Category Archives: Place Names

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.

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.


  • 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

Moat Lake

Alberta. Lake: Athabasca River drainage
Head of Moat Creek near Tonquin Hill
52.7233 N 118.3081 W — Map 083D09 — GoogleGeoHack
Name officially adopted in 1978
Official in Canada

Referenced by Cyril G. Wates [1883–1946] in 1923.

James Monroe Thorington [1895–1989] visited the region in 1924:

Moat Lake is finely situated in the eastern hollow of Tonquin Pass and sends a stream to join with a northern outflow from Amethyst Lakes; and, in an expanse of willow-covered, marshy ground, drains both to Meadow and Maccarib Creeks.


  • Wates, Cyril G. [1883–1946]. “Mount Geikie.” Canadian Alpine Journal, Vol. 13 (1923):47-53
  • 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
Also see:

Conrad Kain

Conrad Kain [1883–1934] was an Austrian mountain guide who guided extensively in Europe, Canada, and New Zealand, and was responsible for the first ascents of more than 60 routes in British Columbia. He is particularly known for pioneering climbs in the Purcell Mountains and the first ascents of Mount Robson (1913), Mount Louis (1916) and Bugaboo Spire (1916).

In our region, he was the namesake of Mount Kain and the Kain Face of Mount Robson.


  • Kain, Conrad [1883–1934]. Banff: Whyte Museum Archives. Die Erstbesteigung des Höchsten Giflei der Rockies, Mt. Robson (1913).
  • Kain, Conrad [1883–1934]. “The ascent of Mt. Robson.” Alpine Journal, Vol. 28 (1914):35
  • Kain, Conrad [1883–1934]. “The first ascent of Mt. Robson, the highest peak of the Rockies.” Canadian Alpine Journal, Vol. 6 (1914–1915):22-
  • Kain, Conrad [1883–1934]. “First ascent of Mt. Whitehorn.” Canadian Alpine Journal, Vol. 6 (1914–1915):42-43
  • Thorington, James Monroe [1895–1989]. “Conrad Kain, In memoriam.” Canadian Alpine Journal, Vol. 22 (1933):184-187
  • Kain, Conrad [1883–1934]. Where the clouds can go. J. Monroe Thorington. New York City: American Alpine Club, 1935

1911 Alpine Club of Canada–Smithsonian Robson Expedition

The Smithsonian Institution participated in the Biological Survey of the Canadian Rockies in 1911 at the request of Arthur Oliver Wheeler [1860–1945], Director of the Alpine Club of Canada

Wheeler was undertaking a topographic survey of British Columbia and Alberta and thought it would be an excellent opportunity for the Smithsonian to gather specimens from the region. The Alpine Club of Canada also helped to pay for a portion of the Smithsonian’s costs for sending staff. Official Smithsonian staff included N. (Ned) Hollister, Assistant Curator in the Division of Mammals (leader); and Joseph Harvey Riley, Aid in the Division of Birds. They were assisted by Charles D. Walcott, Jr. (son of the Secretary of the Institution) and H. H. Blagden. All specimens collected came to the Smithsonian, including mammals, birds, reptiles, batrachians, fishes, invertebrates, and plants.

Under Wheeler, the Robson expedition included Austrian mountain guide Conrad Kain, who would ultimately make the undisputed first ascent in 1913, Phillips as outfitter, Kinney as assistant and Harmon as photographer and cook.

While Wheeler’s attempts to interest Canadian scientists in his expedition did not succeed, he did entice Dr. Charles Walcott, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, to conduct scientific studies under the permit of the geology, flora and fauna of the area.
The expedition’s supplementary party also included Ned Hollister, assistant curator of mammals for the United States National Museum, J.H. Riley from the same USNM, with Charles Walcott Jr. and Harry H. Blagden serving as the party hunters who were also enlisted to secure big game specimens.

Travelling west from Edmonton to the end of railroad construction near Henry House via the Grand Trunk Railway, the party then set off into the wilderness. Over the course of the summer they made the first circuit of Mount Robson, mapped and surveyed much of the country of that region and climbed 30 peaks, many of them first ascents. They also surveyed the area around Jasper’s Maligne Lake and eventually returned to Laggan (now Lake Louise) through the early autumn snows.


  • Smithsonian Institution. Expedition History, 1911 (1911). Smithsonian Institution Archives
  • Wheeler, Arthur Oliver [1860–1945]. “The Alpine Club of Canada’s expedition to Jasper Park, Yellowhead Pass and Mount Robson region, 1911.” Canadian Alpine Journal, Vol. 4 (1912):9-80
  • Wheeler, Arthur Oliver [1860–1945]. “Topographical Map Showing Mount Robson and Mountains of the Continental Divide North of Yellowhead Pass to accompany the Report of the Alpine Club of Canada’s Expedition 1911. From Photographic Surveys by Arthur O. Wheeler; A.C.C. Director.” Canadian Alpine Journal, Vol. 4 (1912):8-81