Mount Sir Douglas
3406m (11174ft.)

Located on the continental divide in the upper Spray River and upper Palliser River Valleys; 3 km ENE of Palliser Pass. on the border of Kananaskis & Banff parks, Alberta/BC border. Major headwaters Bow & Kootenay rivers.
Latitude 50; 43; 15 Longitude 115; 20; 20, Topo map 82J/11
Can be seen from Highways 40S and 742

Named in 1916. Haig, Field Marshall Sir Douglas (Field Marshall Haig commanded the British Armies in France during WW I.) Official name. Other names Mount Robinson

First ascended in 1919 by J.W.A. Hickson, guided by Edward Feuz jr.. Journal reference AJ 33-204; CAJ 13-124.

Photo: Mount Sir Douglas from Burstall Pass
More photos

Other Information
Photo: Mount Sir Douglas from the Smith-Dorrien Road

A most impressive, high, glacier draped peak, Mount Sir Douglas lies at the southen end of Banff National Park. Burstall Pass provides an ideal viewpoint for this very high mountain.

Evidence of the mountains significance is the fact that J.W.A. Hickson, a well-known early climber in the Canadian Rockies and guide Edward Feuz jr. journeyed this far south to complete the first ascent in 1919.

George Dawson's 1886 map shows only one named peak in the Spray Range. He identifies Mount Robinson in the approximate location of what is now Mount Sir Douglas. It is not known who Robinson was.

SIR DOUGLAS HAIG (1861-1928)

Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig was born in Scotland in 1861 and educated at Oxford. Joining the British Army, he served as a cavalryman in the Sudan and South Africa and after the Boer War rapidly rose through the ranks. It is said that his many promotions were aided by the influence of powerful patrons such as Sir John French.

When the First World War broke out two Haig commanded the British 1st Corps as part of the British Expeditionary Force in France. As the war became bogged down in the trenches he oversaw the terrible battles of the Somme - 57,470 British soldiers killed or seriously injured on the first day - and Passchendaele.

"At the Somme you either got wounded or you got killed," one veteran commented afterwards. "At Passchendaele you got killed, wounded or you drowned in the sludge."

Haig is often criticised for being a distant leader who was stern and unapproachable even to his own officers. In 1918 he extended the British section of the Western Front southwards, his troops again suffering terrible losses at the hands of a German offensive. The British counter-attacked and, aided by the American Expeditionary Force, the Allies eventually forced the Germans to seek armistice terms in 1918.

Renowned for his loyalty to King George V, Haig dedicated his energies throughout the war to ensuring. After the war he devoted himself to the welfare of his men. He spent his later years criss-crossing the British Empire initiating charities to aid those who had served beneath him.

Climbing Routes
North-West Face III
In this day and age of following the "direct" line this route tends to play second fiddle to the Toft/Reasoner Direct route. However, it is a good route in itself and if the Direct is out of shape (rockfall etc.), it provides an excellent alternative up the face. The first winter ascent of the peak was via this route - an amazing solo tour-de-force by Don Gardner, completed in only 11 hours round trip Dougherty, Selected Alpine Climbs page 48

North-West Face Direct IV
This route is somewhat harder than the original route and when icy it presents a sustained climb. Falling rock can be a problem but the original route offers an alternate way to the summit if the need arises. A straightforward couloir with modern alpine gear. Dougherty, Selected Alpine Climbs page 50

East Ridge III 5.6
A great line. The positions on the ridge are magnificent. The rock is pretty rank on the first few pitches but quickly improves to reasonable, and finally excellent quality. Dougherty, Selected Alpine Climbs page 50

South-East Face IV 5.6/7
This popular route takes the prominent couloir and ramp system on the south side of the peak. It has probably been attempted more times in winter than any other route in the book yet it is still awaiting a winter ascent! Rockfall can be a problem in the lower couloir so cold conditions are an asset. Dougherty, Selected Alpine Climbs page 50

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