Author Archives: Swany

Goat River Rapids

British Columbia. Rapids: Fraser River drainage
On the Fraser River downstream from Goat River
53.5392 N 120.6478 W — Map 093H10 — GoogleGeoHack
Earliest known reference to this name is 1914 (Walker)
Name officially adopted in 1980
Official in BCCanada

The Fraser has proved to be invaluable to the building of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, despite the fact that so many lives and so much property have been lost in its waters. These accidents have happened mostly through carelessness and ignorance. The chief obstacles to navigation are due to the existence of shifting sand and gravel bars, the Goat Rapids, the Grand Canyon, and the Giscome Rapids, all above Fort George. High water minimizes this danger for the larger craft, but presents sometimes greater dangers for the smaller ones.

— Walker

  • Walker, James Alexander [1887–1959]. “South fork of Fraser River, Dore River to Clearwater River. December 15, 1913.” Report of the Minister of Lands, (1914). Google Books

Chrome Lake

Alberta. Lake: Athabasca River drainage
Head of Astoria River near Continental Divide
52.6647 N 118.2375 W — Map 083D09 — GoogleGeoHack
Earliest known reference to this name is 1924 (Alberta-British Columbia Boundary Commission)
Name officially adopted in 1935
Official in Canada

“Chrome Lake” appears on Boundary Commission Sheet 28, published in 1924 and based on surveys in 1921.

James Monroe Thorington [1895–1989] visited the area in 1924 with guide Conrad Kain:

The headwaters of Astoria River are derived in part from Chrome Lake, into which flow rushing streams from the Eremite and Fraser Glaciers; but a somewhat larger creek rises in the Amethyst Lakes, two lovely bodies of water closely connected with one another and lying close below the stupendous east wall of the Ramparts….

Hurrying up some rising grassy slopes we were soon among the enormous morainal blocks below the glacier, and in a few minutes had rounded a tiny blue marginal lake to the ice itself. Past a corner of Outpost the circle of little peaks bounding Eremite Glacier presented themselves in snowy line. Eastward we looked down upon the curious yellow brilliancy of Chrome Lake, and into the Astoria Valley where Mount Edith Cavell raises a shaly, snowless gable to a sharp point wholly unlike the great white face one sees from Jasper.

The area was the site of the Alpine Club of Canada’s Eremite Valley Camp in 1934.


  • Thorington, James Monroe [1895–1989]. The glittering mountains of Canada. A record of exploration and pioneering ascents in the Canadian Rockies 1914-1924. Philadelphia: Lea, 1925, p. 213. Internet Archive

Eremite Mountain

Alberta. Mountain
52.6325 N 118.2453 W — Map 083D09 — GoogleGeoHack
Name officially adopted in 1935
Official in Canada

The descriptive name for this mountain was applied in 1916 by surveyor Morrison Parsons Bridgland [1878–1948]. The remote position of this mountain reminds one of an eremite, a hermit. The other features take their names from this mountain.


  • Karamitsanis, Aphrodite [1961–]. Place names of Alberta. Volume 1: Mountains, Mountain Parks and Foothills. Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 1991

Wates-Gibson Hut

Alberta. Backcountry hut
Tonquin Valley near headwaters of Astoria River
52.6633 N 118.2567 W GoogleGeoHack
Not currently an official name.
Cyril G. Wates

Cyril G. Wates
Canadian Alpine Journal, Vol 29, No. 2, p. 277

The hut is named for Cyril G. Wates [1883–1946] and E. Rex Gibson [1892–1957], who made early explorations in the Tonquin Valley.

This third version of the Wates-Gibson Hut was built in 1959 after two previous structures in different locations were found to be inadequate for various reasons.

There is a seasonal closure in place for caribou conservation. No access to this backcountry area is permitted between November 1 and May 15.


  • Bulyea, H. E. “A trip to the Geikie valley.” Canadian Alpine Journal, Vol. 13 (1923):140
  • Wates, Cyril G. [1883–1946], and Gibson, E. Rex [1892–1957]. “The Ramparts in 1927.” Canadian Alpine Journal, Vol. 16 (1927):85-95
  • Kariel, Herbert G. [1927–], and Kariel, Patricia E. Alpine huts in the Rockies, Selkirks and Purcells. Banff, Alberta: Alpine Club of Canada, 1986
  • Hayes, Scott. “End of an era as outfitters leave Tonquin Valley.” Jasper Fitzhugh, December 21 (2022). Jasper Fitzhugh
  • Hayes, Scott. “Eco groups support ‘difficult decision’ to buy out Tonquin Valley leases.” Jasper Fitzhugh, January 11 (2023). Jasper Fitzhugh