Mount Allen
3310m (10860ft.)

Located on the continental divide in the Valley of the Ten Peaks between Moraine Lake Valley and Tokumm Creek. The Ten Peaks, on the border of Banff & Kootenay parks, Alberta/BC border. Major headwaters Bow & Kootenay rivers.
Latitude 51; 17; 25 Longitude 116; 13; 10, Topo map 82N/08

Panorama viewpoint: Moraine Lake Road. Can be seen from Highway 1

Named by J. Monroe Thorington in 1924. Allen, Samuel E. S. (Samuel Allen was one of the first visitors to the Lake Louise area.) Official name. Other names Shappee; #6 of the Ten Peaks

First ascended in 1904 by Gertrude Benham, guided by Christian Kaufmann. Journal reference AJ 22-334.

Photo: Looking south-southwest to Mount Allen (left) and Mount Tuzo from the Bow Valley Parkway
More photos

Other Information
Photo: Looking south-southwest to Mount Allen from the Moraine Lake Road

SAMUEL E.S. ALLEN (1874-1945)

Samuel Allen was born in Philadelphia and was one of the first to explore the Lake Louise area.

By 1890 the first small "Chalet" had been built near the shores of Lake Louise. In 1894 Yale College students Samuel Allen of Chicago, Walter Wilcox of Washington, and three others paid $12 per week for accommodation, meals, and the use of horses and a boat. Allen and Wilcox had visited the area before and had failed in attempts to climb Mount Victoria and Mount Temple. But they had big plans for the summer of 1894 and returned with a better equipped expedition which included other students from Yale. They referred to themselves as the Lake Louise Club and were bent on exploring, climbing and mapping in what was then uncharted wilderness.

Although inexperienced in the techniques of mountaineering, the group set out to climb Mount Lefroy. A large boulder was dislodged, striking Louis Frissell and seriously injuring him. A doctor travelled from Banff by handcar on the railway and the young man recovered in hospital.

Following this near disaster, the "club" focused on lower altitude explorations discovering Paradise Valley and Wenkchemna Valley (The Valley of the Ten Peaks). They also completed first ascents of two easier peaks, Mount Aberdeen and Mount Temple where, "Many a hearty cheer rent the thin air as our little party of three reached the summit, for we were standing where no man had ever stood before, and...at the highest altitude yet reached in North America north of the United States boundary."

Despite the successful ascent of Mount Temple, the group's inexperience in climbing had been demonstrated on Mount Lefroy and through the summer their limitations regarding glacier travel and cooking (one of the group recalled forty years later that he, "still remembered that stomach ache") led to other near disasters. But they persevered and when the club's members returned to their homes in the eastern United States, they had explored over one hundred square kilometres of country around Lake Louise.

As well, the group chose the names of many of the lakes and mountains in the area, made a detailed map, and measured the depth of Lake Louise. A major contribution was "Camping in the Canadian Rockies," by Walter Wilcox. The first major book about the Rockies, it was to inspire many others to explore and climb in the Canadian Rockies.

"No scene has ever given me an equal impression of inspiring solitude and rugged grandeur." This was Walter Wilcox's reaction when he was one of the first visitors to the Valley of the Ten Peaks. In 1894 his companion, Samuel Allen, had chosen to name the peaks from east to west using the numbers from the Stoney Indian language as follows: Heejee, Nom, Yamnee, Tonsa, Sapta, Shappee, Sagowa, Saknowa, Neptuak, and Wenkchemna. A number of Stoney Indians had been hired to look after the horses used by Wilcox and his group and Allen must have learned the numbers from them. All but two of the peaks have subsequently been renamed to honour a variety of individuals.

Climbing Routes
Peak 6
Most often combined with an ascent of Mt. Tuzo. The quintessential "Rockies Slag Heap". Dougherty, Selected Alpine Climbs page 120
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