Fairview Mountain

Elevation: 2744 m
Elevation Gain: 1000 m
First ascended by Samuel E. S. Allen and Walter D. Wilcox in 1893 the peak was officially named by the latter in 1894. The name is an obvious reference to the view from the top, however, the term “fair” sells it a little short in this instance. Although not a major undertaking, Mount Fairview is, nevertheless, a favorite of many prominent mountaineers including J. Monroe Thorington who wrote of it: “A small peak as a rule is the best view-point because there is still something left to look up to... And so it is with Fairview. Year after year we have come back to it; perhaps as a convenient training walk, but more likely on account of the sheer beauty with which it is surrounded."
My Ascents:
August 13 2015, November 2 2014, July 17 2013, July 8 2012, September 10 2011, July 5 2011, September 26 2010, August 1 2010, September 20 2009, August 23 2008, September 9 2007, July 6 2007
GPS Track: Fairview Mountain

With a business colleague (Curt) visiting from Indianapolis, I was tasked with the duty of providing a complete tour of my company’s Calgary facilities. Although our offices don’t open until 8 am, we opted to be keeners and I picked him up from his hotel at 5:30 am. The drive into work from Curt’s hotel is relatively straightforward but, “somehow”, we ended up going the wrong way on Highway 8…for the record, I blame the confusing double traffic circle overpass at 37th Street SW and Glenmore. So completely consumed with “shop talk” and “business,” we didn’t realize our error until we arrived at the scenic shores of Lake Louise (woops)! Noting that it would be a shame to come all this way and not explore the jewel of the Canadian Rockies, our tour itinerary was “spontaneously” amended to include, what we hoped would be, Curt’s first summit in the Canadian Rockies!

Wanting to show off my company's state of the art laboratory the best of the Canadian Rockies, we decided to set out towards Saddle Pass en route to Fairview Mountain. As we steadily climbed up the well-travelled trail, we soon found ourselves above the trees and enjoying smoky morning views of the Protection/Castle Mountain massif across the Bow Valley.

Nearing Saddle Pass, massive Mount Temple’s glacier-capped crown provides a hint of the stunning views to come.

Curt was “deeply disappointed” that he’d been deprived of his lab tour but, alas, the view of Sheol Mountain (left) and Haddo Peak (right) rising up beyond Saddle Pass proved an acceptable substitute for the fumehood-filled views that he’d come to Canada for.

Above Saddle Pass, the climb steepens and the air thins (particularly for visitors accustomed to sea level). Despite these difficulties, the picturesque scene enticed Curt onwards.

Colorful fireweed provides some micro-scenery to compliment the macro-scenery all about.

Curt pauses to enjoy the views (and catch his breath) from high above Saddle Pass. Good thing that he brought his cameras and trekking poles for our “lab tour” – they really came in handy up here!

Haddo Peak and Mount Aberdeen rise up steeply beyond Fairview’s sub-summit slopes. I’m told that views like this are hard to come by in Indiana.

Curt takes the last steps onto the 2,744 meter (9,003 feet)-high summit of Fairview Mountain while Crux the dog looks on (strange that Crux would join us for a lab tour…)!

The “fair view” from the summit does not disappoint! Glaciers perched atop the continental divide (left) give rise to the beautiful blue waters of Lake Louise below (right). Click to see larger.

Welcome to Canada Curt and congrats on your first summit in the Canadian Rockies!

Mount Aberdeen and its impressive glaciated north face.

Glaciers cling to Mount Victoria’s steep Alberta side. Victoria’s other side is equally steep and glaciated but is in British Columbia.

Pope’s Peak.

Mounts Whyte (left) and Niblock (right) tower above the Devil’s Thumb (lower right).

Rock flour and glacial silt flow into bright blue Lake Louise at the foot of Fairview Mountain some 1,000 meters (3,281 feet) below us.

Mount Daly and the Bath Glacier dominate the smoky views towards the Wapta Icefield.

Over 11,000 feet tall, Mount Hector is just visible on this hazy day.

Curt and Crux soak up the summit scenery. Looks like Curt may have a new best friend (either that or he's eating trail mix)!

“I don’t want to go back down!” (Photo courtesy Curt)

What goes up, must come down. After an hour on Fairview’s sunny summit, we retraced our steps and carefully made our way down the steep mountainside. Just another day at the "office", eh Curt?! ;-)