Fenner, Clifford "Cliff" Austin

Identity area

Type of entity


Authorized form of name

Fenner, Clifford "Cliff" Austin

Parallel form(s) of name

  • Fenner, Cliff

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence

October 2, 1909 - June 21, 2002


Clifford "Cliff" Austin Fenner was a mountaineer, climber, photographer, and writer who was instrumental in the development of Garibaldi Park and the selection of the Whistler area as a potential Olympics site. Born on October 2, 1909 in Ringmer, Sussex, England, he attended Loughborough College. He then worked in the lumber industry in his home country, before a slump hit the industry. He returned to college to retrain as a teacher, majoring in physical education, but due to an injury he was not able to become a physical education teacher, and he instead returned to logging. When war broke out in 1939, he was seen as an expert in buying and selling lumber, and as a result served the Ministry of Production and Supply during the Second World War. At the end of the War, he spent 15 months with Britain's Foreign Office in Germany. Despite originally intending to move with his wife to New Zealand, they instead moved to Vancouver in 1947, where he worked in various logging camps before joining the parks division of the BC Forest Service and assisting in running Mt. Seymour. He claims he moved to Canada for its mountains, having already belonged to the Alpine Club of Great Britain and having previously scaled peaks in dozens of countries. During this time, he lived in Vancouver with his wife. Around this time, he also joined a local alpine group in BC and explored several mountains around the province. Fenner's outdoor expertise and love of the wilderness led to his appointment as Park Supervisor for Garibaldi Provincial Park in early 1953. He played a key role in opening the park up to the public, performing field inspections and climatic checks and building roads and trails. In March 1960, Fenner carried out a helicopter survey in search of an appropriate site for the Garibaldi Olympic Development Association's unsuccessful proposed bid for the 1968 Winter Olympics. His ultimate selection was the west end of Cheakamus Lake, with ski runs on the southwestern slopes of Whistler Mountain. This would lead to the creation of Whistler as a ski resort in 1965. Throughout his career, Fenner documented the BC wilderness through thousands of photographs. After his retirement from the Parks Division, Fenner continued to pursue outdoor exploration, photography, and travel writing. He died on June 21, 2002 in North Vancouver at the age of 92.


Ringmer, Sussex, England
Mt. Seymour
Garibaldi Provincial Park

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Relationships area

Related entity

Fenner, David ([fl. 1920s?-])

Identifier of related entity


Category of relationship


Type of relationship

Fenner, David

is the sibling of

Fenner, Clifford "Cliff" Austin

Dates of relationship

Description of relationship

[Brother?] of Cliff Fenner

Access points area

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Rules and/or conventions used

RAD, July 2008 version. Canadian Council of Archives.


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Catalogued March 2019.
Revised April 2022.



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