Athabasca 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: BC-Alberta boundary, N of Wood Arm Kinbasket Lake, Kootenay Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 52°23'35''N, 118°11'00''W at the approximate centre of this feature.
Datum: NAD27
NTS Map: 83D/8

Origin Notes and History:

Athabaska Pass adopted 6 February 1912 on BC-Alberta boundary sheet # 27; spelling changed to Athabasca Pass 4 June 1953 on 83 SW. (file J.1.34)

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

"...lowest part of the summit (of the pass) is...5736 feet" (BC-Alberta Boundary Report part II, p.96)

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

Named in association with the Athabasca River, in turn a Cree name meaning "where there are reeds", referring to the muddy delta of the river where it enters Athabasca Lake. Guided by Thomas, an Iroquois Indian, David Thompson of the Northwest Company came through the pass in 1811 - the first white man to do so. This is the route that fur traders used before the completion of the railroad - the trail ran from Boat Encampment (near the great bend of the Columbia River) over Athabasca Pass to Jasper House. A detailed interpretive plaque is installed at the junction of Whirlpool and Athabasca Rivers in Jasper National Park.

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