Mount Stephen

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Mount Stephen
Mount Stephen as seen from Field, British Columbia, Canada.
Highest point
Elevation 3,199 m (10,495 ft) [1]
Prominence 989 m (3,245 ft) [1]
Coordinates 51°23′56″N 116°26′11″W / 51.39889°N 116.43639°W / 51.39889; -116.43639Coordinates: 51°23′56″N 116°26′11″W / 51.39889°N 116.43639°W / 51.39889; -116.43639[1]
Mount Stephen is located in British Columbia
Mount Stephen
Mount Stephen
Parent range Canadian Rockies
Topo map NTS 82N/08
First ascent 1887 by James J. McArthur, T. Riley
Easiest route Scramble (difficult)

Mount Stephen, 3,199 m (10,495 ft), is a mountain located in the Kicking Horse River Valley of Yoho National Park, ½ km east of Field, British Columbia, Canada. The mountain was named in 1886 for George Stephen, the first president of the Canadian Pacific Railway.[1][2]

Northwest face of Mt. Stephen from the top of Mt. Field, Showing North Gully and Fossil Gully

The mountain is composed mainly of shales and dolomites from the Cambrian Period, some 550 million years ago. The Stephen Formation, a stratigraphical unit of the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin was first described at the mountain and was named for it.


The first ascent was made in September 1887 by James. J. McArthur and his assistant T. Riley, which was made even more difficult by the surveying equipment they also carried with them. Unfortunately for them, smoke from forest fires limited visibility from the top.[1][2]

Hotel and Mount Stephen in 1908

The main route (a scramble) ascends slopes on the southwest face but requires much route finding and the final section of 125 m (410 ft) to the top is rated difficult.[3] A cornice on the summit may prevent parties from reaching the top so if in doubt of conditions, attempts should wait until August. The route also passes through a fossil bed and thus requires a special park permit to be in the area.[3] The elevation gain is 1,920 m (6,299 ft).

For rock climbers, a route on the north ridge is rated III 5.7 with generally good rock formations composed mainly of quartzite.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Mount Stephen". Retrieved 2008-03-22. 
  2. ^ a b c "Mount Stephen". Retrieved 2004-11-28. 
  3. ^ a b Kane, Alan (1999). Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies. Calgary, AB: Rocky Mountain Books. pp. 272–273. ISBN 0-921102-67-4.