Carcajou Pass

Name adopted in 1925
Feature type: Pass
Province: Alberta-BC boundary
Location: Between Holmes River and Carcajou Creek, a tributary of Smoky River
Latitude: 53°14’00”
Longitude: 119°16’00”
NTS map: 83E/3
Official name listed at BC Geographical Names
Also listed at Geographical Names in Canada
Google Maps

“Nearly midway between Bess Pass and Robson Pass is a pass of the watershed which is locally known as Wolverine Pass,” wrote boundary surveyor Arthur Wheeler [1860-1945 ]. The pass had been named by Donald Phillips. “There is another Wolverine Pass in a more southerly part of the Canadian Rockies, so the pass under discussion is here referred to as Carcajou Pass, a synonym for Wolverine.”

In his article on passes near on the Great Divide, Wheeler wrote, “North of Mount Robson are a number of trail passes opf the Great Divide. Of these Carcajou Pass, 5120 feet in altitude, originally named Wolverine Pass, but changed on account of duplication, is most striking. Its summit is a broad swamp, numerous channels carrying off the glacial outflow of the magnificent ice-bound cirque below Mt. Phillips. Here, half a dozen icefalls sent their masses down in wildest confusion.”

The word carcajou was used by the French in North America, and is apparently of Indian origin. “The fur hunter’s greatest enemy is the wolverine or carcajou,” wrote Milton and Cheadle in 1863.

References:

  • Wheeler, Arthur O. and Cautley, R.W. Report of the Commission appointed to delimit the boundary between the Provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. Part III-A. Topographical surveys of the watershed. 1922, 1923, 1924. Ottawa: Office of the Surveyor General, 1924
  • Wheeler, Arthur Oliver [1860-1945]. “Passes of the Great Divide.” Canadian Alpine Journal, Vol. 16 (1926–1927):173. Alpine Club of Canada
  • Milton, William Fitzwilliam and Cheadle, Walter B. The North-West Passage by Land. Being the narrative of an expedition from the Atlantic to the Pacific, undertaken with the view of exploring a route across the continent to British Columbia through British territory, by one of the northern passes in the Rocky Mountains. London: Cassell, Petter and Galpin, 1865

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