Mount Edith
2554m (8381ft.)

Located in the Bow River Valley south of Forty Mile Creek. Sawback Range, Banff Park, Alberta
Latitude 51; 12; 25 Longitude 115; 40; 05, Topo map 82O/04
Can be seen from Highway 1

Named in 1886. Orde, Edith (Edith Orde worked as an assistant to Lady Agnes Macdonald, the wife of Canada's first prime minister.) Official name.

First ascended in 1900 by J. Norman Collie, Fred StephensJournal reference App 17-31, CAJ 2-1, 136.

Photo: The three summits of Mount Edith from the junction of the Bow Valley Parkway and the Trans-Canada Highway
More photos

Other Information
Photo: The three summits of Mount Edith from the west on Mount Cory; Mount Norquay beyond at right, Cascade Mountain at left (courtesy www.canadasmountains.com)

Mount Edith has three summits, the highest being the northernmost.

Mount Edith, Mount Louis, and Mount Fifi were all named one day in 1886 when Canada's first Prime Minister, Sir John A. MacDonald, and his wife were making a cross country trip on the recently completed Canadian Pacific Railway. Louis Stewart, the park superintendent's son, took Lady MacDonald's "attendant", Edith Orde, and her dog Fifi hiking to Edith Pass. The pass provides views of the three peaks and a park surveyor named them after the two hikers and the dog.

Norman Collie and outfitter/packer Fred Stephens made the first ascent of the northernmost peak in 1900. Collie was a very experienced climber but his partner that day was not. Although Fred had travelled extensively in the mountains as an outfitter according to Collie he thought that, "climbing peaks, for the mere sake of climbing them, was foolishness" and that, "only if sheep or goats could be shot by doing so, there might be some use in taking the trouble to get to the top of a mountain."

(See Mount Lady Macdonald)

For a panoramic view from the summit of Mount Edith visit www.canadasmountains.com.

Scrambling Routes
Moderate/difficult scrambling for each peak. Mount Edith sports three separate summits offering interesting and sometimes exposed scrambling. Access is by a popular hiking trail. A dogtooth mountain like its northerly and more famous neighbour Mount Louis, Mount Edith is an uplift of Devonian age Palliser limestone-a 500 m-thick formation of sound rock prized by climbers. Palliser rock forms great grey cliffs on many mountains, fortunately it does not present a barrier to scramblers on this one. Dry conditions and a helmet are recommended. Try this outing from June on. Kane, Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies page 201

Climbing Routes
South Ridge of the South Peak II 5.4
One of the more frequently climbed of the easier routes in the Banff region. Very popular with beginners. The start of the route is notoriously difficult to find so make good use of the photograph! Dougherty, Selected Alpine Climbs page 58

East Face of the Central Peak III 5.10b
The east side of Edith consists of a series of steep, slabby faces. This route takes the largest and steepest face on the central peak of Edith via a very prominent water-worn groove that runs right down the middle of the face. The climbing is sustained and was a breakthrough in difficulty by local standards when it was originally climbed. Nowadays, it is rarely climbed, presumably since it is quite a serious "traditional" style route. Some climbers may find some of the run-outs a little disconcerting. More of a "big crag" climb than an alpine style rock route - for one thing it doesn't go to the summit! Dougherty, Selected Alpine Climbs page 60 p> North Face of the North Peak, Greenwood/Boles III 5.8
Certainly in its day this route was a pointer to future developments, treating a steep face as little more than a big crag. The majority of the climbing is very straightforward by modern standards. The original guides quote it as 5.7 - most parties would find it a little stiff at this grade. Well worth examining. Some wag soloed it in 1984! Dougherty, Selected Alpine Climbs page 60

The Kafir Strikes Back III 5.10c
Takes the prominent corner line all the way up the centre of the face. Originally the majority of the line was climbed by A. Derbyshire and M. Toft in the fall of 1980 ("Black Rap Wall") but they avoided the corner when easier alternatives arose. Following the corner throughout is a climb very much in the modern alpine rock idiom. A sustained outing. Dougherty, Selected Alpine Climbs page 62

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