Mt. Remo backcountry society director Duncan Stewart hands over a $26

Mt. Remo backcountry society director Duncan Stewart hands over a $26

Businesses urged to back mountain purchase

  • Apr. 18, 2011 8:00 p.m.

A non-profit society is the largest contributor to the My Mountain Co-op initiative to date, and is issuing a challenge to all corporations in the northwest to help out the cause.

The Mount Remo Backcountry Society, consisting of 23 active members, donated $26,000 to the co-op that’s looking to purchase Shames Mountain ski operation from the current owners.

My Mountain Co-op (MMC) was initiated by a local group of individuals called the Friends of Shames, with the goal of buying the area’s ski hill and running it as a non-profit community cooperative.

The Co-op has raised $216,000 as of late last  week and has a deadline of raising $2 million by the end of April.

This $2 million would cover the purchase price as well as money needed for upgrades and improvements.

Duncan Stewart of the Mount Remo Backcountry Society said that this $26,000 donation represents about five years worth of fundraising efforts by the society, all of which has been generated from the Banff Mountain film festival it hosts in the region.

The society maintains and operates the Larsen Ridge Memorial backcountry cabin located in the Larsen Ridge non-motorized recreation area.

“Mount Remo Backcountry Society has been raising funds to build another backcountry cabin in the local Terrace mountains, but has deferred that plan to enable this major investment in the MMC,” Stewart said.

This donation, he said, demonstrates how much the society values the Shames Mountain ski area.

“Shames Mountain Ski Area provides lift serviced access to some of the province’s most spectacular backcountry skiing and snowboarding,” he said, adding that part of the group’s mandate is to support the protection of backcountry recreation areas.

Darryl Tucker, a founding director of MMC, said Mt. Remo’s donation is significant.

“It’s our biggest donation to date, and the fact that it comes from a small group of people for a donation that size is awesome,” he said.

“It really helps get us going.”

There’s now a push to get more businesses on board with the co-op, as the purchase deadline is fast approaching.