Mount Patterson
3197m (10489ft.)

Located in the Mistaya River Valley, 4 km northwest of Peyto Lake. Banff Park, Alberta Major headwater Saskatchewan River.
Latitude 51; 44; 50 Longitude 116; 34; 30, Topo map 82N/10

Panorama viewpoint: Bow Pass; Silverhorn Creek Bridge. Can be seen from Highway 93N

Named in 1917. Patterson, John Duncan (John Patterson was a mountaineer who became president of the Alpine Club of Canada in 1914.) Official name.

First ascended in 1924 by F.V. Field, W.O. Field, guided by Edward Feuz jr.. Journal reference App 16-153.

Photo: Looking south to Mount Patterson from the Icefields Parkway near Silverhorn Creek
More photos

Other Information
Photo: Looking northwest to Mount Patterson from the Icefields Parkway near Bow Pass

The massive Mount Patterson covers a large area and towers almost 1500 metres above the Icefields Parkway below the northern slopes of Bow Pass. The mountain rises in three levels, with glaciers hanging picturesquely between them. Between the main portion of the peak and a high outlier to the northwest, we see a smoothly contoured line of moraine which was left following the last advance of the Snowbird Glacier which adorns a very large cirque on the north east side of the mountain. One of the most attractive glaciers in the Rockies, it drapes over the cliff bands with wings spread in a similar manner to those of Angel Glacier on Mount Edith Cavell.

Only the left wing of the snowbird can be seen from Silverhorn Creek Bridge. The best viewpoint for Snowbird Glacier is 3.1 kilometres north of the bridge. On calm days in the summer, the roar of the waterfalls and meltwater streams in the cirque is constant.

This is one glacier whose appearance has probably changed very little over the past century. The extent of the snowbird’s wings are limited by the width of the ledges upon which they rest so any additional build up of ice simply falls over the cliffs to the snowbird’s tail below.

John Duncan Patterson was a founding member of the Alpine Club of Canada. He became its third president in 1914 and served until 1920. Born in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Patterson made his living as a farmer. Although he enjoyed climbing, he spent much of his time leading less energetic members of the Alpine Club. According to Arthur O. Wheeler, "He was one of Nature''s gentlemen whose kind and unselfish character placed him high among his fellows, he will be remembered as one who was most worthy."

Climbing Routes
The Snowbird Glacier and East Face IV 5.6
The most prominent feature of this route is the Snowbird Glacier, the tongue of ice on the east side of Patterson. Technically, the climbing isn''t too difficult but the objective hazard posed by two icefalls above the lower glacier tongue is considerable. Thankfully, the lower ice tongue has numerous holes and ice walls that provide shelter from any falling debris. It is advised to do the route quickly after an early start. It is usually climbed in a long day car to car. 10-14 hours. Dougherty, Selected Alpine Climbs page 168

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