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British Columbia: Region of Valemount - Mt Robson

Yellowhead Mountains - Hwy 16 East towards Jasper, Alberta

Named for Peter Bostanias, a blonde Iriqiuis trapper whose nickname was "Tete Jaune" (Head Yellow or Yellow Head ). In 1820 he guided the earliest Hudson Bay parties to this area. The mountains are on the Continental Divide between Alberta & B.C.  Originally the mountians were named the Seven Sisters and four named peaks are noted (right to left ): Tete Roche, Lucerne Mountain, Leather Peak, Bingley Peak.

Mount Robson Provincial Park - located about 30 km NE of Valemount towards Jasper, AB. on Hwy 16 East.
Mount Robson
Mount Robson is the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies ( which does not include Canada's highest peak - Mount Logan, Yukon  5959 m = 19,551 ft ).   Mount Robson soars 2824m / 9265 ft above the park visitor centre, the largest visible elevation gain in the Rockies.  A climb was attempted in 1908 by A.Coleman & Reverend G.Kinney who made it to 3200m.  A first ascent to 3650m was claimed 13 August 1909 by Rev. G. Kinney & guide Don Phillips.    Conrad Kain had previously helped Rev. Kinney climb Pyramid Mtn. in Jasper and helped Kinney build a base camp to reclimb Robson, which was used by the Alpine Club of Canada, when they claimed a first ascent 31 July 1913 by Foster, McCarthy & guide C.Kain. According to early records, Robson is believed to be a mispronunciation of Robertson, a North West Company guide in the area during the early 1800's.

Kinney Lake

The lower valley surrounding Kinney Lake is mainly a Hemlock tree forest, which provides a home for about 42 species of mammals, 4 amphibian species, 1 reptile species, and 182 species of birds. Kinney Lake provides vital drinking water and regulates the micro-climate temperature. The waters are too frigid for most fish (no fishing allowed) however  provides vital freshwater for millions of spawning salmon further along the Fraser River.

In the background is Whitehorn Mountain, named in 1908 by explorer A.Coleman.

 First ascent 1911 by guide Conrad Cain. The post-climb descent across a glacier at night during a thunder storm was described by Cain - "I had absoutely no pleasure in that climb.

The time was too short and the dangers were too great. Two days later I went over the glacier and saw my tracks, and I think there was only one chance in a hundred of anyone coming through safe. I was appalled when I saw the dangerous crevasses. It was one of the craziest and most foolhardy undertakings that I ever made in the mountains, and all my life I shall remember the ascent of Whitehorn."

Kinney Lake (formerly Helna Lake) was named in honour of Reverend George Kinney who was the first person known to attempt to climb Mt Robson in 1908, making it to 3200m with A.Coleman. George Kinney reported climbing Mt Robson 13 August, 1909 along with guide Don Phillips. Settling all questions, Rev. Kinney again re-climbed Mt Robson 31 July 1913 with Foster, Cain, and McCarthy.

Mount Terry Fox

Terry Fox was born July 28, 1958 in Winnepeg, Manitoba then moved to Vancouver and later Port Couitlam, B.C.  Three years after having his leg removed due to cancer, at age 21 Terry began a "Marathon of Hope" across Canada to encourage others with cancer to continue to battle cancer and live actively.  Terry also  encouraged the public to fund  more research to find a cure.  Terry died June 28, 1981 at age 22 before he finished his cross-country run, having completed 5373 km in just 143 days ( 37.5 km/day ). Today, much shorter local marathons  are run every autumn in his memory.  Terry's fundraising efforts have raised hundreds of millions of dollars for cancer research, continuing via the Terry Fox Foundation.

Another brave man, Steve Fonyo, was born June 29, 1965 in Montreal, and also lost his leg to cancer - at age 12.  Inspired by Terry Fox, he vowed to complete the run Terry began to show cancer patients that like this arduous marathon, cancer can also be overcome with strength, determination and perseverance.  At age 18 Steve began a "Marathon for Lives" running 7924 km completely across Canada in only 13 months, also raising millions for cancer research. Foyno Beach at downtown Victoria, B.C. is named in his honour, near the statue of Terry Fox.

Canoe Mountain

Canoe Mountain was named with nearby Canoe River to honour the vital boats used by natives, early explorers and settlers.

McKirdy Peak

Fulton McKirdy and his family were among the first settlers of Valemount. Below the peak is McKirdy Meadows where the family often tended sheep. The family introduced innovative cable logging methods and selective logging fo trees that is still practiced here today,leaving much of the eco-system intact. The McKirdy farm is still here, at McKirdy Meadows at the East end of town.

Mount Trudeau

Pierre Elliot Trudeau (1919-2000) was one of Canada's most flamboyant Prime Ministers. An eloquent, charismatic, intellectual speaker, who occasionally created controversy with his candid comments. His strong sense of Nationalism, plus tremendous legal & diplomatic efforts, enabled him to help develop the Canadian Constitution, making Canada a completely independent sovereign nation April 17, 1982.

( extra notes: In legal terms, sovereignity describes the power or authority of a state to formulate laws without oversight, to govern itself and its residents, and to be politically independent. With Confederation and the passage of the British North America Act, 1867, Canada’s Parliament was still legally under the authority of the British Parliament. By 1949, Canada had become fully sovereign in relation to Great Britain through landmark legislation passed overseas, including the Statute of Westminster (1931). The Constitution Act, 1982 swept away any leftover authority that remained with Britain. However, the Queen of England is still Official Head of State for Canada, and the Queen still appoints the Governor General for Canada who in turn appoints and oversees Judges of Canada's Law Courts who then declare their own personal legal interpretations of all Canadian laws created by Municipal Govts, all Provinces, Territories and Canada's Govt. )

Of paramount importance to him was inclusion of a Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

He was first appointed as Justice Minister after serving as Lester B. Peason's parliamentary secretary. In '68 he won the Liberal Party leadership, then a very popular majority government during a time known as "Trudeau-mania". In addition to entrenching civil rights for all Canadians, he also had to contend with seperatism extremists known as French Liberation of Quebec (the FLQ). His National Energy Program would have ensured Canadians would pay less than world fuel prices.  Except for a few months in 1980, he was Prime Minister until he retired in 1984, and remained active in politics for many years after. He truly appreciated nature & pristine wilderness, regularly venturing on outdoors activities, including a trip to Jasper National Park.
Mount Diefenbaker

John Diefenbaker (1895-1979) was elected to the (Canada Govt) House of Commons in 1940, then re-elected another 12 times, also seerving as Canada's Prime Minister from 1957-1963. The mountain is very close to the site of the Canoe River train wreck of 1950, which killed 21 people.A dispatcher working in Red Pass was charged with manslaughter. The man appealed to Diefenbaker to defend him.Diefenbaker's dying wife Edna insisted he take the case, and at great personal expense, he cleared the telegraph operator of all legal  charges.
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