Athabasca Pass


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Athabasca Pass,

5,736 ft (1,748 m) high, W Alta. and E British Columbia, Canada, leading from the headwaters of the Athabasca River across the Continental Divide to the Columbia River. It was discovered by David Thompson, a Canadian fur trader, or one of his agents c.1811, and for the next 50 years it was the chief route of the Hudson's Bay men on their journeys to and from the Columbia River country.
References in periodicals archive ?
Collie, a 39-year-old chemistry professor and climbing enthusiast from London, also found it unthinkable that Douglas, a self-trained botanist and scientist, should have grossly miscalculated the height of the mountains at Athabasca Pass.
In August 2002, Parks Canada and The Alpine Club of Canada organized a horseback expedition to Athabasca Pass to try and answer the question for once and for all.
However, when a Quebec-born geology professor named Arthur Coleman explored the Athabasca Pass region in 1893, doubts about Douglas's 1827 climb began to emerge.
He seems to have estimated the heights of his giant peaks from a previous measurement that gave Athabasca Pass an altitude of 11,000 feet (3,300 metres) above sea level, more than five thousand feet (1,500 metres) higher than it actually is.
On May 1, 1827, Scottish botanist David Douglas ascended a mountain on the west side of Athabasca Pass.
Coleman reached Athabasca Pass in 1893 and found no giants.
The story begins in 1826, about 650 kilometers miles east from Athabasca Pass, where a horse was having a very bad day.
In the winter of 1858-59 Hector snowshoed 400 kms to Jasper from Edmonton and ascended the Athabasca Pass, a trip under trying circumstances in the summer, let alone in the middle of the winter.
He crossed the Great Divide three times over the Vermillion, Kicking Horse, and Howse passes, and reached the top of Athabasca Pass.
From there they went upstream to Jasper, then utilized the Athabasca Pass to make the formidable carry over the Great Divide to the headwaters of the Columbia River which flows to the Pacific.
On his return from his journey to the Pacific, Simpson directed the usage of the Athabasca Pass instead of the Howse Pass in order to avoid this danger.
The discovery of the Athabasca Pass in 1811 brought this route into greater prominence, however, owing to the swampy and shallow nature of the Beaver River, route was ordered abandoned by Governor George Simpson of the Hudson's Bay Company in 1825 in favor of the Saskatchewan/Fort Assiniboine Trail.