Mount Athabasca

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Mount Athabasca
Mt. Athabasca from Wilcox Pass.jpg
Mount Athabasca and North Glacier seen from Wilcox Pass
Highest point
Elevation3,491 m (11,453 ft)[1]
Prominence671 m (2,201 ft)[2]
ListingMountains of Alberta
Coordinates52°10′50″N 117°12′06″W / 52.18056°N 117.20167°W / 52.18056; -117.20167Coordinates: 52°10′50″N 117°12′06″W / 52.18056°N 117.20167°W / 52.18056; -117.20167[3]
Mount Athabasca is located in Alberta
Mount Athabasca
Mount Athabasca
Location in Alberta
Protected areaJasper National Park
Parent rangeCanadian Rockies
Topo mapNTS 83C3 Columbia Icefield[3]
First ascent1898 by J. Norman Collie and Herman Woolley[1]
Easiest routeScramble, glacier, snow climb

Mount Athabasca is located in the Columbia Icefield of Jasper National Park in Canada. The mountain was named in 1898 by J. Norman Collie, who made the first ascent on August 18 of that year.[1] Athabasca is the Cree language name for "where there are reeds", which originally referred to Lake Athabasca. Mount Athabasca is unusual, in that water flows to the Pacific Ocean from the western slope, the Arctic Ocean from the northeastern slope, and to Hudson Bay from the southeastern slope.[4][better source needed]


North Glacier route on Mount Athabasca

There are several climbing routes, including:[1]

  • North Glacier (Normal Route) II
  • Silverhorn II
  • AA Col II
  • Regular North Face III 5.8
  • North Ridge III 5.5
  • The Hourglass 300m, III, AI3-4

One of the most prominent features of Mount Athabasca is a horned-shaped tip near the top called the "Silverhorn". The Silverhorn is one of the easier routes to the summit but requires more caution and ability than the normal route because of blue ice and falling ice from other parties. Although not apparent from the typical roadside view of the mountain, the south side of Silverhorn contains a scrambling route but one must still cross the north glacier to get to it. From the top of the Silverhorn, the summit is a rather easy 15-minute plod in good summer weather over the narrow snow-covered summit ridge.


  1. ^ a b c d "Mount Athabasca". Retrieved 2003-11-08.
  2. ^ "Mount Athabasca". Retrieved 2007-04-30.
  3. ^ a b "Mount Athabasca". Geographical Names Data Base. Natural Resources Canada. Retrieved 2017-08-06.
  4. ^ Geography of Alberta

External links[edit]

Mount Athabasca (left peak and centre foreground ridge) and Mount Andromeda (right two peaks)