Wallace Schaber was born in Ottawa in 1950. He graduated from the University of Waterloo in Environmental Science in 1974. While at university, he created Black Feather Wilderness Adventures Ltd., which formed the foundation for his summer employment. While at Waterloo, through Black Feather, he created a national wilderness outing program for the National and Provincial Parks Association of Canada—a predecessor of CPAWS. This launched his career as a guiding company in the Northwest Territories.
In 1975, while employed in teaching adult outdoor recreation courses at Ottawa’s Algonquin College, he teamed up with Chris Harris, who had a similar career path. Gary Schofield, their friend and boss at Algonquin, encouraged them to form a business partnership, which they named Trailhead. Their Trailhead business spanned four decades, ending in 2012 and leaving a lasting legacy in the Canadian wilderness outdoor recreation and retail field. Both Trailhead and Black Feather continue successfully today.
Wally met his wife, Louise Gaulin, on a Du Moine canoe trip in 1975, and they continue to explore the world’s wilderness and cities happily together.