The Chung Collection

Chung Logo

The Chung Collection

The Canadian Pacific Rockies Morris, Keith; Canadian Pacific Railway Company 1929

Item Metadata


JSON: chungtext-1.0229027.json
JSON-LD: chungtext-1.0229027-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): chungtext-1.0229027-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: chungtext-1.0229027-rdf.json
Turtle: chungtext-1.0229027-turtle.txt
N-Triples: chungtext-1.0229027-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: chungtext-1.0229027-source.json
Full Text

Full Text

Array /-T
Canadian Pacific
CANADA and U.S.A. £
AFRICAN, Etc. i jfc '
H%, i^€ & "310Z 0 ft S'3 CS NY,
^oo/n %n^
Published   by  William   Stevens,  Ltd., 12-14, Red  Lion
Court, Fleet Street, London, E.C.4. List  of  Illustrations.
Mount  Edith,  near  Banff, Alberta   ..         .. 3
Lake O'Hara, British Columbia          ..          . . 4
Emerald Lake Near Field, British Columbia. 7
Trail Riders of the Canadian Rockies           .. 10
Cascade   Mountain   and   Bow   River,   Banff,
Alberta.                    13
Castle Mountain, Alberta, near Lake Louise. 17
Mountain Sheep, near Banff, Alberta           . . 20
Lake   Louise,   as   seen   from   the   Canadian
Pacific Chateau, Lake Louise   ..         . . 24
Canadian Pacific Banff Springs Hotei, Banff   . 28
The Canadian   Pacific Trans-Canada Ltd., in
Kicking Horse Canyon   ..         ..         . . 32
Canadian Pacific Chateau Lake Louise, Alberta. 36
Mount  Assiniboine,  the   Matterhorn   of   the
Canadian  Rockies          ..         ..         . . 38 MOUNT EDITH, NEAR  BANFF,  ALBERTA. LAKE  O'HARA,  BRITISH  COLUMBIA. The Canadian Pacific Rockies.
Regions of Romance.
The Canadian Rockies ! There is magic in the name,
a magic which brings to the inner vision an enchanting
picture of a region of romance, adventure and dazzling
scenic splendour.
Poets have risen to heights of inspiration in describing
the beauties of the mountain ranges of Alberta and
British Columbia, painters have mixed genius with
their colours when placing the varied scenes on canvas,
yet neither words nor brush can fully portray the
allurements of this section of the great Dominion,
comprising an area of a quarter of a million square
miles. To this vast territory of towering crags, deep
valleys, rushing waters and placid lakes, the name
" Rocky Mountains " has been loosely applied, but
there are three separate and distinct parallel belts,
each of which include several mountain systems.
The Rockies are the greatest in area, but the Selkirks
are equally impressive in their wild beauty. Together,
these two ranges form one of the great playgrounds of
the world, visited each year by thousands of enthralled tourists, who return to their homes and avocations filled with undying memories of a land of sheer
delight. G
Before the construction of the Canadian Pacific
Railway the Rockies were almost unknown. A few
explorers had penetrated several of the passes, but
it remained for the Canadian Pacific to first reveal
and open for travel this majestic country, and the
Canadian Government quickly realised the priceless
treasure which the railway had brought to the nation.
An Act was passed " after a memorable debate in the
Dominion House of Commons," setting apart for the
use and enjoyment of the people, a national park, to
be named the Rocky Mountains Park, with the Canadian Pacific station at Banff as the radial centre. This
was the nucleus of the system of Dominion National
Parks, which now number seven, embracing an area
of eleven thousand square miles, in the mountains of
the West—an area nearly as great as the whole of
Switzerland. In these national reservations big game
roam, protected and unmolested—grizzlies, black bear,
moose, elk, mountain goat, mountain sheep, and
many other species with which the hunter and zoologist
are familiar. Here trail riders and motorists traverse
wild mountain valleys, and the Alpine climber, looking
for new worlds to conquer, has a field for endeavour
which in its scope and variety is probably unrivalled.
I have gazed on many peaks as yet unnamed.
To preserve intact for the benefit not only of Canadians, but for visitors from all parts of the globe, the
resplendent beauties of the mountain zone of Alberta
and British Columbia, and to provide facilities for the
general enjoyment of mankind in these realms of
enchantment is a worthy task. The Department of
National Parks in the Canadian Government has built
motor roads and highways through these vast reservations, and the Canadian Pacific are equally active in EMERALD  LAKE   NEAR  FIELD,  BRITISH  COLUMBIA. 8
the work of development. At the great scenic centres,
Banff and Lake Louise, the Canadian Pacific. have
established superb mountain hotels, unsurpassed in
beauty of site and interior equipment, and have
provided bungalow camps at Yoho, Emerald Lake,
Castle Mountain, Vermilion, Lake O'Hara and other
points of interest and attraction. Specially constructed
observation cars are attached to their trains to enable
railway travellers to see " the route magnificent " and
in general they have encouraged and assisted every
scheme for the creation and improvement of facilities
for a full appreciation of the wonders of the Rockies
and Selkirks.
Someone has described the site of the Banff Springs
Hotel as " sheer genius." Overlooking the beautiful
Bow Valley, and surrounded by mountain peaks, its
situation offers an enthralling panorama to the onlooker. Northward lies the huge mass, Cascade
Mountain, eastward is Mount Inglismaldie, and the
heights of the Fairholme sub-range, culminating in
the sharp cone of Peechee. To the left of Cascade
Mountain rises the wooded ridge of Stoney Squaw
Mountain; westward tower the distant, snowy,
central heights of the Main range about Simpson's
Pass. A little nearer, at the left, is seen the northern
end of the Bourgeau, and still nearer, the razor-like
back of Sulphur Mountain, on the slope of which is
perched the club house of the Alpine Club of Canada.
The isolated bluff southward is Tunnel Mountain, with
Rundle Peak to the right.
In the valley, its waters supplemented by those of
the Spray, runs the Bow River, after its  mad dash over the Bow Falls, which roar and tumble within a
few hundred yards of the hotel.
Chateau Lake Louise gives the great human touch
to the glories of Lake Louise and its setting, which
connoisseurs in beauty have placed among the seven
most perfect landscapes in the world.
" I have travelled in almost every country under
heaven yet I have never seen so perfect a picture in
the vast gallery of Nature's masterpieces," wrote the
famous mountaineer, Sir James Outram. u Asa gem
of composition and colouring it is perhaps unrivalled
anywhere. To those who have not seen it words fail
to conjure up the glories of that ' haunted lake among
the pine-clad mountains, forever smiling upward to
the sky.' A lake whose waters are distilled from
peacocks' tails and paved with mother-of-pearl and
unto them rush those wild blues that are only mixed
in the heart of glaciers."
The beauty of the picture is enhanced by its frame—
the steep wall of Fairview, the lofty snow-crowned
head of Lefroy at the left and the darkly wooded slopes
of St. Piran to the right, with the great bulk of Victoria,
benched by snow, and catching for the greater part
of the day, the full glory of the sun, lying between.
The view from the quaintly-shaped peak, appropriately called " The Beehive," within an afternoon's
excursion of the Chateau, is unforgettable, an ensemble
of forests, lakes and snowfields, which a celebrated
climber declared to be unsurpassed in an experience
on the summits of more than forty peaks and the
middle slopes of as many more in the Canadian Rockies.
I shall never forget my own vivid impressions when I
first reached the top of " The Beehive."  11
The establishment of bungalow camps by the
Canadian Pacific at a number of tourist centres
has solved for many the probelm of expense,
and at the same time diminished the convention
associated with life at the large and fashionable hotels.
The accommodation at these camps consists of sleeping
cabins of varying sizes, built artistically of logs, and
clustering around a clubhouse or recreation hall,
which serves as the centre of social entertainments in
the evenings. They provide a different, and in many
ways, more picturesque accommodation from the
ordinary hotel. There are less "frills" to them and more
adventure. They are especially suitable for the
outdoors man or the outdoors woman, those who like
climbing, trail-riding, and other attractions of the
Great Open and who like to indulge in these exhilarating and ever-fascinating recreations at a moderate
cost, free from the shackles of ultra-conventional
attire and ultra-conventional customs.
The bungalow camps have their own charms in
situation. Lake O'Hara, although only about three-
quarters of a mile long and half a mile wide, roused
the admiration of John Sargent, this artist expressing
his opinion that it outrivals even Lake Louise both
in colour and setting. Yoho Valley is a region of great
beauty, with the spectacular Takakkaw Falls, twelve
hundred feet high, forming one high ribbon of water
descending from precipitous cliffs in clouds of foam,
as one of its attractions. From Vermilion Pass, where
Castle Mountain Camp is placed, a sweeping "view may
be had of much mountain magnificence, and the
many coloured Emerald Lake, lying in a jade green
forest, has the delights of an exquisite sylvan retreat.
Lake Windermere,  in the Columbia Valley,  between 12
the main range of the Rockies and the Selkirk Range,
is a warm-water lake over ten miles in length and
from one to three miles in width, and is ideal for
bathing and boating.
Beauty and accessibility have been the dominant
factors in the choice of location for the Canadian
Pacific hotels, bungalow camps, and rest houses in the
western mountains, and their establishment and
operation have done much in making the region one
of the world's playgrounds.
Another effective element in the development of
the Rockies and Selkirks as a great tourist resort has
been the building of a vast system of motor highways
through the National Parks.
Highways of Splendour is an appropriate description
of these scenic roads in the mountains. One of the
best known, and the first motor route opened across
the Central Rockies, is the Banff-Windermere Highway,
a detailed description of which is given in '' Through
the Heart of the Rockies and Selkirks," published
under the direction of the Minister of the Interior
in the Canadian Government.
Leaving Banff the road first skirts the Vermilion
lakes, with Mount Rundle's familiar saddleback
mirrored in their calm waters. Within sight, also,
is the massive bulk of Cascade Mountain, with Stony
Squaw at its feet and Mount Norquay a little to the
left. The road follows the Bow Valley, affording
glimpses of the river, here a quiet, tree-bordered
stream.    On the right the mountains rise bare and  14
lofty, forming a serrated crest so sharp that it seems
to have been cut out of steel plate. Beyond, the
graceful head of Mount Edith appears looking over a
shoulder of the Sawback Range. Across the valley
may be seen the rear slopes of Sulphur and the im-
,pressive bulk of Mount Bourgess, one of the three
^great peaks of the Massive Range. Soon the striking
outline of Castle Mountain looms up ahead,
dominating the vista to the west in the centre of the
Two miles before reaching Johnstone Creek the road
passes through a charming park-like area with low,
grassy hills, a favourite haunt of deer. Far away to
the left on the Vermilion summit a thrilling glimpse
may be had of Mount Ball over on the Continental
Divide, with its gleaming helmet of snow. Directly
in front is Pilot Mountain, so called because its curious
thumb-like peak is a landmark for miles in all directions. It was the guide of many an early traveller
for miles in all directions.
Castle Mountain is now the dominating feature of
the landscape—a natural fortress with walls a mile
high on a foundation eight miles long, complete with
turrets, bastions, and battlements. <c High on its
rocky wall a natural drawbridge, portcullis and gateway, can be clearly seen, and it needs little stretch of
the imagination to believe that the mighty doorway
might be rolled back at any moment and a troop of
mediaeval knights and ladies come riding forth."
Crossing the river the main road turns to the south,
the Castle-Lake Louise extension going off to the
The road to Windermere now climbs by easy and
sweeping curves to the pass, near the summit of which 15
is the Castle Mountain bungalow camp. From this
point a wide and impressive view of the surrounding
mountains is obtained. Crossing the pass at an altitude
of 5,416 feet, the road gradually descends, passing
beautiful ice-hung peaks to the left.
From Marble Canyon, where there is a delightful
little bungalow rest camp, the road winds westward
to Sinclair through a changing panorama of mountain
grandeur, sometimes passing for miles through the
green shade of pine forests, then emerging to climb
again along the ledges of the valley, with extensive
views of great peaks on either side. Eighty-four miles
from Banff the summit of Kootenay range is crossed.
Dropping down again by wide hairpin curves, it enters
the narrow valley of the Sinclair, the mountains
folding together until the road has scarcely room for
its feet. Just beyond the Sinclair Hot Springs is the
western gateway to Kootenay Park, where another
Canadian Pacific rest camp is maintained. A few
hundred yards beyond, Sinclair Creek carves its
way through a magnificent canyon which forms
Nature's impressive western portal to this magnificent
highway. Here the road leads out to the wide and
beautiful valley of the Columbia, joining the old
Columbia River road, which may be followed to
Golden, or south to Cranbrook, whence direct connection is made with the Western States.
The twenty-one miles branch road from Castle to
Chateau Lake Louise is equally impressive in its
grandeur. Here is seen the mighty entourage of peaks
along the Divide known as the Laggan group, a royal
company of peers, the majority over 11,000 feet in
height. The Bow Valley widens out and through its
green floor the river rushes down  from the Divide. 16
Towering up to the left is the sublime Mount Temple,
out-topping every other peak in the Rocky Mountains
Park, with the exception of Assiniboine. To the left
are seen the Ten Peaks ; just before reaching Lake
Louise a glimpse of the lofty summits of Victoria and
Lefroy is had. An extension of nine miles from the
wondrous lake leads to the valley of Ten Peaks.
From Lake Louise a motor highway, known as " The
Kicking Horse Trail," stretches through Field to
Golden. Following the south side of the Bow Valley,
after crossing the Great Divide, the road picks up
the old right of way abandoned by the Canadian
Pacific Railway when the tunnels were built and
utilized for the steep descent to Field. On this
section superb views are given of the two great valleys
of the Yoho and the Kicking Horse, and of the great
Cathedral, Stephen, Burgess, and Wapta peaks.
Two extensions are open—one of eleven miles
up the glorious Yoho Valley, and another of seven
miles to Emerald Lake.
From Field the highway follows the Kicking Horse
River along its tempestuous course through Yoho
National Park, and on its last fierce rush through the
Kicking Horse canyon until it flings itself upon the
broad bosom of the Columbia. As the road dips and
rises fine views open in all directions. There are
glimpses of Mount Vaux and snow-crowned Mount
Goodsir, the highest peak in the park, and as Leanchoil
is approached, of Chancellor peak, the dominating
summit of the scene. Two miles beyond Leanchoil
the highway leaves the Yoho National Park and enters
upon  the  section  built  by  the  government   of  the  18
province of British Columbia, which extends eastward
from Golden for sixteen miles.
The Kicking Horse Trail and the Banff-Windermere
Highway, with the Columbia River Highway uniting
the two, form a scenic route that traverses one of the
richest regions in the Rockies. " Everywhere, what
enchanting light and colour, a many-coloured kalaedo-
scope changing from mile to mile ! The green plumes of
the pine trees feathering the lower slopes, the silvery
grey limestones splashed and banded with old reds,
delicate pinks, yellows and purple maroons, the
crystal veil of a waterfall swaying from far heights,
the dazzling gleam of a snow peak or the glitter of
green ice where a glacier clutches at some steep face
of rock ; the intense blue of the sky, stretched like a
sheet of thin silk behind the peaks, the snow-white
clouds, moving in little puffs up the slopes or winding
and unwinding their airy scarves about the serene
foreheads of the peaks, the changing patterns woven
by their purple shadows and the deep shadows of
peak on peak—the whole marvellous dissolving
diorama that unrolls for two hundred miles from the
eastern gate-way of the main Rockies to their western
portal,   seem almost to belong to another world."
The Mount Revelstoke Highway, climbing in a great
spiral of twenty miles up the slopes of Mount Revelstoke, in Mount Revelstoke Park, the highest national
park in the world, is a road of mountain beauty. As
the elevation increases the panorama becomes more
impressive in its scenic splendour. Below lies the
valley, flat as a floor, with the green lllecillewaet
coming in from the left, the broad Columbia from the
right, and the little town set between. To the west
can be seen the narrow cleft in the mountains, Eagle 19
Pass, where the last spike of the Canadian Pacific
Railway was driven, and through which the line
runs to the Gold Range. Mount Begbie stands out
prominently in front, and in the south-east are seen
the snow-covered summits of the Selkirks.
In the Rocky Mountains recreation is a continuous
joy. For the motorist the great motor highways offer
a combination of smooth running and resplendent
scenery. The mountain-climber has a wealth of
opportunity unrivalled in any other part of the world
for its magnitude and variety. From every centre
radiates a network of trails of irresistible appeal to
the rider and the walker. Golfers are accommodated
with links where mighty crags fringe the course. The
mountain lakes teem with fish, and, while the shooting
of game is prohibited in the parks, the angler has full
liberty for his sport. Stalking wild animals for pictures
gives thrills to the photographer. In the hot springs
swimming can be enjoyed to the heart's content, and
the numerous waters give welcome to those who love
boating or canoeing.
In comparing the mountain regions of the North
American continent with those of Switzerland, Sir
James Outram, whose achievements as a pioneci
climber have splendidly enriched the annals of mountaineering in the Rockies, said :
"The United States, with all its enormous area and
limitless array of Nature's mightiest works and
treasures, might well expect to possess some counterpart to Europe's pleasure-ground.    But, hunt as we  21
may amid the upland solitudes of Colorado's sea of
lofty mountains, the noble peaks and canyons of the
Californian Sierras, or the icy fastnesses of Mount
Shasta and the Cascade Range, the more closely they
are studied, the more intrinsically are they found to
differ from Switzerland. Each contains some of the
splendid features that are all combined within the
scanty limits of the little European Republic, but the
wondrous glacial fields, the massing of majestic ranges,
the striking individuality of each great peak, the
forest areas, green pasture lands, clear lakes, and
peaceful valleys, are nowrhere found harmoniously
blended on the western continent until the traveller
visits that section of the Rocky Mountains which
lies within the wide domain of Canada."
The Alpine Club of Canada is doing much to popularise mountain climbing in the Rockies and Selkirks.
Each year a camp is held at a chosen place, and it is
the proud boast of the Club that during its existence
only one fatality has happened, and that was when
the victim had disobeyed the order of his guide. This
Association of climbers is also doing much to arouse
interest in walking tours, and, in 1920, inaugurated a
Walking Tour Camp, the first of its kind in the Rockies,
near Mount Assiniboine, which attracted nearly three
hundred persons, and this has become a permanent
institution. Other camps will be established as the
demand arises.
Chateau Lake Louise is a favoured centre for
mountain-climbers, and Swiss guides are stationed
there during the summer. For the experienced climbers
there are at least a score of peaks in the immediate
neighbourhood of first-class importance and interest.
Victoria, Lefroy, Hungabee, Temple, Pinnacle, Delta- 22
form, are all fine climbs, representing practically
every form of rock, ice and snow work, and there are
many others of equal interest. Two good half-day
climbs that may be made by the inexperienced, without
a guide, are the tops of Fairview and Saddle, on the
left side of the Lake. A good trail leads to the summit
of each and both afford superb views, the former of
the Bow Valley and the Bow Range, the latter of
Paradise Valley, Mount Temple, and the massive
group of peaks converging at the head of Paradise
Valley and the Valley of the Ten Peaks, Mounts
Abbot, Afton, and Avalanche can be climbed without much difficulty; for the more experienced
mountaineers there are Mounts Hermit, Castor,
Pollux, Tupper, Rogers, Eagle and Sir Donald.
The golf course at Banff, within a few minutes'
walk of the Banff Springs Hotel, is among the best in
Canada. This is a favourite resort of the Prince
of Wales while visiting his Western home, and many
other notables have tasted its sporting fare. Swimming
in the hot springs is another popular recreation among
visitors  to  this far-famed beauty  spot.
Nearly two hundred miles of roads radiate from
Banff, and with the exception of the Spray Valley
road, all of these are open to motors. The Spray Road is
reserved for the use of horses and riding-ponies. It is
one of the most delightful spots for a gallop in the
park. The road skirts the Spray among beautiful
pines, affording fine views of Mount Rundle and Goat
Mountain. Good trails lead to the summits of several
of the mountains adjoining Banff, and these can be
followed on foot or pony.
Banff has now become famous as " The Braemar of 23
North America." A Highland gathering and Scottish
Music Festival is held annually, in September, the
scene being thoroughly characteristic in all its aspects.
The grounds are ablaze with tartan. Pipes skirl in
competition, or to the accompaniment of Highland
dancing. Brawny Caledonians toss the caber, throw
the hammer, and perform other athletic feats native
to Scotland. Scottish songs are sung by artists known
to two continents. Hebridean lasses lilt the folksongs
of their native isle, and weeks before the event the
news is heralded that—
" Duncan's comin'
Donald's comin'
Lachlan's comin'
Ronald's comin'
A' the Highland clans are comin',"
to participate in this great Scottish Gathering in the
heart of the Rocky Mountains.
All the best fishing lakes are being constantly restocked from the Government hatchery at Banff,
so that fishing in the Rockies is growing better every
year. The Cutthroat, the gamiest trout of the mountains, and the Dolly Varden, or Bull trout, which
runs to twelve pounds, offer the best of sport. Lake
Minnewanka, within a few miles of Banff, contains the
Lake trout, which runs as high as forty pounds.
Several varieties not native to the park have also
been introduced, including the Salmon trout.
Trail riding in the mountains is a fascinating experience, and to those who are prepared to face five
or six days in the saddle, a glorious adventure.    The  25
inauguration of the Trail Riders of the Canadian
Rockies, of which it is my pride and privilege to be a
member, established a new era in this picturesque
phase of mountaineering, and opened a new gateway
to the beauties and delights of primeval Nature.
'' The sun is shining in the sky—-
We ride the rocky trails ;
The Rockies are to us just
What the sea is to the whales.
We wander up the mountain pass.
The icy streams we cross ;
We read the blazes on the trees,
Each one upon a hoss. "
At the end of each of the annual rides a Grand Pow
Wow is held. A big, gaily-painted tent, on which
Indians have displayed their artistic devices, and
capable of accommodating two or three hundred
people, is used for this romantic assembly in the
mountain wilderness.
The Pow Wow is held in the evening. Speeches and
Trail Riders' songs—the order has its own poet laureate
in the person of its founder, John Murray Gibbon—
follow the meeting of the council. That night an
especially huge camp-fire, worthy of the importance
of the occasion, is built and lit.
The constitution of the Trail Riders of the Canadian
Rockies, is no dull compendium of soulless regulations.
The spirit of the Order is a reverence for the majesty
and beauty of nature, its avowed aims to encourage
travel on horseback through the Canadian Rockies,
to foster the maintenance of old trails and the
making of new trails, and to foster good-fellowship
among those who visit and live in these mighty
mountain ranges.
The breeding of saddle-horses suitable for high
altitudes is promoted ; the study and conservation of L
wild life are encouraged; maps, descriptions, and
illustrations of existing and proposed trails and the
country to which they give access in the Canadian
Rockies, are prepared and circulated ; an interest in
Indian customs, costumes, and traditions, is being
created; and the preservation of historic sites as
related to the early explorers is among the many
and diversified activities of this adventurous association of riders " on the roof of the world," which now
has a thousand members.
The button incorporates the official badge of the
Order, engraved or stamped on metal. A Western
rider is depicted on horse-back, encircled by the words
" Trail Riders Canadian Rockies." Bronze, silver, gold,
gold with enamel border, and full colour enamel
buttons are granted, according to the mileage ridden—
50, 100, 500, 1,000 and 2,500 miles and upwards being
the respective qualifications.
This is the official recognition of membership of the
Trail Riders of the Canadian Rockies. But there is
something even greater to be gained—fadeless memories
of happy comradeship in the vast spaces of God's
out-of-doors, of winding trails through canyons and
over mountain crags, of camp fires and camp songs,
and of the pure air of an unsullied land of beauty and
The Honorary Secretary of the Trail Riders of the
Canadian Rockies is Mr. J. M. Gibbon, Room 324,
Windsor Station, Montreal, Canada.
The Dominion National Parks constitute a vast
game sanctuary. Within their borders no trap may be
set, no gun fired, and the animals have lost their fear
of man.   I have had a friendly visit from an elk in the 27
grounds of Banff Springs Hotel; a bear has cajoled a
piece of sugar from me on a motor highway ; mountain
sheep have turned out of the way of my car—to graze
contentedly within a few feet; mountain goats—
shyest and most elusive of animals—can frequently
be seen feeding within camera distance.
While n# game hunting can be done in the mountain
parks the areas adjacent to their boundaries are
among the best on the continent. They can be reached
usually by a two or three days' trail trip. Banff is
one of the principal outfitting centres for expeditions
of this kind and there are several firms that supply
guides, ponies and all the necessary camp equipment.
The Bighorn, or Rocky Mountain sheep, the Rocky
Mountain goat and the Grizzly are the most prized
The policy of conservation also applies to the forests,
and these,  where the fiend Fire has not shown his
devastating   hand,   form   a   beautiful   feature   of  the
" We grow on mountains where the glaciers cry ;
Infinite sombre armies of us stand
Below the snow peaks which defy the sky ;
We know no man, our life is to stand staunch,
Singing our song to the avalanche."
The trees for the most part are coniferous, and their
myriad tall, straight trunks, and pointing spires
harmonise perfectly with the towering peaks. The
prevailing tree in the Rockies is the lodgepole pine,
which persists to an altitude of from six thousand to
seven thousand feet. Spruce is abundant in the flats
and on the floors of the deep valleys. Balsam firs and
the Alpine larch grow only in the higher altitudes
at the last outpost of tree growth. Alpine, or Lyalls'
larch is one of the most beautiful of trees.    " Like CANADIAN   PACIFIC   BANFF  SPRINGS  HOTEL,  BANFF. 29
the Eastern tamarac which it resembles, its foliage
is deciduous, turning in late September to a bright
lemon yellow which, contrasted with the green of the
pines and the red of the smaller shrubs, makes the
forest in autumn from the valleys look like a brilliant
Afghan thrown over the peaks."
The flora of the Rockies is equally attractive. I
am not a botanist, nor have I any outstanding love of
flowers, but I still remember my first sight of the
Indian paint-brush. Flowers are abundant and
remarkable for the brilliance and variety of their
colouring, and Outram records that he collected over
seventy kinds during a single summer in his wanderings,  " though never once hunting for them."
Over five hundred varieties have been identified in
the Rockies. " On the lower levels," says Mrs. Hen-
shaw in her Wild Flowers of the North American
Mountains, '' white-flowered, scarlet-fruited shrubs
mingle with the winter greens, larkspurs, violets and
columbines; flaming Indian paintbrushes, gentians,
queencups, and purple vetches cover many a slope ;
here a valley is covered with yellow lilies, gaillardias,
arnicas, and golden-rods—a glorious field-of-the-cloth-
of-gold—and there some mossy plateau is gay with
arctic-alpine androsaces, stonecups, everlastings and
the trailing vines of the sweet-scented northern twin
flowers. On the high passes above the forest line grow
the white heath and the red mountain heather, the
latter the first cousin of its famous Scotch namesake,
covering the slopes with ' its rose-red robe.' Higher
up still grow the saxifrages, the white dryas, the
frail  everlastings,   pearly  pink-tipped  and  pale."
Recreation in the Rockies is not all strenuous
activity.    The   life   around   the   big   hotels   and  the 30
bungalow camp has its own peculiar charm, the charm
of a cosmopolitan and friendly assembly of guests
combined with a panoramic array of resplendent
mountain beauty. To sit on the terrace of Banff
Springs Hotel or Chateau Lake Louise and drink in
the glories of spectacular Nature is in itself an inspiration and a joy.
v< Do you never leave the hotel grounds ? " I
asked an American lady, a visitor at Banff. " Why
should I ? " she replied. " Everything I want in a
holiday I find here."
Nor are the attractions of the mountain regions
of Western Canada confined to life in the summer
Do you remember Robert Louis Stevenson's words ?
" In the rare air, clear cold and blinding light of Alpine
winters, a man takes a certain troubled delight in his
own existence which can nowhere be equalled. He is
perhaps no happier, but he is singularly alive. He
feels an enthusiasm of the blood unknown in more
temperate climates. You wake in the morning, see
the gold upon the snowpeaks, become filled with
courage and bless God for your prolonged existence.
The valleys are but a stride to you. You cast your
shoe over the hilltops. Your ears and your heart
sing. In the words of an unverified quotation from
the Scotch psalms, you feel yourself ' on the wings
of all the winds to come flying abroad.' "
For winter sports Canada is unsurpassed. Skiing,
tobogganing, snowshoeing, ski-joring, ice-boating,
skating—facilities   for  these   and   other   sports   of  a 31
seasonable nature, are available in abundance and
under the best of conditions. At Banff a carnival is
held each winter, and this resort is rapidly becoming
the St. Moritz of the Western Hemisphere. One of
the finest ski-jumps on the North American continent,
rivalling the famous Blumendal hill in Norway, is in
Mount Revelstoke Park, and this park is also noted
for its celebrated ski-run. Other centres are growing in
importance as winter resorts, and the Rockies and
Selkirks, a world's summer playground, is likely to
become, in the not distant future, an equally great
winter playground.
The Canadian Pacific route through the Rockies,
offers a spectacular feast to the traveller, and its
magnificence is making an ever increasing appeal
to tourists and globe trotters, and to those
journeying to or from the Far East. Entering the
mountains on the eastern portal, the Gap, the train
whirls one into the very heart of a world of crags
and canyons, glaciers and foaming torrents, tree-
skirted valleys and waterfalls, extending westward
for nearly six hundred miles—a riot of scenic glory.
An express train crosses the Swiss Alps in five hours.
The " Trans-Canada," fastest Canadian Pacific train,
takes twenty-three hours to cross the ranges in Alberta
and British Columbia. Edward Whymper's description
of the Canadian Rockies as fifty Switzerlands thrown
into one expresses a truth.
The specially constructed observation cars
attached to the trains form a fine vantage point for
sight seeing.    The journey is a continuous panorama  33
of sublimity. On the north side of the line as it emerges
from the Gap is the Fairholme Range, with its fantastically broken peaks, among which Grotto is most
prominent; on the south side lies the Goat Range,
massive snow-laden promontories, rising thousands of
feet and penetrated by enormous alcoves imprisoning
all the hues of the prism. In the neighbourhood of the
easily distinguished companion peaks, the Three
Sisters, the curious group of pillars known as
" hoodoos " appear. Beyond rises the great bulk
of Cascade, north of Banff station, " towering above
the town like a grim old idol," with an amphitheatre
of  adjoining   crags.
Between Banff and Lake Louise splendid views of
the surrounding mountains are given, the railway
following the course of the Bow River through a
beautifully forested valley. Westward and to the north
of Castle Mountain, a sheer precipice of over four
thousand feet, named for its resemblance to a giant
keep, is the bare, rugged, and sharply serrated Sawback
Range. Far to the south are the snowy peaks that
enclose Simpson's Pass. Near Eldon a wonderful
array of peaks is presented, including lofty Mount
Temple, whose crests exhibit precipitous walls of
i(3e, flashing blue in the sunlight.
Six miles west of Lake Louise is the Great Divide,
highest elevation of the Canadian Pacific Railway,
the boundary between Alberta and British Columbia,
and the very backbone of the continent. It is marked
by a rustic arch spanning a stream under which the
water divides. The water that flows to the east eventually reaches Hudson's Bay and the Atlantic Ocean ;
the rivulet that runs to the west adds its mite to the
Pacific.   On the left is the granite shaft erected to the 34
memory of Sir James Hector, the discoverer of the
Kicking Horse Pass.
Formerly the section between the Great Divide
and Field was a difficult one, the gradient being
4.5 per cent. ; but by two wonderful tunnels—forming
one of the most notable railway engineering feats
ever accomplished—the difficulty has now been
eliminated, and the grade reduced to 2.2 per cent.
These tunnels are the famous " Spiral Tunnels." From
the east, the track enters the first tunnel under
Cathedral Mountain, and after turning a complete
circle and passing under itself emerges into daylight.
The track then turns easterly, and crossing the river
enters the second tunnel, under Mount Ogden. Again
turning a complete circle and passing under itself it
comes out again into daylight and continues westward
to Field. The whole thing is a perfect maze, the
railway doubling back upon itself twice and forming
a rough figure " S " in shape.
Towering six thousand feet above Field gateway to
Yoho National Park and particularly to Yoho Valley,
one of the most beautiful in the entire Rockies, stands
Mount Stephen, at the base of which roars the turbulent
Kicking Horse River on its way to join the Columbia.
The twenty-mile journey between Lake Louise and
Field, with its vivid and startling realisation of the
elevations reached, of the grades necessitated, and of
the engineering difficulties encountered and overcome,
leaves one breathless and amazed, full of admiration
for the master minds which conceived and carried
through the achievements of a transcontinental
Westward from Field, the route for about thirty-five
miles is parallel to the turbulent Kicking Horse River. 35
The narrow valley of the Kicking Horse divides the
Ottertail Range on the south from the Van Home
Range on the north. A vivid contrast in mountain
formation is evident between the two ranges. Mounts
Goodsir, Vaux and Chancellor are prominent, with
the President Range visible on the north. At the
base of Mount Hunter the river turns abruptly and
plunges into the lower Kicking Horse Canyon, which
rapidly deepens until, beyond Palliser, the mountain
sides become vertical. " The roar of the river as it
reaches from side to side of the narrow gorge, the
thunder of the train as it follows the river—pandemonium increased a thousandfold by the reverberations
of the canyon walls—gives an indescribable sensation
until at Golden we suddenly reach daylight again
and the noisy, turbulent Kicking Horse is received
into the calm bosom of the mighty Columbia."
Between Golden and Glacier the scenery reaches a
climax of mountain grandeur. There is first the
magnificent eastern thrust of the Selkirks, with its
glorious array of mountain peaks culminating in the
lofty pinnacle of Sir Donald ; then there are mountain
torrents that tumble in splendid cascades, through the
narrow gorges cut deeply into the steep hillsides, the
Columbia River trench, flanked by the two highest
mountain systems of the Rockies ; and the Columbia
River itself, which for more than twenty-five miles
parallels the railway line, and at the base of the
Selkirks is a raging, roaring flood, forcing its way
through precipitous canyons to the high slopes along
which the railway creeps.
Just west of Golden, north of the track, is the
model Swiss village of " Edelweiss," erected by the
Canadian   Pacific   for   the   Swiss   guides   whom  the  37
company employ for the benefit of mountain climbers.
Previous to the erection of this village the guides
returned to Switzerland at the end of each season,
but now they live in Canada the entire year.
Until the end of 1916, the railway crossed the
Selkirks through Rogers Pass. This was a most
spectacular route, affording some magnificent views of
Mount Macdonald, Mount Tupper, and other giant
peaks; but it had many disadvantages, amongst
which were the enormous track curvature and the
necessity of maintaining long stretches of snowsheds.
These difficulties were finally overcome by the construction of the Connaught Tunnel, under Mount
Macdonald. This tunnel is the longest tunnel on the
American continent, measuring slightly over five
miles from portal to portal. The method by which it
was pierced involved the tunnelling of a pioneer bore
paralleling the centre line of the main tunnel—a
feature that was new and aroused the interest of
engineers the world over. The railway emerges from
the tunnel at Glacier station.
Surmounting Glacier is the great lllecillewaet
Glacier, an immense plateau of gleaming ice, framed
in a dark forest of giant cedar, hemlock and spruce
trees, scarred by immense crevasses of great depth,
and covering an area of about ten square miles.
Westward, between Glacier and Revelstoke, lies the
steep western slopes of the Selkirk Range, another
mountain region of impressive beauty. For a considerable part of the journey the railway follows the
lllecillewaet River which, tumbling along precipitous
gorges, rushing and foaming in splendid cascades,
pours  its  milk-green  coloured  flood  from  its  glacier MOUNT ASSINIBOINE,  THE  MATTERHORN  OF  THE  CANADIAN   ROCKIES. 39
source to the   waters   of   the   Columbia,   over   two-
thousand feet below.
Beyond Revelstoke the track crosses the Gold
Range through Eagle Pass, in which, at Craigellachie,
an obelisk commemorates the completion of the
Canadian Pacific Railway. It was here, on November
7th, 1885, that the rails from the east met the rails
from the west, and the long cherished vision of a
Canadian transcontinental railway became a reality.
Sicamous, on Shuswap Lake, is a favourite stop-over
for travellers who, having traversed the mountains,
wish also to see by daylight the wonderful canyon
scenery that lies between here and Vancouver. Incidentally, Lake Shuswap is a very fine fishing water,
and has the reputation of containing more varieties of
trout and other fish, including steel-head and landlocked salmon, than any water in British Columbia.
At Savona the series of Thompson River canyons is
entered; these lead westward to the far-famed
Fraser Canyon, where the river is forced between
vertical walls of black rock, and repeatedly thrown
back upon itself by opposing cliffs, rousing the water
to a roarin'g foam. At Lytton the canyon widens to
admit the Fraser, the chief river of British Columbia,
which comes down from the north between two great
lines of mountain peaks, and whose turbid flood soon
absorbs the bright green waters of the Thompson.
This section of the railway again exemplifies the
dauntless spirit of the builders of the road. For most
of the way the line follows the canyon at a considerable
height above the river bank ; the track, hewn from
the solid rock, also tunnels through great rock spurs.
At appropriately named Hell's Gate, a fierce and
spectacular   cataract   is   formed   through   the   sudden 40
compression of the river between two jutting
promontories, whence it escapes as through a bottle-
necked outlet. Beyond Yale, which occupies a bench
above the river, in a deep cul-de-sac in the mountains
that rise to a great height on all sides, the canyon
widens out and is soon succeeded by broad, level
valleys through which the train journeys to its western
terminus at Vancouver, on the coast of the Pacific
The story—a true story—is told of an American
woman who, after gazing at one of the world's scenic
wonders, the lllecillewaet Glacier, a mighty mass of
crystal ice towering thousands of feet from the level
of the railway track, asked in all earnestness, " Is it a
real glacier, or only one that the Canadian Pacific
put there for an advertisement ? "
This was a task beyond the power of even the
builders of the Canadian Pacific, but the work accomplished by them of opening to the nations of the
earth the portals of a mountain region which, for
immensity and scenic grandeur is unparalleled elsewhere in the world, is forever enshrined in the annals
of Canada and the British Empire.
Only the traveller who has journeyed through this
mountain zone, with its cloud-splitting peaks, wild
and gloomy canyons and roaring mountain torrents,
can realise—and but vaguely realise—the nature of
this unequalled feat of construction. The mountain
portion of the Canadian Pacific Railway stands for
all time as a monument to the dauntless hearts and
daring genius of its builders, giants among men.
■v    _ Y0RK-     A YOU WILL MEET NICE PEOPLE and have—
many happy memories if you decide you will really
make that holiday trip to Canada and the l3bates.
Crossing in a steady ship of the Canadian Pacific fleet,
with two days' sail up the St. Lawrence River, and
afterwards visits to such places as historic Quebec,
cosmopolitan Montreal, wonderful Niagara, and the
mighty Canadian Rockies will fill you with the joy of life.
Independent Tours to Canada and U.S.A. arranged by
Canadian Pacific to suit all pockets. Ocean fares :
Tourist Third  Cabin from £38 return.
Royal]Liver Building...
18 St. Augustine's Parade
25 Bothwell Street     ...
88 Commercial Street
4 Victoria Square
31 Mosley Street
41-43 Victoria Street ...
10 Westbourne Place
Canute Road	
25 Quai Jordaens
S. Hamngaten 43
130-131 Via del Tritone
Raadhusplads 47
Gansemarkt 3
Jernbanetorvet 4
7 Rue Scribe
98 Blvd. Adolphe Max
9 Place de la Gare Centrale
..      HAMBURG
..      BRUSSELS
Carry Canadian Pacific Express Travellers'' Cheques. #***£


Citation Scheme:


Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics



Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            async >
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:


Related Items