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Archive for May, 2011

Candidate: #42

Location: Banff and Jasper National Parks, Alberta

Elevation: 3,450 metres

Range: Canadian Rockies, Continental Ranges, Columbia Icefield

For the millions of tourists who have taken the Columbia Icefield’s glacier bus and those who have simply stopped at the Columbia Icefield or even just driven past, Mount Andromeda makes up part of a truly impressive scene. Cropping up between the Athabasca Glacier and the Saskatchewan Glacier and situated just 2km west of Mount Athabasca, Andromeda’s hulking form and imposing cliffs beckon the eye.

Named in 1938 by Rex Gibson, a former president of the Alpine Club of Canada, after the mythological daughter of Cepheus and Cassiopeia and wife of Perseus, Andromeda has several climbing routes, all of which have exposed sections and potentially severe rockfall. For a list of routes check PeakFinder and for climbing routes with guides check Canadian Rockies Alpine Guides.

Mount Andromeda has two summits. Until recently it was thought that both summits were of the same height, but the BC Basemap shows the Northeast summit has an extra 20m contour line.

As part of the Athabasca Glacier view, Mount Andromeda is likely more photographed than its higher neighbour, Mount Athabasca. The proximity of the mountain to the parkway thrusts its beautiful face into the view of all who pass by, making it one of the memorable mountain faces of the Canadian Rockies.

Sources:

SummitPost

Wikipedia

Bivouac

PeakFinder

Canadian Rockies Alpine Guides

Photos:

Flickr 100 Famous Mountains of Canada

Next: Mount Alberta

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Candidate #41

Location: Banff National Park, Alberta

Elevation: 2,998 metres

Range: Canadian Rockies

One of the most popular tourist views in the Canadian Rockies is the view down Banff Avenue with the uplifted grey folds of strata of Cascade Mountain towering above the shops. Long before there was a Banff Townsite and Banff Avenue, Cascade Mountain was still an eye-catcher rising up from a small prairie and looming over the Bow Valley. The native people called it Minihapa – Mountain Where the Water Falls. Both Sir George Simpson in 1841 and Father Pierre-Jean De Smet in 1845 noted the cascade of water plummeting down from a cliff on the mountainside. James Hector and his party stopped at the little prairie below the mountain in 1858 and climbed up the lower reaches of the mountain, noting various wildlife in his journal, pikas capturing his attention in particular it seems for their comical movements. The little prairie is now known as Whiskey Meadows and Mountain Where the Water Falls was aptly named Cascade Mountain in English, appreciatively shorter than the direct translation of Minihapa.

Being so close to Banff Town, it is a popular mountain to climb. The best time of the year is July to September, but many people attempt to climb the ice falls in winter. The summer climbing route can be accessed from the Norquay Ski Area base. The hike is described as moderate up to the Cascade Amphitheatre with some moderate scrambling involved on the way to the summit. About 4 hours are required to make it to the summit and another 3 or so for the return. Grizzly bears are often sighted around the parking area and meadows so a can of bear spray is essential to one’s kit.

A few interesting notes that came up about the mountain are that a mirror was placed at the top of the mountain by locals some years back and there was a rumour of the fossilized remains of a prehistoric monster found near the top (though don’t expect to find it should you go). The mountain was also once known locally as Stony Chief and one of a pair with Stony Squaw, who still retains her name. he mountain was first climbed in 1887 by Tom Wilson.

Sources:

Wikipedia

PeakFinder

Peakware

SummitPost

Downclimbing

Bivouac

Photos:

Flickr 100 Famous Mountains of Canada

Next:

Mount Andromeda

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