Mount Sir Donald

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Mount Sir Donald
Mount Sir Donald from Mt. Abbott, c.1902
Highest point
Elevation 3,284 m (10,774 ft) [1]
Prominence 874 m (2,867 ft) [1]
Parent peak Mount Dawson
Coordinates 51°15′47.2″N 117°25′53.0″W / 51.263111°N 117.431389°W / 51.263111; -117.431389Coordinates: 51°15′47.2″N 117°25′53.0″W / 51.263111°N 117.431389°W / 51.263111; -117.431389
Mount Sir Donald is located in British Columbia
Mount Sir Donald
Mount Sir Donald
Parent range Selkirk Mountains
Topo map NTS 82N6
First ascent Emil Huber, Carl Sulzer, Harry Cooper, 1890

Mount Sir Donald is a peak in the Rogers Pass area of British Columbia, Canada. Its good rock quality and classic Matterhorn shape make it popular for alpine rock climbers, and the Northwest Arete route is included in the popular book Fifty Classic Climbs of North America.

It was originally named Syndicate Peak in honor of the group who arranged the finances for the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway, but was later renamed after Donald Smith, 1st Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal, head of the syndicate.[1]

The first ascent was made in 1890 by Emil Huber and Carl Sulzer of Switzerland and porter Harry Cooper.[1][2] As of the 1910s, an average of three or four ascents per year were being made.[3]

Notable Accidents[edit]

July 28, 1964 - Douglas Barrie and Michael Swayne had completed an ascent of Sir Donald and were descending via the usual route to the Vaux glacier. A falling rock struck Barrie in the head and he was killed.

August 1, 1969 - J.B Swanson was killed instantly by rockfall while descending the Vaux glacier after a successful summit bid.

July 21, 1973 - Forrest William Wolodarsky, age 16, killed in a fall while climbing unroped in a party of three near the 10'000 foot level.

August 22, 1983 - A massive rockfall reaches the meadows (the standard camping spot used by climbers) where seven people are camped. No one is severely injured, but park wardens issue a statement that the col should be used instead as it is more protected from falling rock. The meadows are still used to this day by the majority of climbers.

August 24, 1985 - A party of two left the normal Northeast Arete route and followed a ledge system across the West Face during their descent. The party encountered difficulty routefinding and continued down-climbing unroped through a series of short rock bands. One of the climbers lost footing and fell 3000 meters down to the Vaux Glacier.

Aug 22, 2006 - Jeniffer Affeldt dies from a 600 ft fall while rappelling.


  1. ^ a b c d "Mount Sir Donald". Retrieved 2008-12-27. 
  2. ^ "On The Top Of Mount Sir Donald". The New York Times. 1890-08-08. Retrieved 2008-12-27. 
  3. ^ Howard Palmer (1914). Mountaineering and Exploration in the Selkirks. G. P. Putnam's sons. p. 46.