Crow's Nest Pass


—Kipp, at the confluence of the Lethbridge and St. Mary's River, is an old trading point that was the scene of many a conflict between the Indians and the early white traders.

From Kipp a line runs north to Calgary, via Carmangay.

Monarch, another old trading post, affords on a clear day a view of the Rockies, the square-tipped giant to the left, almost fifty miles away, being the "Chief", which lies partly in Canada and partly in the United States. Macleod (population 2000), was one of the pioneer settlements of the south and the headquarters of the famous Royal Northwest Mounted Police (now merged with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police). It is a prosperous town in a big wheat growing territory, and is a coal and lumber distribution point. Irrigation projects are contemplated in the district south of it.

From Macleod a branch run north to Calgary via High River.

Pincher, Cowley, etc. Following up the Old Man River, the railway passes to the south of the Porcupine Hills, between which and the Livingstone range of the Rockies there is an ideal farming country. The Rockies are almost continuously in view, rising sharp and clear out of the western horizon, while in the intervening country is a panorama of undulating plain. The numerous streams are full of trout, while farther on the mountains the more venturesome sportsman can gratify his ambition amongst the grizzly and black bear, elk, mountain sheep and mountain goat. Four miles east of Pincher, Pincher Creek is crossed by a long bridge; in a valley to the right is an Indian Industrial School. Near Cowley is Massacre Butte, commemorating a tragic episode of the pioneering days when the settler's life was harassed by hostile Indians. From here to the Crow's Nest Lake the railway follows the valley of the Middle Fork, which narrows into deep canyons and again broadens.

Coal underlies a large portion of this region, and is seen outcropping in many places. Mines are in operation at several points, the Crow's Nest pass district being a very large producing one. The mountains rise in great masses on either side, entrance being gained by a narrow defile beside Turtle Mountain. Frank is a coal mining town that was the scene in 1093 of a terrible catastrophe that is still well-remembered—the "Frank Slide", when part of the mountain slid down and wiped out the town. Some of the debris can still be seen. The present town is situated some distance from the old one. Blairmore also is a prosperous mining community (pop. 1800).

Looking to the north-west, the first view of Crow's Nest Mountain (9138 feet) is obtained. This circular monolith, its base deeply tinted in purple and green, its crown capped in a dazzling mass of snow and ice, dominates the entire region. Various reasons have been advanced for the origin of the name "Crow's Nest, but not the soundest is apparently that it commemorates a massacre of the Crow Indians by the Blackfeet Indians in the latter part of the last century, on the spot now covered by the Frank Slide.

Ten miles westward is Crowsnest Lake (altitude 4390 feet), a beautiful sheet of water often called the birthplace of the prairie winds, although the frequent calmness of t he lake rather belies that description. Leaving this lake, the line follows the shore of another, Island Lake (altitude 4409 feet), of remarkable clearness. Immediately to the west is the summit of the Rockies in the boundary between Alberta and British Columbia. Crow's Nest Station is the end of the Alberta District of the railway and the beginning of the British Columbia District.

Westward from the Crow's Nest Pass