hill bluffs overlooking Sansum Narrows and Saltspring Island.

Morrow has seen some of the best and worst of the world, from its beautiful and inspiring mountain landscapes to deforestation and industrial degradation, be it in the Himalayas or the East Kootenays.

“I encourage council to carefully consider the future of this area, and create something extraordinary from its unique forest holdings,” said Morrow, observing logging’s impact creep ever closer to the core of the Six Mountains and to where most citizens live and recreate.

“I’ve travelled to places where such opportunities have been lost or never were an option. North Cowichan still has that chance.”

Council has suspended new logging in the Six Mountains pending a public consultation process. 

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