Snow Dome

Feature Type:Mountain - Mass of land prominently elevated above the surrounding terrain, bounded by steep slopes and rising to a summit and/or peaks.
Status:
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: On BC-Alberta boundary W of Mount Columbia in the Columbia Icefield, NW of Golden, Kootenay Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 52°11'15''N, 117°18'59''W at the approximate centre of this feature.
Datum: NAD83
NTS Map: 83C/3

Origin Notes and History:

"The Snow Dome" submitted to the Geographic Board of Canada, as labelled on BC-Alberta boundary sheet #22, 1919. Adopted as "Snow Dome (mountain)" in the 17th Report of the Geographic Board of Canada, 31 March 1921.

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

The name is descriptive of its shape; named in 1899 by J.N.Collie, who with Hermann Woolley had discovered and named the Columbia Icefield and its various summits the previous year.

Source: Place Names of Alberta, Alberta Geographical Names Program and Friends of Geographical Names of Alberta Society, University of Calgary Press, 4 volumes, 1991-1996.

"July 20, 21st and 22nd three high stations were occupied along the southern border of the Columbia Icefield, and on the 24th a try was made for Collie's "Dome", now called Snow Dome, at the centre of the eastern border of the icefield... The Snow Dome rises, a great snow and ice-covered mound, to an altitude of 11,340 feet above sea-level.... The lay of the watershed is regulated by the piled up masses of ice and snow which have here accumulated. It is impossible to say how the watershed would lie were the vast accumulation to be removed through melting..." (BC-Alberta Boundary Report, pt II, 1917-1921, p.56)

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

Snow Dome may be the hydrographic summit of North America, ie. the centre point that determines the direction that rivers will flow. It is one of the 2 or 3 points in the world that have a clearly defined tri-ocean drainage summit: Bush River --> Columbia River --> Pacific Ocean; Athabaska River --> Mackenzie River --> Arctic Ocean; Saskatchewan River --> Nelson River --> Hudsons Bay --> Atlantic Ocean. See also Canadian Geographic Magazine, April/May 1988.

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office