Range Finder

Livingstone Range

Livingstone Range (82G; 82J)

The Livingstone Range forms the eastern edge of the Rockies from the Highwood River in the north to the Crowsnest River in the south.

Thomas Blakiston was an important assistant to John Palliser as the Expedition carried out extensive explorations of western Canada from 1857 until 1860. Lieutenant Blakiston was travelling south through the valley which now contains Highway #22 in August of 1858 when he paused at the Oldman River and enjoyed the view to the west. He described and named the Livingstone Range writing in his journal, "The gap through which I had seen this mountain (the peak now known as Tornado MountainThunder MountainPeter Fidler travelled from Buckingham House (near the site of Elk Point) on the North Saskatchewan River, east of Calgary to the present site of High River. Later he travelled south through Happy Valley that lies between the Livingstone Range and the Porcupine Hills (the route now followed by Highway #22). On December 31st, after studying the "Oldman's Bowling Green" in the vicinity of the Oldman River Gap (where the Oldman River passes through the Livingstone Range), he ventured through the Gap on the south side of the river to the point where Racehorse Creek joins the Oldman River, becoming the first white man to actually enter the Canadian Rockies.

Later that day he, "Climbed up a gentle ascent, this making an angle of more than 60 degrees with the horizon, and after much fatigue I got to the top in 2 1/2 hours time, from which an extensive view may be seen. There was only a few places within the eyes extent that is higher than the place I stood on." Peter Fidler had become the first non-native to climb a mountain in the Canadian Rockies. He wrote, "This height I measured and found it to be 3250 feet above the level of its base." Today's topographical maps indicate an elevation difference of approximately 3150 feet. There seems little doubt that the mountain Peter Fidler climbed was Thunder Mountain.

The Indians who Fidler was camped with became quite concerned during his absence and, "sought me everywhere. . . never thinking I would undertake the great trouble and fatigue of ascending to the summit of the mountain." -Dave Birrell www.peakfinder.com