Peak Finder

Photo: Looking northeast to Mount Ishbel from the Trans-Canada Highway

Mount Ishbel

  • 2908 m (9,541ft)
  • First Ascent
  • Naming History
51.2653N -115.775W
Located in the Bow River Valley east of Johnston Creek

Range: Sawback
Province: Alberta
Park: Banff
Headwater: Bow
Major Valley: Bow
Visible from Highway: 1, 93S
Ascent Date: 1933
Ascent Party: D. Day, J. Packer, V. Waters, J. Farish, W. Innes, L. DeCouteur, J. Sterling
Ascent Guide: Lawrence Grassi
Year Named: 1956
Named for: MacDonald, Ishbel (Ishbel MacDonald was the eldest daughter of Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald of Great Britain.)

This peak is likely the most sawback-like of all the mountains in the Sawback Range. It is located on the north side of the Bow Valley just downstream from Castle Mountain.

Ishbell MacDonald visited the Canadian Rockies with her father during the time that he was prime minister of Great Britain.

As the Bow Glacier advanced down the valley during the last major advance, the southeast facing slopes of Mount Ishbel were undercut and the rock above became unstable. About 8000 years ago, a few thousand years after the ice receded, a huge part of the mountains broke away and slid into the valley. The mounds of debris cover about ten square kilometres. They are now overgrown and the high, forested hills that lie below the southeast slopes of Mount Ishbel today are referred to as the Hillsdale Slide.

Photo: Looking east to Mount Ishbel from the Bow Valley Parkway

Looking north to Mount Ishbel from the Bow Valley Parkway

Looking northeast to Mount Ishbel from the Bow Valley Parkway

Looking east to Mount Ishbel from the Bow Valley Parkway

Looking north to Mount Ishbel from the Bow Valley Parkway

The summit block of Mount Ishbel from the southeast ridge (courtesy Rienk Lakeman)

Looking east to Mount Ishbel from the Bow Valley Parkway

Looking northwest to Mount Ishbel from Cockscomb Mountain (courtesy Sonny Bou)