According to National Geographic, a pass can be defined as, “a gap, or break, in high, ruggedterrain such as a mountain ridge.” Typically, passes are formed when a glacier or flowing water erode the terrain between areas of high relief. Mountain ranges across the world over have presented imposing challenges to exploration and travel, meaning passes have been utilized throughout history as the easiest route through difficult, steep terrain. Although “easy” is a relative term when you consider the challenges faced by the Canadian Pacific Railway as they attempted to navigate Kicking Horse Pass and Rogers Pass in their quest to reach the west coast. What follows is a collection of historical photographs featuring some prominent mountain passes from across Alberta. Some of these passes featured below have been used for centuries as different Indigenous groups navigated the landscape. Many of these passes can be found along the Continental Divide, which is also the modern day border between British Columbia and Alberta.
The photos above were collected from the Glenbow Archives. If you’re interested, additional information can be found for each photograph on the Glenbow website by searching the identification number that is printed on the photo. There is also the option to purchase a high resolution copy. Stay tuned for additional posts featuring historical photos from across Alberta. We’d love to know what you think on social media.
Tyler is originally from Saskatchewan, and yes he cheers for the Roughriders, but don’t hold that against him as Calgary has been his home for the past eight years. He is a teacher working at a wilderness-
based treatment program for youth working to overcome addiction. Tyler is also a volunteer with the GOT Parks initiative, which aims at reconnecting Canada’s youth with our national, provincial, and territorial parks. During his time away from work, Tyler enjoys outdoor activities, such as hiking, biking, and snowboarding, team sports, travelling, photography, spending time with good friends, and being at home with his wife and German Shepherd, Rome.
The town of Fernie, located west of the Crowsnest Pass in British Columbia, is named after William Fernie who, along with Colonel James Baker, were the two responsible for establishing the original coal mines in […]
Sometime around the middle of the twentieth century a new species of tree was found blooming in the vicinity of a mountain resort. This tree was unlike any other plant species previously discovered. It would […]
In 1885, during construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), surveyor A.S. Farwell laid out the main street of a town, which was also named after him. When the CPR eventually reached the community of […]