Saturday, 6 June 2009

Jewel of the Canadian Rockies


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Lake Louise was first discovered by Tom Wilson, a young surveyor for the Canadian Pacific Railway, who was accompanied by two Stoney Indian companions on August 21, 1882. Tom had woken to thunder in the morning and decided to investigate the location known as the Lake of Little Fishes by his native horse packer, Eddy Hunter. After several hours of trail blazing through lodge-pole pines and aspen they came upon the sight of the lake nestled at the bottom of towering mountains and glaciers above, the sight so beautiful to the young surveyor he sank to his knees at the shoreline in awe. Tom called it his “Emerald Lake” and in 1884, Dr. G. M. Dawson, head of the Geological Survery renamed Tom’s mountain jewel “Lake Louise” after Princess Louise, daughter of Queen Victoria, and wife to Marquess of Lorne, Duke of Argyll, then Governor-General of Canada.

Mount Victoria forms the backdrop of Lake Louise with a height of 3,464 m (11,365 ft), and named by J. Norman Collie in 1897 to commemorate Queen Victoria.


Photo Credit: Alex Art CC=flickr.

Sources:
The Canadian Rockies by Roger Patillo, Trafford Publishing, pp. 54, 60, 62-64.
Peakfinder.com

17 comments:

Barbara Martin said...

When Tom Wilson and his First Nations companions were at Lake Louise, the glacier extended to the lake. When I first visited Lake Louise in the mid-1950s the glacier covered almost all of the face of Mount Victoria. As you can see from this photo taken in 2008 the glacier is greatly reduced in size.

Cloudia said...

Awesome. Truly!
Aloha

Teresa said...

This is gorgeous, even with the greatly reduced glacier. It is sad to see such proof of global warming.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Barbara,
Wow, that made me gasp when I enlarged the photo! I can see why he sunk to his knees when coming upon it. I can imagine the sight , and sound they must have witnessed with the glacier reaching the lake and calving bergs. Global warming is impacting our glaciers here in New Zealand in drastic reductions as well.
Aroha,
Robb

Barbara Martin said...

Cloudia, I have always favoured this location, and when I came across the photograph it spoke to me with the same magic I felt as a child.

Teresa, the photographer caught the sun on the mountain and lake perfectly.

Robb, Tom Wilson and his companions did witness a calving while they were there which set off other avalanches.

Late August is a good time to visit Lake Louise as the weather tends to stay warm before the first frost of autumn.

Margaret Cloud said...

The lake is beautiful, no matter what its name is, so gorgeous and breath taking.

Rajesh said...

Fabulous snap. The contrast in colors of lake, the mountain and the snow is beautiful.

laughingwolf said...

still remains my fave lake, visually :)

Barbara Martin said...

Margaret, Lake Louise is known as the "most photographed location in the Canadian Rockies" and this photo shows why.

Rajesh, the photographer has taken other brilliant photos. There is a link on the photo credit where his other photos can be viewed.

Tony, that's such a compliment considering that Jasper is your first love.

debra said...

Such a beautiful lake. Thanks again, Barbara.

laughingwolf said...

jasper is, but lake louise has no rival :)

RuneE said...

I enjoyed the structure of the mountain - the horizontal lines that speaks of some violent past.

BTW, our glaciers have been reduced during this period too.

Barbara Martin said...

Debra, the location has charmed visitors for over a century.

Tony, I agree.

Barbara Martin said...

RuneE, an interesting observation of Mount Victoria's past, enough so to pique my writer's curiosity.

Michele said...

Absolutely stunning. And definitely on my family's list of places to visit!

Also, the glaciers in the Sierras are greatly reduced as well.

L.A. Mitchell said...

I honeymooned in at the Chateau in Lake Louise and have so many wonderful memories from there, including a mini avalanche. Thank you for the special trip down memory lane ;)

Barbara Martin said...

Michele, there are many hikes in the Lake Louise area, some shorter, to enjoy the surrounding pristine wilderness.

L.A., the Chateau Lake Louise is a beautiful place to stay. Before it was renovated I would stay at the Deer Lodge. When the Chateau Lake Louise was first built, Deer Lodge was the servant quarters. One of my great aunts from England worked there several summers (c. 1912-18) and stayed at the Deer Lodge. That was when the hotels closed for the winter season.