Archive for October, 2009

Candidate: #30

Location: Banff National Park, Alberta

Elevation: 3,424 metres (Mt. Deltaform)

Range: Canadian Rockies

For a list of 100 mountains in Canada you would expect that one mountain makes one entry. However, in this case we are faced with a little dilemma – Mount Deltaform, the highest summit of a chain of mountains in a place called the Valley of the Ten Peaks, is hardly known by name while the view from Moraine Lake of the chain of peaks is world famous. The view is not only featured on the cover of travel brochures for Canada around the world, on postcards, mugs, badges, covers of photo books of the Rockies, and so on, but it was also on the backside of the Canadian twenty dollar bill issued in 1970 and again on the one issued in 1978.

So, we are faced here with having to choose either a single mountain from a famous group or the whole group itself. Here in order from left to right when seen from Moraine Lake are the ten peaks:

Mount Fay – 3,234m

Mount Little – 3,140m

Mount Bowlen – 3,072m

Mount Tonsa – 3,054m

Mount Perren – 3,051m

Mount Allen – 3,310m

Mount Tuzo – 3,246m

Mount Deltaform – 3,424m

Neptuak Mountain – 3,233m

Wenkchemna Peak – 3,170m

For photos of each peak check out SummitPost here.

The story behind the naming of the 10 peaks is interesting. Samuel Allen came to Moraine Lake with Walter Wilcox in 1894 and chose to name the ten peaks using the numbers of the Stony Indians: Heejee, Nom, Yamnee, Tonsa, Sapta, Shappee, Sagowa, Saknowa, Neptuak, and Wenkchemna. Since then, however, seven of the peaks have been renamed after individuals.

There is some dispute about which peaks are the true ten peaks. A small pinnacle rises on the col just left of peak #2, and this peak has been unofficially called 3 ½. Furthermore, it has been suspected that Allen meant to include Mt. Hungabee as peak #10. Instead, Mt. Wenkchemna, which is only a shoulder of the higher Hungabee, is peak #10. If Wenkchemna and Hungabee are excluded and 3 ½ is included then the Ten Peaks end with Neptuak Mountain, which in Stony Indian is number 9. The officially recognized list is the one included above.

There are some hikes to higher ground in the area and a hike to the end of the lake and back. The Neil Colgan Hut can be reached via an 8 to 10 hour hike from Moraine Lake.








Moraine Lake

Next: Crowfoot Mountain


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