Mount Robson

Mt. Robson, Grand Fork, Fraser River. 
Photo: James McEvoy, 1898

Mt. Robson, Grand Fork, Fraser River.
Photo: James McEvoy, 1898
Report on the geology and natural resources of the country traversed by the Yellowhead Pass


Mount Robson from the South-West, at 3,000 Feet. Photo: Arthur Coleman, 1907

Mount Robson from the South-West, at 3,000 Feet. Photo: Arthur Coleman, 1907
The Canadian Rockies: New and Old Trails


Mount Robson from the North, at 5,700 feet. 
Photo: Arthur Coleman, 1907

Mount Robson from the North, at 5,700 feet.
Photo: Arthur Coleman, 1907
The Canadian Rockies: New and Old Trails


Mount Robson from the North-East, at 7,000 feet. 
Photo: Arthur Coleman, 1908

Mount Robson from the North-East, at 7,000 feet.
Photo: Arthur Coleman, 1908
The Canadian Rockies: New and Old Trails


Mount Robson. Photo: Mary Schäffer, 1908 
(hand coloured lantern slide)

Mount Robson. Photo: Mary Schäffer, 1908
(hand coloured lantern slide)
Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies


Mt. Robson from mountain near Tête Jaune Cache. Photo: Mary Schäffer, 1908 
(hand coloured lantern slide)

Mt. Robson from mountain near Tête Jaune Cache. Photo: Mary Schäffer, 1908
(hand coloured lantern slide)
Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies


Mount Robson. Photo: Mary Schäffer, 1908

Mount Robson. Photo: Mary Schäffer, 1908
Old Indian Trails


North-Western face of Mt. Robson from upper plateau of the Grand Forks. 
Photo: A. L. Mumm, 1909

North-Western face of Mt. Robson from upper plateau of the Grand Forks.
Photo: A. L. Mumm, 1909
Canadian Alpine Journal 1910


Mt. Robson, from the North.
Photo: Dr. J. Norman Collie, 1910

Mt. Robson, from the North.
Photo: Dr. J. Norman Collie, 1910
Alpine Journal 1912


The most majestic of Canadian Mountains.
Mount Robson, 13,700 feet high, the loftiest peak in the Canadian Rockies, viewed from the Grand Fork. 1910.

The most majestic of Canadian Mountains.
Mount Robson, 13,700 feet high, the loftiest peak in the Canadian Rockies, viewed from the Grand Fork. 1910.
F.A. Talbot, New Garden of Canada, 1911


Robson Glacier, Robson Pass and Berg Lake from Mumm Peak showing northwest face of Mt. Robson. Photo: Arthur 0. Wheeler, 1911

Robson Glacier, Robson Pass and Berg Lake from Mumm Peak showing northwest face of Mt. Robson. Photo: Arthur 0. Wheeler, 1911
Canadian Alpine Journal 1912


Mt Robson and Berg Lake. 
Photo: Byron Harmon, 1911

Mt Robson and Berg Lake.
Photo: Byron Harmon, 1911
Canadian Alpine Journal 1912


Mt. Robson, Lake Kinney and Valley of Grand Fork. Showing West and Southwest Faces of Mt. Robson. Photo: A. 0. Wheeler, 1911

Mt. Robson, Lake Kinney and Valley of Grand Fork. Showing West and Southwest Faces of Mt. Robson. Photo: A. 0. Wheeler, 1911
Canadian Alpine Journal 1912


Billings Butte - Robson Peak - Iyatunga Mountain. Panonamic view of the Robson massif and adjoining mountains, with the great Hunga glacier in the foreground. 
Photo: Charles D. Walcott, 1912

Billings Butte – Robson Peak – Iyatunga Mountain. Panonamic view of the Robson massif and adjoining mountains, with the great Hunga glacier in the foreground.
Photo: Charles D. Walcott, 1912
National Geographic Magazine 1913


Map Showing Yellowhead Pass Route From Edmonton To Tête-Jaune Cache. 
James McEvoy, 1900. (Detail of Yellowhead Pass to Tête Jaune Cache)

Map Showing Yellowhead Pass Route From Edmonton To Tête-Jaune Cache.
James McEvoy, 1900. (Detail of Yellowhead Pass to Tête Jaune Cache)
Natural Resources Canada


Topographical Map Showing Mount Robson and Mountains of the Continental Divide North of Yellowhead Pass. 
Arthur O. Wheeler, 1912

Topographical Map Showing Mount Robson and Mountains of the Continental Divide North of Yellowhead Pass.
Arthur O. Wheeler, 1912
Victoria Library, University of Toronto

Looking up Grand Fork is the most imposing view met with on the whole route. Great mountains are on every hand, but over all stands Robson Peak, “a giant amongst giants and immesurably supreme.” This, as well as the following, is from the description of the mountain by Milton and Cheadle. “When we first caight sight of it, a shroud of mist partially enveloped the summit, but this presently rolled away, and ws saw its upper portion dimmed by a necklasce of feathery clouds, beyond which its pointed apex if ice, glittering in the morning usn, shot up far into the blue heaven above.”

The top of the mountain is usually hidden and rarely indeed is it seen entirely free from clouds. The actual height of the peak is 13,700 feet, or 10,750 feet above the valley. The face of the mountain is strongly marked by horizontal lines, due to the inequal weathering of the rocks, and has the appearance of a perpendicular wall. From the summit to the base on the Grand Fork, a height of over 10,500 feet, the slope is over 60 degrees to the horizontal.

Although Robson Peak has been long known, its height had never been determined, nor was it supposed to be particularly notable in that respect, but now since the height of Mts. Brown, Hooker and Murchison have been proved to be greatly exaggerated, it has the distinction of being the highest known peak in the Canadian Rockies.
— McEvoy, 1900

As a result of my trigonometric levels, the altitude of Mt. Robson is here computed at 13,068 feet. It is derived from transit readings taken at three distinct bench-marks at wide intervals apart-placed by the engineers of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway-upon signals set on the adjacent peaks bordering the Fraser River Valley. The elevations derived were then carried from summit to summit to the highest point of the mountain. In one case the reading from the benchmark was directly upon the crest of Robson. The deduction is not absolute. It is impossible to make it so where no distinct signal, such as a rock cairn, has been sighted upon; and none can be placed on Robson, as the summit is covered by an immense snow cornice. Altogether, five sights were obtained on the crest from other summits, of which the altitude had been obtained through sighting on rock cairns built upon them, and one from the benchmark referred to. Two of these were discarded as uncertain, as they had been carried for long distances. McEvoy established a height for Mt. Robson of 13,700 feet, but do not think that any systematic series of observations were .employed by him. It is the fate of great peaks to have their reputed heights brought down, and fancy that more extended observations will find Robson no exception to the rule. The Massif with its glaciers and glacial lakes covers an area of over thirty square miles and measures three miles through at it base where it rises one and three-quarter miles into the air above the Grand Fork.
— Wheeler, 1912

Although Robson Peak has been long known its height had never been determined until recently, nor was it supposed to be particularly notable in that respect, but now since the height of other mountains in the Rockies which were considered to be the highest in Canada have been proved to be greatly exaggerated, Mt. Robson has the distinction of being the highest known peak in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, and will be owing to its magnificent surroundings, one of the greatest attractions of the Grand Trunk Pacific for tourists and alpine climbers, and as one mountain climber who has made two attempts to ascend this mountain, has said, “It will be the show place of the world.” The mountain is easy of access, within a few miles of the Grand Trunk Pacific track.
— Bell and Hinton, 1919

References:

  • McEvoy, James [1862–1935]. “Map Showing Yellowhead Pass Route From Edmonton To Tête-Jaune Cache.” (1900). Natural Resources Canada
  • McEvoy, James [1862–1935]. Report on the geology and natural resources of the country traversed by the Yellowhead Pass route from Edmonton to Tête Jaune Cache comprising portions of Alberta and British Columbia. Ottawa: Geological Survey of Canada, 1900. Natural Resources Canada
  • Schäffer Warren, Mary T. S. [1861–1939]. Old Indian trails. Incidents of camp and trail life, covering two years’ exploration through the Rocky Mountains of Canada. [1907 and 1908]. New York: Putnam, 1911, p. 339. Internet Archive
  • Bell, G. T., and Hinton, W. P. “Grand Trunk Pacific Railway. Mount Robson.” Canadian Alpine Journal, Vol. 2 (1909):136. Alpine Club of Canada
  • Mumm, Arnold Louis [1859–1927]. “An expedition to Mount Robson.” Canadian Alpine Journal, Vol. 2, No. 2 (1910):10-20. Alpine Club of Canada
  • Collie, John Norman [1859–1942]. “On the Canadian Rocky Mountains north of the Yellowhead Pass.” Alpine Journal, Vol. 26 (1912):5-17
  • Coleman, Arthur Philomen [1852–1939]. The Canadian Rockies: New and Old Trails. London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1911. Internet Archive
  • Talbot, Frederick Arthur Ambrose [1880–1924]. The new garden of Canada. By pack-horse and canoe through undeveloped new British Columbia. London: Cassell, 1911. Internet Archive
  • 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. Alpine Club of Canada
  • 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. Victoria Library, University of Toronto
  • Walcott, Charles Doolittle [1850–1927]. “The monarch of the Canadian Rockies.” National Geographic Magazine, (1913):626. Internet Archive
  • Wikipedia. Mount Robson

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