American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Canada, British Columbia, Mt. Collier

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1943

Mt. Collier. 1903 first ascent by G. Collier, his brother and C. Kaufmann. Collier’s entry in Kaufmann’s book merely states that they went “along part of the arête joining the west end of Victoria to Mt. Whyte.” This is the only record of this ascent, and it leaves uncertain whether they proceeded over the point now known as Popes Peak. The summit called Popes Peak in early days is the present Mt. Niblock, and the entries in Kaufmann’s book are thought to refer to the latter peak. Tewes, in 1903, spoke of Mt. Huber as “the last unascended peak in the vicinity of Lake Louise,” so it may be that the present Popes Peak was crossed by Collier’s party. If so, it would antedate the ascent of Popes Peak credited to L. S. Amery with C. Kaufmann in 1905.

The Alpine Club of Canada held camps in Cataract Valley at the foot of The Watch Tower in 1913 and again in 1917. In 1913, A. J. Campbell is credited with an ascent of Popes Peak (C. A. J. vi, 252), and in 1917 Mrs. E. B. Edwards made an ascent of Mt. Collier (C.A.J. ix, 169), both presumably from Cataract Valley and, if so, the first recorded from that side. No details of routes are given. Even in 1917, Mt. Collier is spoken of as a “Peak of the Victoria Ridge South of Popes Peak,” and as yet the name has not been approved by the Geographic Board, thus explaining its absence on Sheet 15 of the Boundary Survey.

On S. E. S. Allen’s privately printed map the Lake Louise area (1894), Popes Peak was called Mt. Despine (Edward Despine, of Geneva, was his companion on the Matterhorn in 1892), while Mt. Collier bears the name Mt. Nichols (Rev. H. P. Nichols led their party on Mt. Fox in 1893).

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