July 20, 1955 to January 11, 2017
The Columbia Valley has lost one of our modern day explorers and mountain men. Affectionately known to friends as “Many Long Shots,” Len passed away at his home in Canal Flats on Wednesday January 11, 2017.
Len was born at the Pynelogs Cultural Centre in Invermere at the time when it was a hospital. He lived his childhood in the Wilder’s Logging Camp (at about km 17 on Settlers Road), before moving with his family to Nicolson, where the Columbia River and surrounding forest and mountain areas were his playground. He lived and worked in this area for much of his life. He worked on railways, logging, trapping, as a fishing guide, and later as an artist. He lived in the Fraser Valley for several years as well, working for Project Adamant, a program that took troubled youth on backcountry trips as part of their rehabilitation.
Len and his Dad had trap lines for years that covered over 400 hectares from Rogers Pass back to the Kinbasket area. Len lived in a trapper’s cabin just past what is now Kinbasket Resort.
Len was a man who knew the backcountry throughout the Columbia Valley better than most. This was apparent in his storytelling of adventures, misadventures, and close calls. It was also apparent that his time outside allowed him to live with appreciation, understanding and deep respect for nature. Whether sitting on the top of a mountain, having his morning coffee as the sun rose, or hiking, hunting or fishing for sustenance, he was deeply connected to his environment.
Many of us have a cherished piece of his artwork. Len’s art included everything from jewelry, pointillism, carving on antlers, furniture, and chandeliers. His art paid tribute to nature in every way. Len made and painted personal and pow wow drums, and also offered drum-making workshops.
In recent years, Len lived in Canal Flats and made good friends in the community. He struggled with severe back and neck pain, undergoing multiple back surgeries. He struggled even more with doctors’ orders to sit still, and continued to hunt, fish and keep busy as best as he could.
Len will be deeply missed by family and many friends from Canal Flats to Golden. Thank you Len, for all your many gifts and life lessons.