Bedaux Pass

Feature Type:Pass (2) - Low opening in a mountain range or hills, offering a route from one side to the other.
Status:
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: Head of Muskwa River, in Kwadacha Wilderness Provincial Park, Peace River Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 57°45'24"N, 124°47'45"W at the approximate centre of this feature.
Datum: WGS84
NTS Map: 94F/15

Origin Notes and History:

Adopted 30 November 1944, as labelled on 1935 map 5T324 "Route Traversed by the Bedaux Sub-Arctic Expedition" by Frank Swannell, BCLS. Identified in 1953 and 1966 BC Gazetteers, but omitted from the 1985 BC Gazetteer.

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

"Named by [myself] after the head of the Bedaux Sub-Arctic Expedition, Charles E. Bedaux, of New York and Candé, Monts, France. This pass has formerly been crossed by an occasional white trapper, but the first organized party to cross it was that in charge of E.L.W. Lamarque, DLS, with the trail-cutting party of the Bedaux Sub-Arctic Expedition, summer of 1934. The main party crossed this pass 8 September 1934..." (notation on BC name card by Frank Swannell, DLS, BCLS, government-appointed geographer to the expedition). Collection of newspaper articles about the expedition, speculation about Bedaux' motives and his wartime alliances, on Geographic file M-3 and file S.1.36. See also Canadian Geographic magazine, September/October 1995, "Caviar and Cowboys in the Canadian Rockies," and the National Film Board of Canada's documentary "Champagne Safari" issued September 1995.

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

The 1934 Bedaux Expedition established its leader as one of the most flamboyant explorers in Canadian history: champagne, caviar, mistress and ladies maid; over-equipped, ill-equipped and peppered with staged mishaps, directed by Hollywood cinematographer Floyd Crosby. Bedaux was convinced that his party could locate a route and drive a fleet of automobiles from Edmonton through the unmapped northern Rocky Mountain Divide, thence by way of Telegraph Creek to Alaska, a distance of 2400 km. The advance party, led by Ernest Lamarque, DLS, blazed a trail through to Telegraph Creek, thereby proving the concept, but the main party turned back at Sifton Pass, 320 km short of Telegraph Creek. Bedaux began planning a return trip in 1936, but events in Europe diverted his interest: in 1937, the former King Edward III married American divorcée Wallis Simpson at Bedaux' chateau in the French countryside; by 1940 he had aligned his European businesses with Nazi interests. Bedaux committed suicide in Florida in 1944, reportedly as US authorities were preparing to arrest him for espionage.

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

The Sekani name for Bedaux Pass is Dawunèska (Guzagi K'úgé, published by Kaska Tribal Council, Watson Lake, 1997). Origin/meaning not provided.

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