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Glendon Webber Boles

July 5, 1934 – January 13, 2022

Glen Boles, beloved husband of Liz Boles of Cochrane, passed away at the Bethany Cochrane Centre on Thursday, January 13, 2022 at the age of 87.

Besides his beloved wife Liz, he will be lovingly remembered by Brant Boles, Lane and Susan Boles and family, Anne Haigh, Lynn and Peter Zografos and son Scott. Glen was predeceased by his parents Harry and Susan Boles, sister Joyce and her husband Harold Fairhead, brother Robert Boles and nephews Kirk Boles, Jimmy Zographos and Gerry Fairhead.

Glen was born in St. Stephen, New Brunswick in 1934 and moved to Calgary in 1953. As a child all his spare time was spent either drawing, taking part in sports or roaming the woods. In 1957 he was persuaded to go climbing by fellow worker and mountain climber Heinz Kahl, a native Bavarian. With Kahl and English climber Brian Greenwood, he was introduced to the more difficult side of climbing and by 1960 had begun to take it seriously.

Glen took part in many facets of mountaineering, from expedition climbing to mountain rescue. He climbed in the St. Elias range of the Yukon and Alaska, the alps of Europe and extensively in the Rockies and the interior ranges of British Columbia, summiting close to 600 peaks. His first love though was the Canadian Rockies where he topped out on over 450 peaks including many new routes and first ascents. During this time his pencils, pens and brushes had to take a back seat. Also an avid skier, he enjoyed cross country skiing, ski mountaineering as well as downhill skiing over the years. He spent 13 years on the Canadian Ski Patrol System.

Glen retired after spending thirty-five and a half years with the City of Calgary Waterworks Engineering Division, the last eighteen years as the Waterworks Planner. He married his wife Elizabeth in 1965 and they made their home in Cochrane, Alberta. After retiring, he resumed his interest in art, drawing in pen and pencil and painting with acrylics.

Glen was an Honorary Member of the Alpine Club of Canada, serving as the Honorary President from 2005 to 2009. He was also an Honorary Member of the Calgary Mountain Club and the American Alpine Club. During the 2005 Banff Mountain Film Festival he received the Bill March “Summit of Excellence Award”. He was also a “Life Time Member of Ski Friends Organization” at Lake Louise. He was honoured to have a Photography and Art Exhibit held at the Whyte’s Museum in Banff in October and November, 2016.

From his mountaineering experiences Glen also developed a keen interest in photography and writing; these evolved as enjoyable sidelines. Over the years he built up a large collection of mountain photos in both colour and black and white to work from. He was the co-author of two editions of “The Climbers Guide to the Canadian Rockies-South” and “Place Names of the Canadian Mountains” with Bill Putnam and Roger Laurilla. In 2006, a coffee table book of Glen’s black and white photography and pen and pencil artwork was published, titled “Glen Boles, My Mountain Album”.

In the spring of 2013 the Cochrane Eagle had its readership vote on the Best of Cochrane and he was honoured to win the Silver Award (second place) for the Best Local Artist. This was followed from 2014 to 2020 with the consecutive Gold Awards (Bronze Award in 2018) as the Best Local Artist.

In May of 2013 at the Cochrane Art Club Spring Sale, his painting of Mt. Assiniboine was voted the “People’s Choice Award”, and also that year the Town of Cochrane voted Glen the “Ambassador of the Year Award”. On November 29th , 2013, the town dedicated and named part of the town trail system the “Glen Boles Trail”.

He attributed his enjoyment in the mountains to the freedom to explore, to keep fit and to think young.   

A Memorial Service will be held  at Bow Valley Baptist Church, 54 W Aarsby Road, Cochrane, AB T4C 1M1 on Friday, February 11, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. For those unable to attend, a livestream of the service will be available beginning at 11:00 a.m. and can be accessed by clicking on the link below:

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Glen’s name may be made directly to Bethany Cochrane Centre. 1000 – 32 Quigley Drive, Cochrane, AB T4C 1X9 or to a charity of your choice.  To express condolences and share memories, as well as access the link to the virtual funeral service stream, please visit: www.mountainviewmemorial.ca.