Located on the continental divide between the upper Louise Valley and upper Cataract Brook; west buttress of Abbot Pass. on the border of Banff & Yoho parks, Alberta/BC border. Major headwaters Bow & Columbia rivers.
Photo: Looking south-southeast to Mount Victoria (north peak) from the Trans-Canada Highway, near Wapta Lake
Mount Victoria is a long, very high ridge featuring two summits one km apart. Together with Mount Lefroy, it forms the backdrop to the view across the lake from the Chateau Lake Louise. The southern peak is the highest, rising from the so called "sickle" to its south. An extensive glacier lies on the steep, eastern slopes facing Lake Louise. During the summer avalanches often tumble into the narrow gorge below and into what is knows as, "The Deathtrap" below.
Both Lefroy and Victoria were first climbed in 1897 by parties which included the first alpine guide to climb in the Canadian Rockies, Peter Sarbach of St. Niklaus, Switzerland. In the case of Mount Victoria, however, Norman Collie led the climb.
Although there is some confusion regarding the placing of the name Mount Victoria on this peak, it seems that it was named in 1897 to honour Queen Victoria who reigned over the British Commonwealth and Empire for sixty-four years until her death in 1901**. The mountain had previously been known as Mount Green after Rev. William Spotswood Green, a member of the British Alpine Club who visited the Rockies and the Selkirks in 1888. Green''''s book "Among the Selkirk Glaciers," aroused much interest in the "Canadian Alps" and Green''''s visit is said to have marked the birth of mountaineering in Canada. The naming history of nearby Mount Lefroy is a complex one and involves Mount Victoria.
When Green visited Lake Louise in 1888, he was of the opinion that what is now known as Mount Victoria was named Mount Lefroy. In his book, "Among the Selkirk Glaciers," he wrote, "At the head of the lake the great precipice of Mount Lefroy stood up in noble grandeur, a glacier sweeping round its foot came right down to the head of the lake." The caption of an accompanying drawing leaves no doubt that Green was referring to what is now known as Mount Victoria.
**Boles et al in "Place Names of the Canadian Rockies" state that the name Mount Victoria was given to the mountain by J.J. McArthur in 1886 (This was McArthur''''s first year working in the Bow Valley); Karamitsanis in, "Place Names of Alberta" writes that it was named by James J. McArthur in 1897; and E.J. Hart in, "The Place of Bows" states that it was named by Norman Collie''''s first ascent party in 1897. 1897 seems to make sense for the date given the fact that the peak was known as Mount Green after 1888. Collie''''s party climbed the mountain in 1897. McArthur was not active in the area in 1897.
Although Mount Temple and Mount Lefroy are named and appear in their current positions on George Dawson''''s 1886 map he did not place a name at the location of today''''s Mount Victoria.
Please note that Victoria Peak is a prominent mountain located southwest of Pincher Creek in southern Alberta.