Frank Slide – Turtle Mountain – Canadian Rockies
Turtle Mountain is the site of the legendary Frank Slide on April 29 of 1903. This historical mountain was the first of two scrambles I did in the Crowsnest Pass area on or about Aug 4/2001.
The day started out sunny and as I parked my car on the southern extremity of Blairmore and prepared to leave I was looking up at the ridge knowing that the views would come fast.
There is a small amount of scrambling to get on the ridge, then the going is easy. The ridge is just a hike and is very pleasant. About half way up the wind picks up, same thing on the way down. The summit was relatively calm.
On the first summit things get more interesting. You have to scramble down and across a jumble of broken rock. Once on the main summit, just relax and enjoy the views. I could see the wind turbines in Pincher Creek and I more or less had the whole mountain to myself.
The view to the west was spectacular with Crowsnest Mountain looking conspicuous and the Crowsnest Pass spread out like a great serpentine valley.
If you are in the pass it also pays to go to the Frank Slide interpretive center to get the historical perspective on this place. The people of that time were a hardy folk. A trail takes you through the slide area and is enjoyable on a warm sunny summer afternoon in some airy sandals.
That summer afternoon is only two months back, yet it feels like an eternity. The Crowsnest is a special place. It’s like a laid back Banff.
Crowsnest Mountain alone makes this valley comparable to the Bow Corridor. Turtle Mountain and the Frank Slide are just thrown in for good measure.
The history of the Crowsnest Pass is rich and you can feel the old times echo when you pass through Coleman.
The Crowsnest Pass is a valley out of time.
The most successful career must show a waste of strength that might have removed mountains, and the most unsuccessful is not that of the man who is taken unprepared, but of him who has prepared and is never taken. On a tragedy of that kind our national morality is duly silent.
Edward M. Forster
1879-1970, British Novelist, Essayist
Turtle Mountain – The Frank Slide Gallery