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North America, Canada, British Columbia, Coast Range,, Mt. Sir Robert (Borden), and the Seven Sisters

Cost Range Of British Columbia

Mt. Sir Robert (Borden), and the Seven Sisters. In 1923 I saw the Coast Range below a cloud ceiling of 6000 ft., from the car window, while going from Jasper to Prince Rupert on the Canadian National Railway. Later, Allen Carpé saw some of these peaks from the train in better weather.1 In 1938 I came east from Prince Rupert and saw everything possible on a perfect day. There are countless peaks of 6000 to 8000 ft. with glaciers extending down to 4000 ft. or less, rising directly from the Skeena River which enters the range at less than 500 ft. above sea-level. The highest peaks visible from the railroad are the Seven Sisters (ca. 9100 ft.) near Cedarvale and Mt. Sir Robert (Borden), the former being visible for a distance of more than 70 miles along the line, and so shaped and situated as to be easily the outstanding sight W. of Mt. Robson.

Hans Fuhrer and I left Jasper on August 7th, 1939, intending to try the highest Sister or Sir Robert, whichever proved the higher. No information as to height was obtainable from government sources. From the conductor I learned that Dr. Neal M. Carter of the Dominion Fisheries Experimental Station at Prince Rupert had been up to look at these peaks the year before. From the station at Pacific I wired Carter, and received the reply that he intended to try the Seven Sisters only the next week. Accordingly, Hans and I went for Sir Robert. On the evening of the 9th an Indian salmon fisherman rowed us across the Skeena, here 400 ft. above the sea, and we camped on the S. bank. It took about 12 hours, starting at 4.30 a.m. the next day, to reach and climb the peak. Tree-line, which is at 4800 ft. here, we reached in three hours. For hours we followed a broad ridge up and down, losing 1500 ft. in one place. Easy rock, snow-covered glacier, and more rock scrambling brought us unroped to the summit, a distance of perhaps fifteen miles, involving about 10,000 ft. uphill. My aneroid showed 7850 ft. and checked back to Pacific, on the return, within 50 ft. The Seven Sisters, twelve or fifteen miles to the N. E., whose ice-mantled S. face had been visible from lower down, were hidden by clouds, but all else was clear. Howson Peak (ca. 9000 ft.) stood out 25 miles to the S. W. There appeared to be no peaks over 10,000 ft. in any direction for perhaps 100 miles.

On the return, goats were seen and plenty of fresh evidences of bears. Stopping in a sheltered nook from 8.30 p.m. to 4 a.m., we returned to the Skeena by 10 in the morning, and soon attracted our Indian on the N. bank by yodeling.

Dr. and Mrs. Carter, with Mr. and Mrs. W. E. Martin from Vancouver, reached 8275 ft. on the highest Sister on August 26th. Had weather favored they would probably have been successful, and Dr. Carter hopes to return in 1940. The Seven Sisters resemble the Ten Peaks near Lake Louise, from the N., where they rise 8700 ft. above the railroad, just across the Skeena. They are visible from Hazelton.

H. S. Hall, Jr.

 A. A.J., i, 425.