Friends and family held services for Lorraine Mary Gagnon Bonney on Sunday at the American Alpine Club’s Climbers’ Ranch in Grand Teton National Park, remembering the mountaineer and writer who spent much of her life in Kelly. She died Feb. 9 in Chase, British Columbia at 93.
Bonney, with her husband Orrin, authored “Guide to the Wyoming Mountains and Wilderness Areas,” “The Grand Controversy” and “Battle Drums and Geysers,” among other titles. Born Nov. 28, 1922 in Edmonton, Alberta, she was an outdoorsy girl who found her way into the mountains where she met her husband, a Houston attorney. Orrin Bonney came to the Tetons every summer to climb, and he and Lorraine lived in a tipi at Jenny Lake for several summers. Following Orrin’s death in 1979, Lorraine continued her adventurous ways, taking up kayaking, among other pursuits. She was an avid defender of wilderness in her books, articles and columns, and had a particular distaste for the Jackson Hole Airport in Grand Teton National Park, which she maintains was constructed illegitimately.
In the photograph, Lorraine rests atop Popocatépetl Volcano in Mexico, 17,802 feet, in 1983 when she was 60 years old. She had climbed the peak 40 years earlier as an exchange student.