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Ernie Alexander 


Ernie Alexander was a colorful character who lived on the west coast of British Columbia, and worked in the forest industry for over 50 years. His nickname was "FEET" referring to his exceptionally large feet. He was recognized internationally for his abilities both as a high rigger and a bull rider, a feat not surpassed by any other competitor to this day. In fact, during one week in the summer of 1950, he won the world championship tree climbing in Albany, Oregon and a bull riding championship in central Oregon. Ernie was also a well-respected stock car driver (maybe tree climbing and bull riding did not fully satisfy Ernie's need for adrenaline).

Ernie was prominent in the Logger’s Sports circuit on Vancouver Island, and he helped organize several competitions on the northern part of Vancouver Island. He was always keen to assist aspiring climbers, showing them his particular technique. His favorite event was the two man climb, a popular event in the 1970's. Ernie also tried his hand at the "tree act". His act also included one of his daughters up the tree with him. Ernie was the World Champion in the tree climb for 4 years, and also won the world championship in the eye splicing several times.

Ernie passed away in Campbell River, BC in 2001 at 77 years of age. I had the pleasure of meeting Ernie when I was a Physical Therapist in Campbell River. I felt like I was in the presence of a famous celebrity - he even gave me an autographed picture (featured below). He will be remembered for his fearless attitude, great skill and gentlemanly approach. 


Submitted by Brenda Boyko. 

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