Range Finder

Ten Peaks Range

Ten Peaks (82N)

This group of mountains is is also known as Wenkchemna Peaks.

This range forms the backdrop to the ├▒Valley of the Ten Peaks which contains Moraine Lake. It was featured on the Canadian twenty dollar bill for a number of years.

"Not even Lake Louise can boast of so noble a galaxy of guardian mountains as is furnished by the range of the Ten Peaks and the craggy and imposing pile of Mount Temple." Hugh Stutfield and Norman Collie, who wrote these words in "Climbs and Explorations in the Canadian Rockies," were on horseback and obviously took the time to savour this outstanding view on their way to Moraine Lake in 1902.

"No scene has ever given me an equal impression of inspiring solitude and rugged grandeur." This was Walter Wilcox''s reaction when he was one of the first visitors to the Valley of the Ten Peaks. In 1894 his companion, Samuel Allen, had chosen to name the peaks from east to west using the numbers from the Stoney Indian language as follows: Heejee, Nom, Yamnee, Tonsa, Sapta, Shappee, Sagowa, Saknowa, Neptuak, and Wenkchemna. A number of Stoney Indians had been hired to look after the horses used by Wilcox and his group and Allen must have learned the numbers from them. All but three of the peaks have subsequently been renamed to honour a variety of individuals.

Don Beers says that the only trail from which you can see all ten peaks is where the broad grassy slope comes down from Eiffel Peak just before Eiffel Lake comes into view on the way to Wenkchemna Pass. Don writes, "It isn''t easy to identify #2, which shows over the col between #3 and #4 from this place. To complicate matters further, there appears to be an eleventh peak, a small pinnacle (unofficially called # 3 1/2), slightly higher than the col, just left of #2."

J. Norman Collie and others have speculated that Samuel Allen, who initially named the Ten Peaks, may have regarded Mount Hungabee as #10. The current #10, Wenkcheman Peak, is merely a shoulder of the much higher Mount Hungabee. Or perhaps, since both Wenkchemna Peak and Hungabee are separated from the other nine by Wenkchmena Pass, #3 1/2 is the tenth mountain.