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Mount Temple (Alberta)

Mount Temple
North face of Mt. Temple from Mt. Fairview
Highest point
Elevation3,544 m (11,627 ft)[1]
Prominence1,544 m (5,066 ft)[1]
Coordinates51°21′02″N 116°12′24″W / 51.35056°N 116.20667°W / 51.35056; -116.20667[2]
Mount Temple is located in Alberta
Mount Temple
Mount Temple
Parent rangeBow Range
Topo mapNTS 82N8 Lake Louise[2]
Age of rock550 million years[3]
Mountain typeQuartzite and limestone[3]
First ascent1894 by Walter Wilcox, Samuel Allen and L.F. Frissel[3]
Easiest routeScramble (SW)[4]
Mount Temple in winter

Mount Temple is a mountain in Banff National Park of the Canadian Rockies of Alberta, Canada.

Mt. Temple is located in the Bow River Valley between Paradise Creek and Moraine Creek and is the highest peak in the Lake Louise area. The peak dominates the western landscape along the Trans-Canada Highway from Castle Junction to Lake Louise.


The mountain was named by George Mercer Dawson in 1884 after Sir Richard Temple who visited the Canadian Rockies that same year. Mt. Temple was the first 11,000-foot (3,400 m) peak to be climbed in the Canadian segment of the Rocky Mountains.[3]


  • On July 11, 1955, in one of Canada's most tragic mountaineering accidents, seven American male teenagers were killed on the southwest ridge route. A warm summer day had caused several nearby avalanches. They finally decided to turn back and during the descent, an avalanche swept 10 members of the party 200 m (656 ft) down the snowfield through a bottleneck of rocks. The entire party only had one ice axe among them and were not well prepared for the seriousness of the route. The party had also gone up the route without either of their two group leaders.[5]
  • On Sept. 25, 2015, Jen Kunze, an avid runner and hiker from Calgary, Ab. fell to her death.[6][7]

The mountain offers several routes for climbers and the normal route on the southwest side offers a moderate class scrambling route.[4] See Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies for a description of that route.

  • South-West Ridge (Normal Route) (I)
    • By late July or early August, the southwest ridge is generally free of snow and is a moderate scramble for experienced parties.[4]
  • East Ridge (IV 5.7)
  • North Face, Elzinga/Miller (IV 5.7)
  • North Face, Geenwood/Locke (V, AI 2, 5.8, A2 or 5.10+ R or M6)
  • North East Buttress, Greenwood/Jones (V, 5.7, A3 or 5.10) One of the most secure routes on the north side of the mountain.[according to whom?] Free climbed in August 1983, René Boisselle and Bernard Faure.[8]

Current route conditions can be obtained from a climbing warden at the park information centre in Lake Louise. A climber's log outside the centre may also provide comments from other climbers.

First Ascent
  • August 17, 1894 Walter D. Wilcox, Samuel E. S. Allen and Lewis Frissell[9][10] This was the first ascent of a peak above 11,000 feet (3,353 m) in the Canadian Rockies.[10]
First Winter Ascent
  • January 2, 1969 James Jones and Dave Haley via the Southwest Ridge [11]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Mount Temple". Retrieved 2012-07-17.
  2. ^ a b "Mount Temple". Geographical Names Data Base. Natural Resources Canada. Retrieved 2015-01-01.
  3. ^ a b c d "Mount Temple". Retrieved 2003-12-14.
  4. ^ a b c Kane, Alan (1999). "Mount Temple". Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies. Calgary: Rocky Mountain Books. pp. 235–236. ISBN 0-921102-67-4.
  5. ^ "1955 Accident Report". Alpine Club of Canada - Edmonton Section. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2003-12-14.
  6. ^ "Calgary woman dies in a fall on Mount Temple in Banff National Park". Calgary Herald. 26 September 2015. Archived from the original on 26 September 2015. Retrieved 2019-05-17.
  7. ^ "Woman dies while hiking Mount Temple near Lake Louise". CBC News. 26 September 2015. Archived from the original on 28 September 2015. Retrieved 2019-05-17.
  8. ^ Boisselle, René (1984). "Mt Temple North-East Buttress". Canadian Alpine Journal. Banff, AB: Alpine Club of Canada. 67: 130. Retrieved 2019-09-08.
  9. ^ Patton, Brian (1993). Tales from the Canadian Rockies. McClelland & Stewart. ISBN 978-0771069482.
  10. ^ a b Thorington, J. Monroe (1966) [1921]. "Vermilion Pass to Kicking Horse Pass". A Climber's Guide to the Rocky Mountains of Canada. With the collaboration of Putnam, William Lowell (6th ed.). American Alpine Club. pp. 111–112. ISBN 978-1376169003.
  11. ^ The Canadian Alpine Journal, Vol. 52, 1969. page 68

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Mount Temple (Alberta)
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