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50 Roadside Panoramas in the Canadian Rockies
by Dave Birrell

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Mount Clemenceau
(3658 m)

"This icy giant is king of the remote Clemenceau Icefield. Although one of the four 12,000 foot summits of the Canadian Rockies it is rarely climbed" -courtesy Chic Scott

During his 1892 visit to the Rockies, Arthur Coleman left his packhorses and "tramped" up the Chaba River in search of the elusive Mount Brown and Mount Hooker. Following the third night out the party climbed made an unsuccessful attempt to climb the mountain that they named Fortress Mountain and were the first to see Fortress Lake which they named after the mountain. The following day they reached a high point to the west of Fortress Mountain and saw a, "white pyramid beyond the glacier to the south."

On August 23rd they set out for the Pyramid Mountain (now known as Mount Clemenceau). They encountered difficulties with crevasses, weather and visibility, turning back after reaching 9900 feet. The following day they retraced their steps and reached the summit of Misty Mountain (now known as Brouillard Mountain). They then determined that the mountain they had been referring to as Pyramid Mountain did not join the mountain that they were on. "Its top was probably two thousand feet above us and three or four miles away, and it seemed very isolated, so that we had to forego any attempt at climbing it, since our supplies were low... Thus far this splendid peak has never been approached by a white man except on our climb of Misty Mountain."

Four years later Robert L. Barrett and Walter Wilcox were on Fortress Mountain, Barrett reaching the summit. In "The Rockies of Canada," Wilcox wrote of being most impressed by a mountain that must have been Clemenceau: "The clouds opened a moment and disclosed what appeared to be by far the highest and finest peak that I had seen on the entire journey, ten miles to the south-west. It was a wedge-shaped peak, rising from a very long and precipitous wall of rock, which seemed to be over ten thousand feet high."

Mount Clemenceau was named by the Interprovincial Boundary Survey in 1919 to honour Georges Clemenceau, An important French politician, Clemenceau served as Premier of France from 1906 - 1909 and again from 1917 - 1919.
(photo courtesy Alan Kane)
CLICK ON THE PICTURE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT AND SEE ADDITIONAL PHOTOS OF MOUNT CLEMENCEAU

 

 

 



Please contact Dave Birrell if you feel there are errors, to suggest additional information that should be included, or if you have photos that you would like to contribute.
Email: dbirrell at telusplanet dot net (but change the at to @ and the dot to .)