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ly, as it transpired to be Mount Hooker, and he thought that with a long day's work we might manage to climb it. I certainly had no reason to be dissatisfied with my first day's sport in the Rockies; but the price paid for it was a heavy one, as I undoubtedly missed the finest climb of the trip. Lest, however, the reader should imagine that we were in a kind of sportsman's paradise, I may as well say here that, though I hunted several other days, and kept continually spying en route, we never saw another head of game during the whole trip except one small bear! Those blessed bighorn had saved the situation for us; and I shall always regard that day's work as the most remarkable stroke of luck which ever befell me.

The next day Collie and Woolley rested, while Peyto, Nigel, and I brought down the quarry. The following afternoon we shouldered our packs, Nigel and Roy assisting, and bivouacked at the foot of the Athabasca Glacier for an attack next morning on the distant pseudo-Hooker. We took Roy and Nigel, who had never been on a glacier before, for a walk on the ice of the Athabasca before they returned to camp, and they seemed much interested by what they saw. A thunderstorm was growling among the hills to the north, at the head of Athabasca valley, and the vivid lightning flashes kept me awake all night; while I lay listening to the stones trickling down the dirty icecliff below us, the loud murmur

of the torrents, now rising in volume, now falling, with the varying gusts of wind, and the occasional roar of an avalanche falling down the sides of Mount Athabasca. We rose at 1.30 A.M., and after boiling our chocolate, started by lantern-light up the glacier, which at first was easy enough. Dawn broke at five in a dark and lowering sky, and the crevasses growing wider and more numerous, kept us dodging backwards and forwards without making much progress; so that I often fancied myself on the Mer de Glace or ascending the ice-fall of the Col du Géant. There were three separate ice-falls, and at the second one we put on the rope, Collie leading, while I, as the weakest vessel of the three, occupied the centre. Collie threaded the mazes of the crevasses and seracs with much skill, and they certainly afforded ample scope for mountaineering talent.

The seracs, or icepinnacles, were not particularly striking, but the crevasses were unsurpassably fine. Huge chasms of immense depth yawned beneath us, branching out below into mysterious caverns and long winding grottoes, whose sides were tinged with that strangely beautiful glacial blue and festooned with icicles of all sizes.

We had been going for nearly five hours before we emerged on to the upper glacier, and the wonders of that unknown region of snow and ice were unfolded to me. We were on the edge of an immense ice-field, bigger than the biggest in Switzerland -that is to say, than the Ewige

Schneefeld and the Aletsch Glacier combined-which stretched away for miles like a rolling snow-covered prairie. Here, indeed, we were "alone at the heart of the world." Out of this elevated plateau great peaks, not packed closely together like the Alps, but sparse and few in number, towered here and there like rocky islets from a frozen sea. To the south was the double-headed Mount Lyell; north of Lyell, and not more than eight miles from us, was a magnificent mountain mass resembling the Finsteraarhorn, which we judged to be nearly 14,000 feet high. We have named this peak, which does not appear on any map, Mount Bryce, after the distinguished author of 'The American Commonwealth,' who is now President of the Alpine Club. It is the fashion across the Atlantic to name mountains after people, though we departed from this custom in many instances, notably in the case of the goal of our expedition, the pseudo Hooker, which Collie christened Mount Columbia. This fine snow-peak is unquestionably the monarch of the It did not look pargroup. ticularly difficult, but it proved to be much farther off than we thought, and after two more hours' steady tramp across the snow without reaching its base, we gave it up. We were near the edge of a magnificent cirque of frowning precipices formed by Mount Columbia and two fine peaks called the Twins. Retracing our steps, we ascended, after a laborious climb

snow, a

through the soft rounded summit (11,700) which we named the Dome. The Dome is not a very striking mountain in itself, but Dr Collie observes that hydrographically it is one of the most interesting in North America. Viewed in this sense it is the very apex, as it were, of the Rocky Mountain Range, for the meltings of its snows descend into three great river-systems, flowing into three separate oceans-to the Columbia and thence to the Pacific; to Hudson's Bay via the Saskatchewan; and by the Athabasca to the Arctic Ocean. It was now three o'clock, and gathering storm-clouds obscured the view, so we ran down the snow as fast as the hidden crevasses permitted to the head of the Athabasca icefall. The storm broke before we got off the glacier, and we reached camp that night drenched to the skin.

We still fondly believed that two of the great peaks in our neighbourhood were Brown and Hooker; but the whereabouts of the Athabasca Pass and the lake known as The Committee's Punch-Bowl seemed more of a mystery than ever, as we could see no pass over the range which was feasible for horses, or, indeed, for men, unless they were practised mountaineers. Mr Wilcox, the author of a delightful book, Camping in the Canadian Rockies,' was said to have reached the Punch - Bowl, viá the pass named after him, two years before us; but there is no record of the trip. Moreover, while hunting again one day in



my Wild Sheep Valley and afternoon we took our sleepHills, I had an unusually clear view of the mountains to the north, and made a rough but careful sketch of them; and the result of my observations seemed to be that no pass could possibly exist between any of the peaks near the supposed Brown and Hooker by which any four-footed animal less active than a goat could cross. The solution of the problem seemed as far off as ever, so after a consultation we decided to move half the outfit over Wilcox Pass into the Athabasca main valley. This we accordingly did, leaving poor Roy alone to look after the camp.

The Athabasca flows through a wide valley, covered in most places with an ugly wash-out, which we found, however, very convenient for travelling purposes. The general features of the scenery were less attractive than those of the charming vale we had left, though the mountains here were on a bigger scale, and Athabasca Peak nobly filled the head of the valley. We had hoped to find a lateral glen by which we could reach the foot of Mount Columbia; but the mountains slope on their eastern sides in a continuous line of cliffs, intersected only at places by impassable ice-falls. We, therefore, followed the bed of the stream for some miles, and camped at an elevation of 5600 feet near the mouth of a gorge, down which a creek tumbled in a picturesque cascade. Our men spent the next morning vainly prospecting for gold, and in the

ing - bags and provisions and
ascended the gorge, with a view
to sleeping out, for some peak
of the main range. The stream
issued from a glacier descending
from a group of mountains
with three principal summits,
of which the northern
(Diadem Peak) was the curious
snow-crowned peak I had seen
from Wild Sheep Hills. The
central and highest summit
was named by Collie after
Woolley, and the third after
my humble self. Our two
peaks appeared to have been
sadly misbehaving themselves
in bygone ages. A tremendous
rock-fall had evidently taken
place from their ugly bare
limestone cliffs, and the whole
valley, nearly half a mile wide,
was covered to a depth of some
hundreds of feet with boulders
and débris. In our united ex-
periences in the Alps, the Hima-
layas, the Caucasus, and other
mountains, we had never seen
indications of a landslide on so
colossal a scale. Following the
edge of the glacier, we bivou-
acked, our objective next day
being Peak Woolley, which we
hoped to climb by a steep ice-
fall that separated it from
Diadem. I made a delicious
bed of heather and pine twigs,
and slept soundly till I was
awoke by the rain pattering on
my sleeping-bag. The weather
had changed for the worse, and
the pale sickly light of an un-
promising dawn had overspread
the eastern sky when we started
up the glacier. All went well
as far as the foot of the ice-fall,
when a black cloud that had
been gathering over Mount

Columbia burst, and heavy rain drove us to seek shelter under a friendly rock. In five minutes it cleared, and we were just putting on the rope for our ascent of the ice-fall, when with a roar and a clatter some tons of ice that had broken off near the summit came tumbling down, splintering into fragments in their descent. The five minutes' delay had been a lucky one, so we took the friendly hint and left that icefall alone. The only alternative peak was Diadem, which we climbed in about four hours, three rock-chimneys and some steep rocks near the top affording us a certain amount of diversion. The rocks were not particularly difficult, but great care was necessary, owing to their excessive rottenness. The snow crown proved to be 100 feet high, and from its top (11,600) a wonderful panorama burst upon us, in spite of the murky atmosphere. Standing, as we were, on the Great Divide, we looked down upon a marvellous complexity of peak and valley, of shaggy forest and shining stream, with here and there a blue lake nestling in the recesses of the hills. Quite close, as it seemed, the overpowering mass of the supposed Mount Brown Brown (now called Mount Alberta) towered frowning 2000 feet above us. It was a superb peak, like a gigantic castle in shape, with terrific black cliffs falling sheer on three sides. On almost every side, far as the eye. could reach, the world of mountains extended: taken individually, I have seen finer peaks elsewhere,

but what impressed me here was a sense of their seemingly endless continuity. Northwards, as was to be expected, the landscape presented a sterner and more forbidding aspect: indeed, the softer and more homely features of Alpine scenery were everywhere absent. One missed the green pastures dotted about with brown châlets, and the familiar tinkle of the cow-bells would have sounded more musical than ever on my ears,-for, as I think Mr Leslie Stephen observes in 'The Playground of Europe,' these evidences of civilisation improve rather than spoil mountain scenery.

Collie's surveying kept us some time at the top, and bitterly cold work it was. We descended the peak through pelting hail, while the thunder roared and rattled among the crags in grand style, so that we were more than once constrained to halt and throw aside our ice-axes for fear of the lightning.

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In the woods we were struck with a still worse storm, with hailstones as big as-well, of the usual size that hurt as they hit you; and again we ran down into camp like three drowned rats. During the night another thunderstorm, the fifth in twenty-four hours, broke over us; but though the drippings from our leaky tent soaked my already damp sleeping-bag, I slept soundly through it all.

In the morning we struck the tents and returned over Wilcox Pass to the camp. Provisions were again running short, so we decided to make tracks homewards, and moved

the tents on the following day a few hours down the valley. Peyto and I started ahead of the others to hunt sheep up a valley leading to the headwaters of the Brazeau river. On the way we found a considerable tract of forest on fire, the charred tree-trunks and half-burned foliage presenting a curious patchwork of green and black, while the peaty earth was still smouldering and emitting volumes of smoke. Two of our men, who had left the caravan to go hunting on the way up, had lit a fire to cook a fool-hen, and had carelessly omitted to perform what is every backwoodsman's first duty -namely, to thoroughly extinguish it. Had the weather been finer the previous week we should probably have found the whole valley ablaze and our retreat down the Saskatchewan cut off a cheerful prospect for a party with next to nothing to eat! Leaving the fire, we pushed our horses on to the summit of the pass, where we tethered them and descended on foot some distance down the stream of the Brazeau. It was a pleasant valley, with low rounded hills, prettily wooded, on either side, that reminded me of Wales. We saw plenty of tracks, but no sheep, and returned to camp empty-handed, and for the third time soaked to the skin with rain. The morning was gloriously fine, and we made a forced march down the North Fork, so as to reach our cache of provisions at Bear Creek as soon as possible. The camp was pitched in a grove of burned trees, some of them

so rickety that a push of the hand sent them over. We were now on very short commons, having no meat and very little bread, and the poor dogs were absolutely starving; but it rained all next day, and we had to remain in camp. We ate our last sardine that evening, reserving three crusts of bread for breakfast on the morrow, when we pushed on as hard as we could down the left bank of the river. Arriving at the main stream of the Saskatchewan, we managed to ford it below the mouth of the North Fork, the cold weather having greatly reduced the volume of water. Bear Creek offered no difficulty. As we neared the cache, Collie tried to inflame our imaginations by drawing lurid pictures of a band of Indians gorged with our bacon and roaring drunk on our whisky; but we found everything just as we had left it.

Meat was still very scanty, so I spent most of the next day wandering about the woods of Bear Creek in search of fool-hen. One wants to be perfectly alone to fully appreciate the mystery and the utter solitude of these great forests. The scarcity of bird and animal life serves to heighten the impression of loneliness, and you may walk for hours without hearing a sound except the roar of some distant torrent or avalanche, and the soughing of the wind in the tall pines and the creaking of their gigantic limbs. Only the play of light and shade between the swaying branches causes the imagination at times to people their recesses with

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