Robert L. Peters

15 March 2010

[SOLD] Bettie (my 1981 VW Westfalia)



Winnipeg Beach, Manitoba

Several people have asked whether I would be putting Bettie up for sale this spring—this after I purchased a newer (waterboxer) VW Westfalia last autumn. I hate to see this air-cooled butter-colored beauty go (after only three years), but I really don’t need two… so please consider this an official offer to sell. There, I said it.

Some stats: 1981 VW Vanagon L Westfalia Camper, 2.0 L four-cylinder engine, rear-wheel drive, manual four-speed, seating for five occupants including driver, sleeps 4 (two double beds)—German-engineered efficiency at its best. Fully camperized means a super-convenient pop-up top (takes less than 10 seconds), sink with onboard water tank and city water hookup, two-burner propane stove, three-way refrigerator (propane/110v AC/12v DC), loads of built-in storage, swing-out tables, swivel front seats, sliding windows with insect screens, full curtains, and a rooftop luggage rack. Extra niceties included: a trailer hitch, fire extinguisher, lockable strong-box (great for storing laptop and valuables while on a multi-day climb), an AC power inverter (for charging a computer, etc.), a decent sound system (radio, cassette and plug-in CD player), and comprehensive owner and service manuals.

Admittedly not a speed demon, Bettie cruises comfortably at 110 km/h on the open road (though she slows down on sustained uphill inclines). I’ve driven her out to the Rockies in each of the last three years (have I mentioned that a Westy makes for the world’s best climbing base-camp?), and with all gear and food staples neatly stored (literally, she’s a home on wheels), it’s simply a matter of adding some fresh food, a cooler of recreational beverages, and some casual clothes on a Friday after work—within half an hour you’re off for a weekend sortie. Though Bettie is pushing 30, she’s in great running condition, has low mileage (about 150,000 original kms), consumes in the area of 12 L/100 km of fuel, and is pure joy to own and drive.

If you’re interested, call me days at 1 204 943 3693 or evenings at 1 204 781 8132, or send me an e-mail through this site’s Contact form. Asking price: $7500 Canadian… I’m going to miss you, girl.

Status update as of 29 March 2010:

Bettie has been sold (to an old climbing friend, I’m happy to say)…


(previous posts about Bettie here and here)


25 August 2013

Fly fishing holiday… in Banff National Park




Lake Louise, Alberta

Earlier this month Ev and I once again crossed the prairies with Bettie Blue (my 1988 VW Westfalia camper van) for a holiday in the Rockies. For a number of reasons, not least of which being that I took up fly fishing earlier in the summer, I decided not to climb and scramble as usual, but rather stick to the valleys, streams, rivers, and lakes of Banff National Park.

Above are a few images from our sortie “out west.” Ev informs me that crispy-skinned pan-fried trout are her new favorite fish… which is a nice reward for doing something I’ll admit is almost as much fun as climbing. (-:

While we were in Banff we heard the tragic news that my long-time friend and frequent climbing companion, Peter Aitchison, had been killed in a fall while attempting an ascent of the south summit of Mount Victoria. This came as a real blow, from which I’m still recovering (ergo the absence of blog posts over the past few weeks).

We ended our trip a few days early with a visit to Lake Louise, where we could sit and take in the spectacular view that would have been Peter’s last… climb on, Peter, climb on.


9 August 2012

I’m back… from my annual Rockies road trip.

Banff, Alberta

I’ve just returned from a 12-day road trip with Bettie Blue (my 1988 VW Westfalia) and my lovely girlfriend Evelin Richter, who was able to accompany me on my annual pilgrimage to the mountains for the first time in half a dozen years. We had a great time, incredible weather, and a raft of good experiences… as you can likely tell by the pics above. (To see more, visit a gallery on Facebook here).

Above images: Bettie Blue and Ev at Tunnel Mountain campground; Mount Rundle, with the Milk River and Hoodoos in the foreground; a 3-year-old black bear munching on berries; the summit of Cascade Mountain; Ev playing ‘tourist’ at Lake Louise; the incredible turquoise of Lake Louise (as seen from the Big Beehive); three young Osprey fledglings waiting for their next meal of trout, atop a bridge over the Bow River; and, Bettie Blue with Mount Hector in the background.

28 November 2010

You know it’s winter…

Winnipeg Beach, Manitoba

You know it’s winter when, quite suddenly, the tens of thousands of geese that have filled the skies for the past two months are gone… when the cats’ enthusiasm for the outdoors dies within a second of opening the door to their eager meows, and when the morning ritual includes an extra five minutes of sweeping snow off the car and scraping the windshield. Oh, there’s also the freezing temperatures of course, the monochrome palette that suddenly sets in… and other telltale signs such as overshoes by the door, snow-covered Westies parked all in a hibernating row, and the greeters outside Ev’s studio sporting white toques and scarves.

I returned from a quick trip to Taiwan four days ago to find a complete change of season—not unexpected of course, but still a surprise…


6 September 2010

Back… with Bettie Blue.

Banff, Alberta

I’ve just returned from my annual holiday sortie to the Rockies, a first with my “new” 1988 VW Westfalia Camper Bettie Blue (which I bought a year ago from her original owner—who I met by chance at Lake Louise). For her part, Bettie Blue performed beautifully (aside from one blown coolant hose that I was able to fix en route) traversing the 3300 km return trip across the prairies in style and comfort.

The weather, unfortunately, crapped out a mere two days after I arrived in the mountains this year (always a risk in late August)—a whiteout on my first summit sortie, snowfall well below the treeline, freezing overnight temperatures in the valleys, and an extended forecast for cold precipitation conspired to push me back eastward earlier than planned—though this did allow me to make it back to Manitoba in time to assist Ev during the past days with The Wave Artists Studio Tour.

Photo: Bettie Blue posed in front of Cascade Mountain on Tunnel Mountain Drive above The Banff Centre (just before the weather turned nasty).

1 July 2010

Sleeping beauté | Bettie Blue


Manitoba, Canada

Over the past two months I’ve invested a fair bit of effort (with Ev’s help) in refurbishing Bettie Blue, the 1988 VW Westfalia camp-mobile I had the good fortune to buy from her original owner in Alberta last September. (Bettie, my first Westie, was sold to a long-time climbing friend in March). BB came to me in great shape and with exceptionally low mileage. She’s cleaned up nicely, is now sporting new rubber all around (pop-top seals on roof, and a handsome set of Michelin HydroEdge tires on new 16″ alloy rims from GoWesty below), and has been upgraded with high-powered halogen headlights up front. Already fully kitted out with camping gear, she now awaits the open road…

Image: a 1989 magazine advert promoting the VW Westie and extolling the vehicle’s versatile virtues… I’ll post some pics of BB herself at a later date.

5 June 2007

A Westy named Bettie…



Manitoba, Canada

I have just acquired a butter-coloured 1981 VW Westfalia camper van. Powered (?!) by a 2 L air-cooled engine, she is fully equipped with all the necessities of a nomadic base camp—a pop-top, fold-out beds, 3-way refrigerator, running water, two-burner propane stove, and loads of storage room. Christened “Bettie” (ask me about that some time), she’s already proving very convenient for weekend outings to the granite cliffs of NW Ontario…

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