Located in the Vermilion River Valley at the head of Serac Creek. Vermilion (BC) Range, Kootenay Park, Major headwater Kootenay River.
Photo: Looking north-northwest to Mount Verendrye (left) and White Tail Peaks from Highway #93(S) in the Vermilion River Valley
An attractive, un-named peak (10,050) is located at 663485, 2.3 km southeast of Mount Verendrye. An ascent of this peak is described by Jim Board in CAJ 43-80.
La Vérendrye (1685-1749)
Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, Sieur de La Vérendrye was born in Trois-Rivières, Quebec in 1685. After listening to stories told by the “coureurs de bois,” La Vérendrye longed for adventure. He dreamed of becoming an explorer and finding a western sea route to China.
Following a military career in the French army during which he was wounded and imprisoned, La Vérendrye returned to New France and became involved with the fur trading business, learning as much as he could from the native traders.
La Vérendrye asked for the Governor of New France for financial support of a western expedition. The governor was excited by the possibilities, and approved of the journey, granting him a monopoly on the furs traded. La Vérendrye had to borrow money to buy supplies and trading items. In order to repay his debts, forts were to be established to encourage fur trading along his exploration routes.
Leaving Montreal in June of 1731, La Vérendrye was accompanied by two of his sons, his nephew, and many voyageur paddlers. For three years, they explored the western prairies and set up trading forts.
La Vérendrye returned to Montreal in 1734 to pay off his creditors but quickly returned to the west. This time, misfortune seemed to follow him. His nephew suddenly took ill and died. His son Jean-Baptiste was killed by a warring party of Sioux at Lake of the Woods. Despite these tragedies, La Vérendrye and his remaining sons continued their explorations.
In the spring of 1742, La Vérendrye's son Pierre traveled north to establish Fort Dauphin on Lake Manitoba and Fort Bourbon on the northern tip of Lake Winnipeg. Meanwhile, LaVérendyre's remaining sons Louis-Joseph and François headed west over the plains. Using local native guides, they traveled far to the southwest. On January 1st, 1743, they saw the Rocky Mountains in western Wyoming.
La Vérendrye and his family pushed further west than any other explorer had, establishing forts that expanded the French fur trade all the way to the Saskatchewan River. His drive and courageous spirit is said to have opened up the western prairies.