Interesting Facts About Mount Robson

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Do you know any interesting facts about Mount Robson? Sitting at 12,972 feet | 3954 meters, Mount Robson is the highest point in the Canadian Rockies and the 2nd highest peak in British Columbia. Situated in the Rainbow Range of the Canadian Rockies, Robson’s stunning vertical relief dominates the landscape and its summit towers above the surrounding peaks.

Located entirely inside Mount Robson Provincial Park, Mount Robson is part of the UNESCO Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site. In 100 Favorite North American Climbs, Fred Beckey writes “Of the 45 peaks in the Canadian Rockies over 11,000 feet, Mt. Robson, with its uncommon vertical relief, is the highest and most majestic.” It’s true. Mount Robson is an awe-inspiring mountain that will capture your imagination.

Mount Robson Quick Facts:

  • Elevation: 12,972 feet | 3954 meters
  • Prominence: 9249 feet | 2819 meters
  • Isolation: 285.53 miles | 459.52 kilometers
  • Lat/Long: 53°6’38″N, 119°9’24″W
  • Topo Map: Mount Robson 83 E/3 1:50,000
  • Range: Rainbow Range, Canadian Rockies
  • First Ascent: 31 July 1913 – William W. Foster, Albert H. McCarthy and Conrad Kain via the Kain Face
  • Weather Forecast: Mount Robson

Let’s look at some interesting facts about Mount Robson:

  • Mount Robson is the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies and the 2nd highest peak in British Columbia.
  • With a prominence of 9249 feet | 2819 meters, Robson qualifies as an ultra prominent peak. It is the 119th most prominent peaks in the world, 21st most prominent peak in North America, 7th most prominent peak in Canada, and the most prominent peak in North America’s Rocky Mountain Range.
  • From Kinney Lake, Robson rises roughly 3000 meters above the valley floor.
  • Robson is clearly visible from the Yellowhead Highway.
  • The Berg Lake Trail is a popular hiking route that travels from the south face to the north face of Robson.
  • Mount Robson is likely named after Colin Robertson (1783-1842), a hunter and trapper with a camp near Mount Robson, who worked with the North West Company and Hudson’s Bay Company in the 19th century.
  • The Texqakalit band of the Shuswap People called Robson “Yuh-hai-has-kuy” which means “Mountain Of The Spiral Road.”
  • Robson has also been called “Cloud Cap Mountain” or “Snow Cap Mountain.”
  • The peak was first called Mt. Robinson by George McDougall in 1827.
  • In the 1863, William Fitzwilliam and Dr. Walter Cheadle wrote about the peak and called it “Robson Peak.”
Mount Robson | Pixabay Image
Mount Robson | Pixabay Image

Let’s look at a bit of mountaineering history on Mount Robson:

  • In 1907, George Kinney made the 1st known attempt to climb the peak.
  • In 1913, guide “Conrad Kain led W.W. (Billy) Foster and Albert McCarthy up the Robson Glacier to the Dome and then guided them up the North East wall” to the summit (HistoryNStuff.blogspo.ca). The route they took is now called the Kain Face. The Kain Face is one of Fred Beckey’s 100 Favorite North American Climbs. Graded a IV alpine climb, it was the hardest ice climb on the continent at the time and required 700 chopped steps.
  • In 1924, Phyllis Munday became the 1st woman to climb Mount Robson.
  • Troy Jungen and Ptor Spricenieks made the 1st ski descent down the North Face of Robson in September 1995. In Wild Snow, Lou Dawson described this ski descent as “one of North America’s last great unskied lines.” With “an average angle of 57 degrees for almost 3000 vertical feet, is one of the steepest faces of its length.” Despite numerous ski mountaineering attempts over the years, this route wasn’t skied again until 2017 by Dylan Cunningham.
  • Every route to the summit of Robson is technical. The most popular routes include the South Face or Normal Route, Kain Face, Wishbone Arete, Emperor Face, North Face, Fuhrer Ridge.
  • Robson has earned the nickname the “Great White Fright” as roughly only 10% of mountaineers who attempt to climb Robson are successful.
Mount Robson | Pixabay Image
Mount Robson | Pixabay Image

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