|Mount Yamnuska is a dramatic limestone uplift located at the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains east of Canmore, and across the Bow River from Seebe just off of the Trans Canada Highway. The south face of the mountain is vertical, overhanging in places, and approximately 350 m high and 2 km wide. It is the prime rock climbing destination for the Calgary area. Swiss guides Hans Gmoser and Leo Graillmair became prominent figures in the history of Yamnuska in the 1950’s when they ascended the route “Graillmair Chimney". Since then numerous routes were established on the face. |
Name Notes: It was officially named Yamnuska until 1961, and was a Stoney word to describe the cliffs. In 1961 the Stoneys requested it be renamed to Mount John Laurie to honour John Laurie, a Teacher, and the founder of the Indian (First Nations) Association of Alberta. John Laurie helped the First Nations in many ways and was a good friend to them. He was particularily concerned with helping the First Nations with Government matters, respecting and preserving their culture, and relations with other citizens of Alberta.
As of 2003, the 1:50,000 topo map seems to label it as "Mount Laurie" and have the name "Lyamnathka" in brackets, with all sorts of non-english accents on the top. We interpret this as a name change for political purposes, and thus will stick with the traditional name for at least 20 years.
There is a recently published book from Rocky Mountain Books detailing the climbing and mountaineering history of Yamnuska called The Yam: 50 Years of Climbing Mt Yamnuska by Chic Scott, Ben Gadd and Dave Dornian. If you are a Yam nut you will want this book. An independent reviewer in the 2003 CAJ noted its almost hagiographic tone may be a bit off putting to non locals.