This fort was linked to York Factory on Hudson Bay via the Nelson and Saskatchewan rivers to Ft Edmonton, then by land through the Athabasca Pass
, Columbia River to Ft Colville and FtNez Perces.
In it the artist captures the site where the Columbia River brigade would meet up with the westbound brigade after crossing the Athabasca Pass
: there we see voyageurs pitching clinker-style wood bateaux, a design with raked bow and stern effective when negotiating white water.
* 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. None of these routes were deemed suitable for a railway because of their high elevations.
The stage was now set for Portage La Biche to be included in Canada's first transcontinental trade route, which was inaugurated in 1811 by David Thompson when he discovered the Athabasca Pass. Not only that, but the explorer attained his greatest accomplishment with his subsequent arrival at the mouth of the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean on July 14, 1811.
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.
Maps and geography books told them that the two mountains were located near remote Athabasca Pass, about fifty kilometres southwest of today's municipality of Jasper on what is now the boundary line between Alberta and British Columbia.
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.
Douglas was accompanied by a group of Hudson's Bay Company traders and voyageurs when he reached Athabasca Pass in 1827 and decided on a whim to climb "what seemed to be the highest peak in the north." One has to wonder today about that description because, far from being the highest peak in the Rockies, Mount Brown is not even the highest mountain in the ranges surrounding Athabasca Pass.