Peak Finder

Photo: Mount Indefatigable from the Elpoca Viewpoint on the Valleyview Trail

Mount Indefatigable

  • 2670 m (8,760ft)
  • First Ascent
  • Naming History
50.6533N -115.172W
Located in the Smith Dorrien Valley west of Lower Kananaskis Lake

Range: Spray
Province: Alberta
Park: Kananaskis
Headwater: Bow
Major Valley: Kananaskis
Visible from Highway: 40S, 742
Ascent Date: 1901
Ascent Party: Walter Wilcox
Year Named: 1917
Named for: HMS Indefatigable was a battlecrusier and the first ship to be sunk during the 1916 Battle of Jutland during WW I.

From Highway #40 there are striking similarities between Mount Indefatigable and Mount Invincible. They have similar profiles across their summits and their eastern slopes are steep near the summit ridges. The less steep slopes below these cliffs hold snow in a similar manner and this highlighting indicates that the layers of rock are oriented in the same manner. Both mountains are 2670 metres in elevation.

These similarities must have been noticed by members of the Boundary Commission who named them after two warships which came to similar ends during the Battle of Jutland. HMS Indefatigable was part of the Second Battle Cruiser Squadron. Struck by five shells from the German Battleship Vonder Tann, it exploded and only two of the 1015 crewmembers aboard survived. HMS Invincible was Admiral Hood's flagship as he led the Third Battle Cruiser Squadron into the battle. Initially Hood's ships were successful in landing some heavy blows on enemy ships but then his flagship was destroyed by enemy gunfire with the loss of 1026 men.

The general area containing Mount Warspite, Mount Invincible, and Mount Indefatigable is referred to as Mount Robinson on George Dawson?s 1886 map of the Canadian Rockies.

A 1964 report by the Geological Survey of Canada referred to deposits of gypsum on the slopes of Mount Indefatigable and led to the building of a road along the northern slopes of the mountain to a mine site near the summit. However the deposit proved to be of low quality and only one load of gypsum was taken out.

When Walter Wilcox visited the area in 1901, he took time to complete the first ascent of Mount Indefatigable, likely realizing that its summit would provide a splendid viewpoint of the Kananaskis Lakes and surrounding peaks.

*A hiking route to the south summit is described in Gillean Daffern's Kananaskis Country Trail Guide.

Photo: Mount Indefatigable from the southeast (courtesy Vern Dewit)

Looking northwest to Mount Indefatigable from Upper Kananaskis Lake

Photo: Mount Indefatigable (left) and Mount Invincible from the Elpoca Viewpoint on the Valleyview Trail

Looking north-northwest to Mount Indefatigable (courtesy Sonny Bou)

Looking northwest to Mount Indefatigable from Upper Kananaskis Lake

Looking north across Hidden Lake to Mount Indefatigable (courtesy Sonny Bou)

Looking northwest to Mount Indefatigable (courtesy Gerry Hopkins)

Looking west-north west to Mount Indefatigable (courtesy Sonny Bou)