A born and bred North Vancouver mountaineer and community leader has won this year’s Tim Jones Community Achievement award.
Jay MacArthur was announced winner of the award, named after the late paramedic and North Shore Rescue chief of 24 years, Tim Jones, at the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival opening night (Feb. 25).
The award is presented each year to a person who has “made an outstanding contribution to the North Shore outdoor or sports community,” and MacArthur has an impressive rap sheet.
Growing up on the North Shore in a house his grandfather built along Mount Seymour Parkway, MacArthur joined the Alpine Club of Canada and the British Columbia Mountaineering Club while he was still in high school.
A student at UBC, he joined the Varsity Outdoor Club and found the opportunity to teach other members basic mountaineering skills.
MacArthur later joined the executive of the Federation of Mountain Clubs of British Columbia and in 1980 he served his first term as president and took on the position of ACC Vancouver assistant chair. At the same time, he served seven years with the Whistler-Blackcomb volunteer ski patrol.
He also became a founding member of the Southern Chilcotin Mountains Wilderness Society. Representing the Outdoor Recreation Council of B.C., and working closely with Chief Roger William of the Xeni Gwet’in First Nation, this work eventually led to the establishment of two B.C. Provincial Parks: South Chilcotin Mountains and Big Creek.
Through his work on the Recreation & Conservation Committee of the FMCBC, MacArthur was involved in most of the hiking trail projects that took place on the North Shore. As early as 1980, Jay was instrumental in obtaining federal government grant money for work on the Howe Sound Crest Trail. More recently, Jay has worked on establishing the Grouse Mountain Regional Park and improvements to the trail system at Cypress Provincial Park.
MacArthur’s mission is to train first-time enthusiasts in safe backcountry skills, including winter avalanche safety. He has inspired others to follow in his path of being a custodian of the mountains through land preservation, trail development to lessen impact on the land, and ongoing maintenance of the trails.
Marilynn Hunter and Howard Rode wrote, “throughout his years of volunteering Jay has maintained a quiet humility, rarely if ever seeking attention he just stepped up and got the job done, repeatedly!”
Bruce Fairley, veteran climber, wrote, “Personally, I feel very fortunate to have encountered such a steady and capable climber early in my climbing career. Jay was a great inspiration to me and a stellar role model in terms of his enthusiasm, knowledge and high level of competence.”