Page 24

May Advocate 2017

342 V O L . 7 5 P A R T 3 M A Y 2 0 1 7 THE ADVOCATE Bay Company brigade road over the hills to the Anderson River, and down to the present town of Boston Bar. They traversed Jackass Mountain (2006 m) north to Lytton, and then to Lillooet.1 In September 1859 he made his second circuit, this time from New Westminster to the Cariboo; Begbie’s notes record his admiration for the mountains visible along the route.2 During this circuit, Begbie extensively explored the Cariboo and decided upon his preferred route to the towns and gold fields of the area: via McLeese Lake and Beaver Lake, to the Forks of the Quesnel River, then to Keithley Creek, and over Snowshoe Mountain (1930 m) to Richfield, Barkerville and Williams Creek. In 1861 a traveller reported that “on going up the Snowshoe Mountain I met with Judge Begbie and suite toiling their way over the snow-capped peaks of Cariboo …”3 Returning from the circuit, Begbie deliberately opted to take the rough 1849 Hudson’s Bay Company Brigade Trail over a steep section known as Manson’s Mountain, because it was reputedly the worst trail in the Colony. Begbie’s friend and travelling companion Peter O’Reilly recounts the journey: “Top of Manson’s Mountain at 81⁄2, 3,000 ft. above the sea, fearful hard work. At every turn a dead horse or a mule …”4 Begbie has no fewer than three British Columbia peaks named after him: the tallest is the most prominent mountain viewed from Revelstoke (2733 m);5 the next is located between 70 Mile House and 100 Mile House (1276 m); and the third is on Graham Island in Haida Gwaii (632 m). Early Mountaineering Explorations The completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway through the Rockies in the 1880s brought international mountaineers to new realms of exploration in the Selkirk and Rocky Mountains. These visitors included two lawyers of note in the history of mountaineering. In 1895 Philip Stanley Abbot (1867 Cambridge, Massachusetts–1896 Lake Louise), a young lawyer, was climbing Mount Lefroy (3423 m) above Lake Louise with a group from the Appalachian Mountaineering Club of Boston. While scouting ahead to lay the rope for his companions, he fell 330 metres to his death, becoming North America’s first mountaineering death.6 Mount Sir Sandford (3630 m) is the highest peak in the Selkirk range, located north of Glacier National Park. The peak became an obsession for Howard Palmer (1883 Norwich, Connecticut–1944 Connecticut), a Harvard-educated Boston lawyer who had first spotted the peak while climbing with The Alpine Club of Canada (“ACC”) near Rogers Pass. From 1908 until 1912 Palmer made four attempts to climb the peak, stymied every time by difficult route-finding and steep, icy cliffs. Finally, in 1912, Palmer returned with Swiss guides. Proceeding past the twin hazards of an overhanging ice cliff and an avalanche-ridden


May Advocate 2017
To see the actual publication please follow the link above