Pass Finder

Thompson Pass

  • 1996 m (6550ft)
  • Naming History
  • Peaks and Rivers
52.0402N 117.2541W
Province: Alberta/BC
Park: Banff
Year Named:
Named by:
Named for: Thompson, Charles S. (Charles Thompson was involved in some of the earliest climbing expeditions in the Lake Louise area.)
Mountain (NW):
Mountain (SE): Watchman Peak
Headwaters (NE): Watchman Creek
Headwaters (SW): Rice Brook

In his book, "The Glittering Mountains of Canada," J. Monroe Thorington wrote, "Based on information from Tom Wilson of Banff, that there was an Indian trail across the pass at the valley-head (of the Alexandra River), Mr. Charles Thompson, an enthusiastic mounaineer, in 1900, travelled as far as the pass now bearing his name. He took one packer with him, and although no climbing was attempted because of bad weather prevailing, they explored the pass and visited the northern glaciers of Mount LyellLeopold Amery, in his book "In the Sun and the Rain, describes his visit to the pass as follows, "Passing Watchman Lake, a large sheet of lovely greeny-blue water, we reached a pleasant alp forming the top of the pass. Here Edward (Edward Feuz jr.) and I brewed tea by a little lake called Cinema Lake. Watchman and an immense mass of snow-banded rock, Spring-Rice, on the one side and the mighty crest of Bryce on the other, towering over us -above the dark slender spruces -were again mirrored in the lake at our feet. As we rose we flushed a magnificent eagle. From Thompson Pass, a track cut by Wheeler years ago and not used since, led down into the valley of the Rice Brook. This we followed, not without difficulty in places, to where it came to an end at the head of a steep canyon in which the Rice Brook discharges itself into the Bush River."

Later in his book, Thorington describes his visit to the pass by writing, "A few days later we rode to Thompson Pass. It had cleared off, and we followed the trial up Castleguard River -the name given to the stream above the Alexandra angle -and through dense forest to the broad grassy levels leading to the summit lakes. Watchman PeakSpring RiceMount BryceMount Thompson]