Remembering Carl Friesen

Remembering Carl Friesen

It is with great regret that we announce the passing of  Underhill Partner Gerhard Charles (Carl) Friesen, on July 11th, 2022, in Vancouver.  

Carl was born in Morden, Manitoba in 1952. He got a start in land surveying with his uncle James Sharpe at Underhill & Underhill in 1971. He ultimately rose to become a partner in the firm, leading the Whitehorse office for many years. Many photos of Carl show him crossing rough terrain to lay out roads, dams, and other infrastructure. He thrived in the back-country.

He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Survey Engineering from the University of Calgary in 1987. That same year he was commissioned as a CLS #1344. Carl was commissioned as a BCLS #701 after articling under William Grigor Robinson, and became a partner in the firm Underhill & Underhill in 1989. For over 50 years Carl was a strong and passionate leader at Underhill and performed large project management, as well as legal and engineering surveying projects in all regions of Yukon, Northwest Territories , Nunavut and British Columbia as well as internationally. He also was the manager of several branch offices, most notably his work at the Whitehorse office.

Carl was extremely proud to have been a trusted resource with an unparalleled reputation for Yukon First Nations Land Claims surveys. Carl’s involvement in these historic land claims surveys included work with the following First Nations:

Carl had a deep respect for the indigenous community and was a key negotiator in Underhill’s partnership with the Nacho Nyak Dun First Nation and Victoria Gold on the Eagle Gold Mine. The Eagle Gold project is located 45 km north of the community of Mayo, Yukon, known as Dublin Gulch. The project is located on the traditional territory of the Nacho Nyak Dun First Nation.

Carl’s work with large engineering surveys is too long to list, some key recent projects are listed below:

  • Project Manager Victoria Gold Mine Construction, Mayo YT, 2018 to present
  • Project Manager BC Hydro Site C; Site C BC Hydro Surveyors, 2015 to present
  • Subdivision Construction Survey, Whistle Bend Subdivision, Underground Deep and Shallow Utilities Castle Rock Enterprises, Yukon, 2017 to present, Phases, 3,4,5,6
  • Project Manager 742.5-750.3 Alaska Hwy @ Liard, Reconstructions surveys, 2015, Cobalt
  • Project Manager 737-743.1 Alaska Hwy @ Liard, Reconstructions surveys, 2016, Sidhu
  • Fox Creek Bridge Highway topog, 2016
  • Fox Creek Bridge replacement Study, 2015
  • 8 Bridge surveys, Mine access road, Selwyn, 2014
  • Subdivision Construction Survey, Whistle Bend Subdivision, Underground Deep and Shallow Utilities Norcope Enterprises, Yukon, 2012
  • Road Construction Survey, Marwell Reconstruction Surface Works and Utilities, Associated Engineering, Yukon, 2012

Carl served as the CCLS Director for the ACLS in 2001-2005, as President of the ACLS in 2003-2004, and Past President in 2005. He became a Professional Engineer with Engineers Yukon (#976), also in 1989. He served as President of Engineers Yukon from 2011-2013 and was made a Fellow of Engineers Canada (FEC) in 2014.  He was also a Professional Engineer with NAPEG in the NWT&NU (#L604).

Carl is survived by his beloved wife Robyn Tripp-Friesen; step-son Jeremy (wife Jordi), and grand-daughter Blue; grandson Jax; step-mother Trudy Friesen; sister Lenore Friesen; sister Sue Hall (husband Shawn), niece Mary, and nephew Alan; and niece and nephews Mary-Ellen, Michael, and Mathew Hinton. He was pre-deceased by his daughter Zoë Tripp-Friesen, sister Marianne Hinton, and his parents Gerhard and Ellen Friesen. 

Carl will be greatly missed by the Partners and team at Underhill, our sincere condolences to his family and friends.


Some links to interviews, projects and publications that include interviews and used Carl’s vast knowledge in the field of Geomatics are also included below: