Mount Field
2643m (8672ft.)

Located in the Upper Kicking Horse Valley and lower Yoho Valley; east buttress of Burgess Pass; north of Mount Stephen; south end of Fossil Ridge. Yoho Park, Major headwater Columbia River.
Latitude 51; 25; 50 Longitude 116; 27; 50, Topo map 82N/08

Panorama viewpoint: Ottertail River Bridge. Can be seen from Highway 1

Named in 1883. Field, Cyrus West (As a guest of the CPR which was then under construction, Cyrus Field visited the "end of steel" in 1884 which was then in the area of the present town of Field. Cyrus Field was a promotor of the first trans-Atlantic cable.) Official name.

Photo: Mount Field from the Spiral Tunnel Viewpoint on the Trans-Canada Highway
More photos

Other Information
Photo: Fossil Ridge (left) and Mount Field from southwest on the Trans-Canada Highway, just west of Field

The highlight of Dr. Charles D. Walcott's career occurred in 1909 high above Emerald Lake as he rode below the long ridge connecting Wapta Mountain with Mount Field. A block of shale had tumbled down the slope to the trail and was blocking the trail. Walcott dismounted and was about to tip the slab out of the way but instead reached for his rock hammer and split the slab open. The fossils in this slab and thousands of others from the Burgess Shale formation have challenged the skills and imaginations of palaeontologists ever since.

The following year Walcott returned to the area accompanied by his sons Stuart (see Stuart Knob) and Sidney. Together they examined all the layers on the ridge above the point where the fossil laden rock had been found, eventually finding the fossiliferous band.

For the next thirty days they quarried the shale and slid samples down the ridge to the trail where they were loaded onto pack horses and made their way to the CPR station at Field. Eventually some 65 000 specimens on 30 000 slabs of rock were delivered to the Smithsonian Institute.

For a panoramic view from the summit of Mount Field visit

Scrambling Routes
An easy ascent from Burgess Pass. Mount Field is a very non-committing ascent offering a unique viewpoint for Mount Stephen's north glacier and distant Takakkaw Falls. One wonders why this bump at the southeast end of Wapta Mountain has been designated a separate peak. The ascent of Mount Field is one of the simplest in the vicinity, since all but the final 400 vertical metre slog uses well-graded Burgess Pass hiking trail. The view is worthwhile, but your accomplishment may not totally amaze your friends. Try from mid-June on. Kane, Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies page 264

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