98-year-old immortalizes lifelong love affair high in the Rockies
New mountain lodge a monument to a couple who loved the mountains — and each other — for decades
High up in the Rocky Mountains, hundreds of volunteers spent the summer building a new alpine hut that will provide shelter to backcountry skiers — and serve as a testament to a Canadian couple who shared their love of mountaineering for much of their 70-year marriage.
The two-storey lodge, which can accommodate 18 people from around the world, is a much-needed structure to make safe passage through the mountains, according to the Alpine Club of Canada.
For 98-year-old Richard Guy, it's a monument to the love he and his late wife shared.
"I am the luckiest person in the world," Guy told CBC News. "I had the company of the finest person in the world for 70 years."
He and his wife, Louise Guy, climbed hundreds of mountains together, until she died in 2010 at age 92. After they moved to Calgary in 1965, the couple became a fixture in the mountaineering community, volunteering with the Alpine Club of Canada for more than 40 years.
Richard Guy made a large donation to the $500,000 alpine hut — the first backcountry shelter the club has built in more than 20 years.
With his 99th birthday approaching at the end of September, the club recently flew him by helicopter to see the nearly complete project, named The Louise and Richard Guy Hut, in a remote area of B.C.'s Yoho National Park.
"It's romantic," said Lawrence White, executive director of the Alpine Club of Canada. "Seventy years together. They have been members of the club longer than I have been alive ... [and] just phenomenal people.
"[They] have given so much to the mountain community and have a genuine appreciation and love for big places, big spaces and Canadian mountain culture."
On what may have been one of his last trips to the mountains he loves so much, Guy felt his wife and climbing partner was still close by.
"I think she is happy that so many of us are happy," he said.