By A.P. Crawford, CSP Periodical Editor and Production Manager (5×firstname.lastname@example.org)
Recently the CSP learned of the passing of Lyle Cuthbert, Life Member No. 26 in Calgary. Lyle’s involvement with the CSP was intensive from the zone to national levels and he always pushed for achieving higher and better standards, including toboggan design and handling, skiing standards (working with the CSIA), and patrol-resort relations. He was one of the first members of the CSP involved with the XV Olympic Winter Games in Calgary in 1988 (along with Rob Shugg, Brian Honeywell and Brian Weightman) and organized the CSP’s alpine activities as Olympic alpine medical team coordinator for Nakiska and Canmore.
Lyle joined Calgary Zone in 1969 at Snowridge (Fortress), in turn becoming the APL there. He went to Lake Louise as APL following that, and then patrol leader, where he also coordinated the Canada West Ski Areas Association lift evacuation seminar and became liaison for further projects.
Early in his patrol career Lyle, working with George Ennis (LM No. 21), put his engineering background to good use and they developed the “yellow truck” toboggan, complete with a fixed chain and deep fins, long before the Cascade toboggan came into common use. According to Peter Spear (LM No. 14), taking a loaded yellow truck single-handed down Paradise Bowl was a Lake Louise qualifier. Lyle championed the use of one-person toboggans which has now become standard.
Patroller skiing ability was also a concern for Lyle, especially as mountain patrollers often had to deal with variable conditions and long, steep descents. His Level 2 CSIA qualification and work to apply a comparable standard rating to patrollers led to him become appointed as national on-hill training officer in 1981, authoring the Skiing Standards and Evaluation System document; an on-hill training officers’ manual, and re-writing the alpine training section of the manual. All of this led to him being appointed as a liaison between the CSP and CSIA for a number of years. For the tens of thousands of CSP members over the past 40 years, every skiing and toboggan handling standard we have had to meet follows in Lyle’s ski tracks.
Lyle was the recipient of CSP No. 322, Outstanding National Executive in 1984, and Life Member Award No. 26 in 1989. He is survived by his wife Vera, sons Trevor and Barclay, their wives and children and the Lake Louise CSP family.
(Photos provided by Neil McKendrick)