Fossil Mountain
2946m (9666ft.)

Located south of Skoki Mountain; east buttress of Deception Pass. Slate Range, Banff Park, Alberta
Latitude 51; 30; 15 Longitude 116; 02; 40, Topo map 82N/09


Named in 1906. The mountain's slopes contain numerous fossils. Official name.

First ascended in 1906 by Topographic SurveyJournal reference CAJ 4-112, 20-144.

Looking northeast to Fossil Mountain from Boulder Pass (courtesy Sonny Bou)
More photos

Other Information
Looking north-northeast to Fossil Mountain from Redoubt Mountain (courtesy Sonny Bou)

April 7, 1933 became the date of the first ski fatality in the Canadian Rockies. An avalanche on the slopes of Fossil Mountain took the life of Raymond Paley. He had climbed the mountain alone and was caught in the slide while descending.

Paley was a highly regarded, 25 year old mathematician who had studied at Eton and Cambridge and was working at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on a Fellowship. He had previously climbed a dangerous slope on Braachiopod Mountain and was warned against skiing alone in dangerous terrain.

However, Paley left Skoki Lodge after lunch on April 7 and skied alone to within 50 feet of the top of Fossil Mountain. His tracks led into a huge slab avalanche in which his body was found the following morning.

Some people claim to have been visited by his ghost while skiing in the area.

Scrambling Routes
An easy ascent from Deception Pass. This ascent is nothing more than a walk up a scree slope, and because it is so easy, backcountry skiers occasionally ascend this peak in winter, too. The view of the surroundings is spectacular. Kane, Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies page 253

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