Archive for February, 2010

Candidate: #33

Location: Banff National Park, Alberta

Elevation: 3,612 metres

Range: Canadian Rockies

“Mount Forbes is a remote, heavily glaciated peak, the highest peak located entirely within Banff National Park. Its long approach requires the crossing of two large rivers. With so many other peaks in the region easily accessible by road, Forbes and its surrounding peaks are relatively seldom climbed, but they provide excellent opportunities for serious wilderness adventurers.” – Description of Mount Forbes on Peakware

In spite of this being a difficult mountain to reach (three to four days required for the ascent, depending on one’s starting point), there is plenty of information on the sites I checked that describe climbing routes. Mount Forbes is the 8th highest peak in the Canadian Rockies and stands out clearly above its neighbours as it is a full 350 metres higher than the next highest peak in the area: it dominates the skyline, a massive dark tooth jutting into the blue heavens.

This mountain held the eye of early mountaineer, Norman Collie and in 1902 he joined forces with rival James Outram. The story of their ascent is told in brief on PeakFinder, but it is interesting to note the chivalry and manners of the day when Collie chose to abandon the ascent in order not to have too many men on his team’s rope, and Outram sent two guides after Collie to bring him back so that he could be part of the first ascent team.

James Hector of the Palliser Expedition named the mountain after his Professor of Natural History at the University of Edinburgh, Edward Forbes. Forbes himself was a man of notable reputation as a pioneer in the fields of biogeography and palaeontology. He spent many years researching around the British Isles, Greece, and Algeria and he held many positions related to geology before being appointed professor of natural history at the University of Edinburgh. Unfortunately, he died six months later. More detailed information is on PeakFinder.



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