Mount Temple (Alberta)

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Mount Temple
Mount Temple.jpg
North face of Mt. Temple from Mt. Fairview
Highest point
Elevation 3,544 m (11,627 ft) [1]
Prominence 1,544 m (5,066 ft) [1]
Coordinates 51°21′02″N 116°12′24″W / 51.35056°N 116.20667°W / 51.35056; -116.20667Coordinates: 51°21′02″N 116°12′24″W / 51.35056°N 116.20667°W / 51.35056; -116.20667[2]
Mount Temple is located in Alberta
Mount Temple
Mount Temple
Alberta, Canada
Parent range Bow Range
Topo map NTS 82N/08
Age of rock 550 million years[3]
Mountain type Quartzite and limestone[3]
First ascent 1894 by Walter Wilcox, Samuel Allen and L.F. Frissel[3]
Easiest route Scramble (SW)[4]

Mount Temple is a mountain in Banff National Park of the Canadian Rockies of Alberta, Canada.

Mt. Temple is located in the Bow River Valley between Paradise Creek and Moraine Creek and is the highest peak in the Lake Louise area. The peak dominates the western landscape along the Trans-Canada Highway from Castle Junction to Lake Louise.


The mountain was named by George Mercer Dawson in 1884 after Sir Richard Temple who visited the Canadian Rockies in the same year. Mt. Temple was also the first 11,000-foot (3,400 m) peak to be climbed in the Canadian segment of the Rocky Mountains.[3]

On July 11, 1955, in one of Canada's most tragic mountaineering accidents, seven American male teenagers were killed on the southwest ridge route. A warm summer day had caused several nearby avalanches. They finally decided to turn back and during the descent, an avalanche swept 10 members of the party 200 m (656 ft) down the snowfield through a bottleneck of rocks. Unfortunately, the entire party only had one ice axe among them and were not well prepared for the seriousness of the route. The party had also gone up the route without either of their two group leaders.[5]

Climbing routes[edit]

The mountain offers several routes for climbers and the normal route on the southwest side offers a moderate class scrambling route.[4] See Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies for a description of that route. Climbers must be careful on this "easy" climb due to falling rock and if lost on the route, steep cliffs and avalanches.

  • South-West Ridge (Normal Route) (I)
    • By late July or early August, the southwest ridge is generally free of snow and is a moderate scramble for experienced parties. An ice axe is recommended for the summit.
  • East Ridge (IV 5.7)
  • North Face, Elzinga/Miller (IV 5.7)
  • North East Buttress, Greenwood/Jones (III, 5.7, A3 or 5.10) One of the most secure routes on the north side of the mountain. Free climbed in August 1983, René Boisselle and Bernard Faure.[6]

Current route conditions can be obtained from a climbing warden at the park information centre in Lake Louise. A climber's log outside the centre may also provide comments from other climbers.

Notable ascents[edit]

  • 1988 Sphinx Face (VI 5.9 A2) Ward Robinson and Rob Orvig.[7]
  • 2004 Sphinx Face (VI 5.9 M6) Raphael Slawinski and Valery Babanov (first winter ascent).[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Mount Temple". Retrieved 2012-07-17. 
  2. ^ "Mount Temple". Geographical Names Data Base. Natural Resources Canada. Retrieved 2015-01-01. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Mount Temple". PeakFinder. Retrieved 2003-12-14. 
  4. ^ a b Kane, Alan (1999). Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies. Rocky Mountain Books. pp. 235–236. ISBN 0-921102-67-4. 
  5. ^ "1955 Accident Report". Alpine Club of Canada - Edmonton Section. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2003-12-14. 
  6. ^ "Canadian Alpine Journal". 1984: 130. 
  7. ^ a b MacDonald, Dougald (31 March 2004). "Second Winter Route on Temple". Climbing Magazine Hot Flashes. Retrieved 20 June 2009. 

External links[edit]