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Mount Robson  British Columbia   #2
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / Canadian Rockies / Continental Ranges / Park Ranges / Rainbow Range (Robson)

Height: 3959 m -> 12989 feet
Prominence?: 2829 m above Yellowhead Pass
Line Parent?: Francs Peak (1244.7 km away, at bearing 141 degrees)
Greater Parent: Mount Whitney (1838.0 km away)

Location:   53.11038,-119.15659     53:06:37, -119:09:24   11U 355650 5886723 (24 km NE of Tete Jaune Cache). NTS Mapsheet: 083.E.03   AreaCode: FL39/BB15
First Ascent: Thursday July 31, 1913 William Foster, Albert McCarthy, Conrad Kain
Robson from South - Winter
This peak is #5 on the Height List for British Columbia . This peak is #4 in Prominence List for British Columbia .The first expedition to the mountain was organized in 1907 by A.P.Coleman. At that time, the closest access was via the Canadian Pacific Railway to Laggan (now Lake Louise), and then several hundred kilometers north into the Jasper area on horseback. The Grand Trunk Pacific railway (now CNR), which runs right by the mountain, was not completed till 1914.

On August 3rd 1907, late in the season, Coleman and Reverend George Kinney left Laggan, and 39 days later, on September 10, they reached Kinney Lake. For the next 6 days they explored various approaches to the mountain, but due to the snowfall, they were unable to make a serious attempt at the summit. On September 16th they headed east to Edmonton. The next year they returned, this time on the north side via the Moose and Smoky Rivers. This time Kinney made it onto the north shoulder at 3200 m, before having to turn back, after 21 days in the area.

The next year, 1909, Kinney set off alone for the mountain. On the Athabasca River he met up with a guide known as Donald "Curly" Phillips (see Mount Phillips, and the two of them teamed up to attempt the summit. On July 24 1909 they attempted the summit and reached 3350 m. After reprovisioning their bivouac camp, they again attempted the summit on the 26th, this time reaching 3650 m. On August 12, after a period of bad weather, they established camp at 3200 m. On Friday, August 13, 1909 they headed for the summit in mixed weather. They finally reached the huge cornices along the crest of the peak, and on this day, the Reverend uttered his controversial words "In the name of Almighty God, by whose strength I have climbed here, I capture this peak, Mt. Robson, for my own country, and the Alpine Club of Canada."

In the absence of conclusive proof, mountain historians have debated if the peak was really climbed to the absolute summit on this date. Over the next four years, there were several other attempts, but it wasn't until the official Alpine Club of Canada (ACC) camp of 1913 that the peak was climbed for certain.

The first official ACC Camp was in 1911 and included both Conrad Kain and George Kinney. By this time, Canada's second transcontinental railway, the Grand Trunk Pacific, which today is the Canadian National route through Yellowhead Pass, was almost complete. The rails went as far as Brule Lake, about 40 km northeast of Jasper. From there, the party used packhorses along the railway right of way to the Moose River, over Robson Pass and to Berg Lake. The objective of this expedition was mainly exploration, not to climb Mount Robson. However, Conrad Kain did manage to sneak in a solo first ascent of the spectacular Whitehorn Mountain, and later Resplendent Mountain.

The ACC camp of 1913 was organized by A.O.Wheeler, and contained a huge number of the "big names" of the time: Charles Fay, A.P. Coleman, and again A.L.Mumm. On July 30 1913, the summit team of Billy Foster, Albert McCarthy and Conrad Kain started their ascent of Robson. On July 31, they climbed the Robson Glacier the icefall, and reached the Dome. Conrad then led the way up the northeast wall, (Kain face), cutting the famous steps in the 60 degree ice slopes, reaching the crest of the SE ridge by noon. From there they headed across the "Roof" of Robson and on to the summit, where the famous words were spoken: "Gentlemen, that's as far as I can take you". just as the clouds parted revealing they were on the summit.

The descent was via the west side of the mountain, thus completing a traverse. See Bob Hughes epic description of their 1976 retracing of the route.

Name Notes: Adopted in 1912. Mount Robson is believed to have been casually named after a mis-pronunciation of Colin Robertson, a guide for the North West Company in the early 1800's. The first written reference to the name is by George McDougall, a fur trader, in his diary of 1827.

1. Kain Face (1913 July) W. Foster, A.H. Macarthy, C. Kain. 50 degree snow. A mostly snow route on the north side of the mountain. Take the [Roadx524-Berg Lake trail] past Berg Lake to the Robson Glacier, and climb to the Snow Dome high camp. Climb up the Kain Face to the northeast ridge which is followed to the summit. See [Trip3032-Kain Face Route] Equipment: Rope, ice axe, crampons, ice screws
2. SSW Ridge (1924 July) M Geddes, T. Moffat, M. Pollard, C. Kain. Class 5, danger of falling ice. This route is a bit complex, but was the descent route of the first ascent party. The first step is to get to the [Ftr208-Ralph Forester Hut] at 7900', (WGS84 53:05.4-119:09.2). From the hut, there are numerous variations in the route, depending on the conditions. The general idea is to climb up the rock ridge above the hut and work left to get around the icefalls, and onto the SSW ridge.

Equipment: Rope, ice axe, crampons

Trips within 1 km
44 2002.06.15 Mount Robson Climb Report Kenneth Lee
75 1997.09.09 Robson - Kain Face Route Route Fred Touche
97 1976.08.15 1976 Traverse of Mount Robson Bob Hughes

2012.07.17 Height Notes Robin Tivy
2004.03.17 Proof that highest route is to USA Robin Tivy

Subject Photos   View Thumbnails
34 Topping out on the Kain Face, Mount Robson Bob Hughes
20 Robson from South - Winter Drew Brayshaw
16 Mount Robson from Resplendent Mountain Lyle Knight
15 Mount Robson from Berg Lake Martin Berka
15 Mount Robson - From Berg Lake Campground Greg Jones
14 Robson's Upper South Face Bob Hughes
13 Truckin' out from Robson Stephen Skog
13 Mount Robson Alpenglow Drew Brayshaw
13 Upper Southeast Ridge - Mount Robson Fred Touche
12 Serac Collapse from Robson Glacier Bob Hughes
12 Robson Glacier and Kain Face and The Alley 1976 Bob Hughes
12 Robson Icefall Fred Touche
12 Mount Robson - Southeast Side John Scurlock
12 Emperor Falls and Robson Martin Berka
11 Mount Robson from Snowbird Meadows David Wasserman
11 Mount Robson and Rearguard from Robson Pass Martin Berka
10 Mount Robson - Emperor Ridge John Scurlock
10 Mount Robson Threatening to Reveal Itself Greg Jones
10 Traversing Mount Robson's Southeast Ridge Fred Touche
9 Pretty Picture: Mount Robson Bob Hughes
9 Mount Robson - North Face Fred Touche
9 Mount Robson and Berg Lake from Air John Scurlock
9 Mount Robson and the Robson Glacier from the North David Wasserman
9 Mount Robson and the Berg Glacier Jason Bedard
8 Mount Robson seen from Mount Resplendent Ed Cooper
8 Robson Kain Face 1980 Tim Deutscher
8 Mount Robson from the Whitehorn Klaus Haring
7 The Aptly Named 'Mousetrap' Doug Artman
7 Mount Robson and the Robson River David Wasserman
7 Mount Robson with an 8x10 View Camera Ed Cooper
7 Mount Robson-- Speed equals safety but you pay a price! Bob Hughes
7 Mount Robson from the Shores of Berg Lake Greg Jones
7 Robson North and Emperor Faces Doug Artman
7 South Face of Robson from near Little Robson David Wasserman
7 Robson from the Northeast Rick Collier
6 Robson Alpenglow Tim Deutscher
6 Robson from the Northeast Fred Touche
6 Northeast face of Mount Robson and Helmet Martin Berka
6 Mount Robson Southeast, from the Air John Scurlock
6 Mount Robson from the Southeast Klaus Haring
6 1976 Kain Face with Route Bob Hughes
6 Looking Down 7400 Feet to Berg Lake Bob Hughes
6 Lower South Glacier on Robson Bob Hughes
6 Seracs in Lower Icefall of Robson Glacier Bob Hughes
6 Robson from the Northwest (Telephoto) Rick Collier
6 Unsettled Weather High on Robson Bob Hughes
5 Mt Robson from Mumm Basin trail Martin Godwyn
5 Mount Robson from the East Klaus Haring
5 Robson River Headwaters Greg Jones
5 Summit of Mount Robson in 1961 Ed Cooper
4 Kain Face - 1994 Rick Collier
4 South Face of Robson - Overview David Wasserman
4 A Damp and Miserable Bivouac! Bob Hughes
4 1976 Mousetrap with Route Bob Hughes
3 Mount Robson Panorama from the West Dieter Kepper
3 Robson - Kain Route 1997 Jeremy Frimer
3 Berg Lake and Robson Pass from the air Dieter Kepper
3 Mount Robson from the Southeast Dieter Kepper

Placename Photos
19 Resplendent Mountain from Robson's Southeast Ridge Fred Touche
15 Overlander Mountain at Sunset David Wasserman
13 Early Morning Descent into the Mousetrap Doug Artman
11 Mumm Peak and Mount Anne-Alice from the Snowbird Pass Trail David Wasserman
10 Emperor Falls below Mount Robson David Wasserman
10 Mount Robson from Replendent/Robson Col Ross Mailloux
9 Mount Waffl and Mount Robson from Berg Lake Vern Dewit
9 Whitehorn and Robson Panorama from the South Klaus Haring
9 "Peak 02-50" (Synod Peak) in Mount Robson Provincial Park Art Carson
9 Klapperhorn Mountain at Sunset David Wasserman
8 Resplendent Mountain, Extinguisher Tower and Mount Robson Martin Berka
7 Harlequin Ducks near Berg Lake David Wasserman
7 Resplendent Panorama from the North Klaus Haring
5 Ralph Forester Hut Bob Hughes
5 Kinney Lake David Wasserman
4 Saskatoon Berries at Kinney Lake David Wasserman
3 Ox-eye Daisy at Kinney Lake David Wasserman
2 Yellow Lady Slipper on the Berg Lake Trail David Wasserman