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Mount Forbes  Alberta   #5
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / Canadian Rockies / Continental Ranges / Park Ranges

Height: 3617 m -> 11867 feet
Prominence?: 1629 m above Thompson Pass
Line Parent?: Mount Columbia (47.3 km away, at bearing 313 degrees)
Greater Parent: Mount Columbia (47.0 km away)

Location:   51.85990,-116.93180     51:51:36, -116:55:54   11U 504697 5745458 (19 km SW of Saskatchewan Crossing). (60 km NW of Field). NTS Mapsheet: 082.N.15   AreaCode: FL16/IJ53
First Ascent: 1902 J.N. Collie, J. Outram, H.E.M. Stutfield, G.M. Weed, H. Woolley, C. Kaufmann, H. Kaufmann
Mount Forbes From The Southeast
This peak is #5 on the Height List for Alberta . This peak is #6 in Prominence List for Alberta .Located in Banff National Park, about 10 km west of Howse Pass, and 10 km north of the Freshfields Icefields. Both its north and south slopes are drained by different tributaries of the Howse River, a branch of the mighty North Saskatchewan River. One of the great classics of the Rockies, the huge snow plastered face of Mount Forbes dominates the skyline to the south from almost anywhere on the Lyell Icefield. The standard route is a fairly steep climb requiring ropes and crampons, and some parts of the summit ridge are exposed. From the top, one gets a commanding view of hundreds of lower peaks to the north and east.

Name Notes: Mount Forbes was named by James Hector of the Palliser Expedition after Professor Edward Forbes (1815-1854). He was Hector's Professor of Natural History at the University of Edinburgh, and a noteable naturalist. One of his expeditions was to the Mediterranean of H.M.S. Beacon , under the command of Captain Graves, part of intervening years being spent in examining the plants and animals off the Isle of Man, towards the description of which appeared, in 1838, a little volume, entitled 'Malacologia Monensis,' and in researches among the Hebrides, Orkneys, and Shetland Islands. Forbes was a pioneer in the field of biogeography and palaeontology.

1. From Mons Icefield via West Ridge Steep snow, ice, some danger of avalanche after fresh snow. From camp on Mons Icefield, climb about 3000' on skis, up the North Glacier. Rope up for crevasses. Upon reaching the high col at about 10,000 feet at the west end, leave skis, and climb the first part of the ridge through the rocks. This avoids the big snow face, if avalanche danger is too high, but involves several chimneys requiring belayed climbing. From the chimneys, then out onto the big snow/ice slope. Crampons will probably be necessary as the snow gets thinner as one goes higher. Just before the ridge may be an exposed patch of blue ice. Once on the ridge itself, the climb is fairly straightforward, with only one or two exposed traverses on crampons required. At least one ice screw is useful as protection when descending the upper ridge. See Mount Forbes Ski Ascent Equipment: Skis, crampons, Iceaxe, rope, ice screws
2. From the East (Glacier Lake) Most common approach route for Mount Forbes is from the Alberta side, starting at the Icefields parkway. Park at the Glacier Lake trailhead and follow the trail to the head of Glacier Lake (13 km). From there follow the old trail up the north bank of the Glacier River to the large open basin at the head of the river. Ford the Glacier river. Find the climbers trail ascending the timbered knob at the south end of the basin. Follow this trail as it climbs steeply up the knob then crosses to the west and climbs improbably up toward cliffs to the west. Eventually you climb above the canyon and then drop slightly to the edge of the Mons Glacier. Camps can be made here or at the foot of the North Glacier of Mt. Forbes. From here, the peak can be climbed in a reasonable day. The approach takes 4-6 hours.

Trips within 1 km
67 2006.08.05 Mount Forbes West Ridge via Glacier Lake Andrew McLeod
41 1995.05.16 Ascents on the Lyell and Mons Icefields Rick Collier
23 1992.05.20 Forbes West Ridge - Spring ascent From Mons Icefield Route Robin Tivy
77 1992.05.20 Lyell-Forbes Ski Traverse Robin Tivy

2010.12.05 Height Notes for Mount Forbes Robin Tivy

Paper Maps
1:70000Bow Lake & Saskatchewan Crossing Gem Trek
1:250000Banff National Park Gem Trek
1:400000Best of The Icefields Parkway Gem Trek
1:400000Canadian Rockies Gem Trek
1:600000Southwest Alberta & Southeast British Columbia Gem Trek

Subject Photos   View Thumbnails
16 Mount Forbes - Northwest Aspect Justin Brown
12 Mount Forbes Northwest Face Doug Artman
11 Mount Forbes and North Glacier from Lyell Icefield Robin Tivy
10 Mount Forbes from the Lyell Icefield Rick Collier
9 Mount Forbes from the Lyell Icefield (1995) Rick Collier
9 North face of Forbes Vern Dewit
8 Glacier Lake (Banff National Park) David Wasserman
8 Mount Forbes from the Northwest (telephoto) Rick Collier
8 Mount Forbes from the North (Telephoto) Rick Collier
8 Mount Forbes from the North Rick Collier
8 South Face of Mount Forbes Eric Coulthard
8 The Summit Block of Mount Forbes Rick Collier
7 Approaching the Forbes Massif Rick Collier
6 Mount Forbes from the South-Southeast (Telephoto) Rick Collier
4 Mount Forbes From The Southeast John Scurlock
4 The Northwest Face Of Mount Forbes John Scurlock
4 Mount Forbes Andrew Siefert
4 Mount Forbes - Northwest Face August 2007 David Paynter

Placename Photos
10 Douai, Oppy, Farbus, the Lyells, and Forbes Rick Collier
10 Howse Peak, White Pyramid, Mount Chrephen and Others from Mount Noyes Eric Coulthard
9 Robin Tivy on the Summit Ridge of Mount Forbes Rick Collier
8 Mount Willerval II Rick Collier
7 Robin Tivy on the Upper Slopes of Mount Forbes Rick Collier
7 Labelled Panorama from Castleguard, Part 2 David Wasserman
6 The Summit of Mount Erasmus Rick Collier
6 The Original Old Goats on the Summit of Mount Forbes Rick Collier
6 Mount Lyell from Arctomys Peak Steve Sheriff