Well, it has been almost 100 days since I have taken on the role of President of the ACC, Montreal section, and it has been a busy time for the members of the executive.  With several new members in the executive, and some existing members changing roles, we are still managing the transition.  However, it is going well, and we have a strong, cohesive executive group in place that is having fun working for you the members.

Since we kicked off the year with the AGA, we have formally launched two winter programs, our inaugural back country ski program and second year alpine program.  Both have generated significant interest and participation.

We also launched our new website and a new Facebook group.  We want to invest in creating content for our website to encourage members to visit it often, this being one of the reasons I am writing this message.  The response to the new website has been excellent, and we are working through the issues and looking to improve it.  We will call on  you, our members and our leaders to put up reports on outings to make it interesting and dynamic.  We are also hoping to use it to help you get to know our executive and leaders better.

So who I am, your President, you may ask? Or you may not, but I will tell you anyway. 

I have been a Montrealer most of my life and my passion came from my dad, who took us to ski all winter and hike to Mount Washington in the spring to ski in Tuckerman ravine during the fall.  I never climbed until I joined the ACC Montreal and wanted to introduce my kids to ice climbing and alpinism.  My first outings were, of course, with Steve and he helped me not only me to learn how to climb, but also encouraged me to involve myself in the club.  Since then, my passion has grown for all kinds of climbing, and I have taken up rock climbing at the encouragement of my boys.  That’s enough about me.

PS:  I can only climb 5.9 in the gym, so I am a beginner climber.  

The club continues to grow and prosper.  With our new executive in place, we are getting ready for another Winter’Fest and with this week’s dump of snow it could be a great one.  We will be repeating our coffee experience from the members BBQ so we will all be fueled up to go. Fred and I are pretending to be chefs, and are preparing an Indian repast, so you can judge our culinary skills as well as our climbing skills.

We have been having an excellent season of outings, with several ice climbing, hiking,skating and skiing outings already behind us, we have seen lots of new members and new climbers and skiers.  Our alpine program has a weekend coming up after the Winter’Fest and then a second one coming in early March.

We are even running weeknight ski outings on Mount Royal!

We have revamped our newsletter (thanks Gaby) and we are going to work hard on communications with our members this year.  Please provide us feedback on how we are doing, through our email, the Facebook group or personally at some of our great events.  We created a new Facebook Group for our members only, as the other group was populated by many people that never showed an interest in the club, so we would like you all to post on the new group. Will and Gaby are managing that group. For those who are not yet members of the club, I invite you to follow us on our Facebook page.

Looking forward to seeing you over the winter or early spring.  Go to the website as we are putting up the main events so you can book you weekends like the Spring Corvée!  We need our volunteers to take care of the Keene farm property.

Paul Robitaille