Mount John Laurie

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Mount John Laurie
Mount Yamnuska
Highest point
Elevation2,240 m (7,350 ft) [1]
ListingMountains of Alberta
Coordinates51°07′27″N 115°07′06″W / 51.12417°N 115.11833°W / 51.12417; -115.11833[2]
Mount John Laurie is located in Alberta
Mount John Laurie
Mount John Laurie
Parent rangeCanadian Rockies
Topo mapNTS 82O/03
Age of rockPaleozoic
Mountain typeLimestone & shale
First ascentUnknown
Easiest routeScramble[1]

Mount John Laurie is a mountain in the Canadian Rockies, located in the Canadian province of Alberta.

Officially named Mount John Laurie in 1961,[3] it is also known as Mount Laurie, or by the Nakoda name Mount Yamnuska, or simply Yamnuska.[3] Yamnuska translates to "wall of stone."[4] "Yamnuska" is derived from the Stoney Nakoda word "Iyamnathka" that describes steep cliffs or "the flat faced mountain."

John Lee Laurie, 1899–1959, was a founder of the Indian Association of Alberta. The mountain's 1961 renaming came at the request of the Stoney Nakoda First Nation. Laurie, an educator and political activist, served as secretary of the Indian Association of Alberta from 1944–1956, promoting the causes of Alberta native peoples.[5]

Standing at approximately 2,240 m (7,350 ft) above sea level,[6] Mount John Laurie is the first mountain on the north side of the Bow River valley (Bow Valley) as it exits the mountains for the foothills and prairie of Alberta. Located close to Calgary, it is a popular "great scramble". It is also a popular rock climbing destination, with over 100 routes of all difficulty levels spread out across its face.

Mount John Laurie is the result of the McConnell Thrust Fault, which put the resistive, cliff forming Cambrian carbonate rock of the Eldon Formation on top of the much younger and weaker Cretaceous aged, clastic Belly River Formation[7][8] The fault, which sits at the base of the cliff face, represents an age difference of around 450 million years.[7]


At the Highway 1X and Highway 1A (Bow Valley Trail) intersection, travel east for two kilometres (1.2 mi). Turn into the signed parking lot that says "Yamnuska."[6]


  1. ^ a b Kane, Alan (1999). "Traverse of Mount Yamnuska". Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies. Calgary: Rocky Mountain Books. pp. 68–69. ISBN 0-921102-67-4.
  2. ^ "Mount Laurie (Îyâmnathka)". Geographical Names Data Base. Natural Resources Canada. Retrieved 2019-06-14.
  3. ^ a b "Yamnuska". Retrieved 2014-03-25.
  4. ^ Boles, Glen W.; Laurilla, Roger W.; Putnam, William L. (2006). Canadian Mountain Place Names. Vancouver: Rocky Mountain Books. p. 275. ISBN 978-1-894765-79-4.
  5. ^ "John Lee Laurie". Society of Alberta archives. Retrieved 2014-03-19.
  6. ^ a b "Traverse of Mount Yamnuska - Scramble". Outdoor Escapade. Retrieved 2014-03-19.
  7. ^ a b McMechan, M.E., 1995, Geology, Rocky Mountain Foothills and Front Ranges in Kananaskis Country, Alberta. Geological Survey of Canada. Map 1865A, scale 1:100 000.
  8. ^ Vrolijk, P.; van der Pluijm, B.A. (1999). "Clay gouge". Journal of Structural Geology. 21: 1039–1048. doi:10.1016/S0191-8141(99)00103-0.

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