Ida, Mount

British Columbia. Mount
Peace River and Smoky River drainages
SW of Jarvis Lakes in Kakwa Provincial Park
54.0583 N 120.3264 W — Map 093I01 — GoogleGeoHackBivouac
Earliest known reference to this name is 1875 (Hanington)
Name officially adopted in 1965
Official in BCCanada
Elevation: 3200 m

Named for reasons known to themselves by Canadian Pacific Railway surveyors Edward Worrell Jarvis [1846–1894] and Charles Francis Hanington [1848–1930] during their February 1875 crossing of what is now known as Jarvis Pass in search of a route across the Rocky Mountains.

Smoky Peak resembles Mount Ida. One rises in striking grandeur to guard the western side of the pare, while the other guards the east. They both present the came aspect, solitary, with their white summits in the clouds, glaciers covering their sides to the line of vegetation, and then the blue and green of the forest covering, they are indeed grand sights and worthy of an artist’s brush.

— Hannington 1875

A few words in conclusion. Members of the Alpine Club of Canada seemed to have noticed this mountain [Mount Sir Alexander] during their summer camp of 1913 near Mt. Robson, for the accounts read that “many fine snow mountains appear, one of enormous size, some eighty miles away, which rivals Mt. Robson.” Apparently this is the mountain they refer to, for the distance they estimated is almost exactly correct. Later on in our trip I heard of trappers who spoke of an enormous mountain at the head of the north fork of the Fraser River. Apparently it was known to the Indians too, but the only other white man whom I have been able to find who has seen it at close range was a Mr. Jones (whose initials forget), whom I saw in Edmonton on my return. He had spent four years surveying for suitable pass for the Grand Trunk Ry., and about ten years ago first saw the mountain. When I asked his opinion as to its height, he said that as he was looking for low passes and not high mountains he did not measure it accurately, but he knew it was at least 12,000 feet, and that was the figure we found on his map. Previous to his trip a man named Jarvis had crossed from the Fraser waters to the Porcupine through this valley up which we had come, and to the knife-like mountain he had given the name of “Mount Ida.”

— Fay 1915

Mount Ida, too, was clearly visible, with a great stretch of ice and snow extending between it and its giant neighbor.

— Jobe 1916

The writer is unable to say who first saw this mountain. Mackenzie certainly did not. E. W. Jarvis, an intrepid explorer for the proposed Canadian Pacific Railroad, passed within ten miles of it in February 1875 when he discovered the pass which bears his name just north of Mt. Sir Alexander. But there are only one or two locations on his route from which the mountain can be seen, and as he made the trip in the dead of winter it is quite probable that the peak was wrapped in clouds, as it is a large part of the time, and that he had no knowledge of its presence. This conclusion is borne out by the fact that he described the next highest mountain in the region, a very conspicuous peak eight miles northeast of Mt. Sir Alexander, and named it, for reasons best known to himself, “Mt. Ida”. This name happily has not been changed.

— Vreeland 1930

  • Hanington, Charles Francis [1848–1930]. Journal of Mr. C.F. Hanington from Quesnelle through the Rocky Mountains, during the winter of 1874-5. 1875. Internet Archive
  • Fay, Samuel Prescott [1884–1971]. “Mount Alexander.” Canadian Alpine Journal, Vol. 6 (1914–1915):121
  • Jobe Akeley, Mary Lenore [1878–1966]. “Mt. Alexander Mackenzie.” Canadian Alpine Journal, Vol. 7 (1916):62–73
  • Fay, Samuel Prescott [1884–1971]. “Note on Mount Alexander Mackenzie and Mount Ida.” Alpine Journal, Vol. 36 (1924):421
  • Vreeland, Frederick K. “Early Visits to Mount Sir Alexander.” American Alpine Journal, Vol. 1, No. 2 (1930). American Alpine Club

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