Committee Punch Bowl

Alberta-BC boundary. Lake
Headwaters of Pacific Creek
52°23’30” N 118°10’30” W — Map 83D/8 — GoogleGeoHack
Earliest known reference to this name is 1824 (Simpson).
Name officially adopted in 1930. Official in BCCanada
The Committee's Punch Bowl, at summit of Athabaska Pass. Photo: A.0. Wheeler

The Committee’s Punch Bowl, at summit of Athabaska Pass. Photo: A.0. Wheeler
Canadian Alpine Journal 1922

“At the very top of the pass or height of Land is a small circular Lake or Basin of water,” wrote Hudson’s Bay Company governor George Simpson in 1824, “which empties itself in opposite directions and may be said to be the source of the Columbia and Athabasca Rivers as it bestows its favors on both these prodigious Streams. That this basin should send its Waters to each side of the Continent and give birth to two of the principal rivers in North America is no less strange than true both the Dr [John McLoughlin] & myself having examined the currents flowing from it East and West and the circumstance appearing remarkable I thought it should be honored by a distinguishing title and it was forthwith named the ‘Committee’s Punch Bowl.’”

Fur-tradees paused at this natural campsite to drink a toast “to their Honours the Governors,” the governing committee of the Hudson’s Bay Company in London.

The name appear on the 1859 Arrowsmith map and the 1871 Trutch map.

References:

  • Simpson, George [1792–1860]. Fur trade and empire. George Simpson’s journal entitled Remarks connected with fur trade in consequence of a voyage from York Factory to Fort George and back to York Factory 1824-25. Merk, Frederick. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1931. UBC Library
  • Arrowsmith, John [1790–1873]. Provinces of British Columbia and Vancouver Island; with portions of the United States and Hudson’s Bay Territories. 1859. UVic
  • Trutch, Joseph William [1826–1904]. Map of British Columbia to the 56th Parallel North Latitude. Victoria, B.C.: Lands and Works Office, 1871. University of Victoria
  • Wheeler, Arthur Oliver [1860–1945]. “The location of Mts. Brown and Hooker.” Canadian Alpine Journal, Vol. 12 (1921–1922):123-129

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