In his Footsteps

Repeating a Classic J.J. McArthur Station above Lake O'Hara, Yoho National Park

Born in Aylmer QC in 1856, J.J. McArthur is credited with being the first mountaineer in Canada to climb a peak over 10,000ft. (Mt. Stephen, above Field, BC — not an easy objective, even today). His other first ascents read like a who’s-who of airy Canadian Rocky Mountain heights: Mounts Field, Burgess, Rundle, Odaray, Aylmer, Bourgeau, and Big Sister, to name a few. He did most of these in the course of his work as a photo-topographic map maker and surveyor.

In 2016 the Alpine Club of Canada – Vancouver Island Section put on and alpine camp out of the Elizabeth Parker Hut above Lake O’Hara in BC’s Yoho National Park. Mary Sanseverino, a Mountain Legacy Project researcher and ACC-VI member, selected one of McArthur’s 1892 stations to rephotograph. Mt. Schaffer Station, which commands a view of the entire Lake O’Hara region, was easily reached by Sanseverino, and two climbing partners from the Alpine Club – Ken Wong and Judith Holm. The images in this gallery are the result of their work.

Dominion Land Surveyor and mapmaker James Joseph McArthur has been called the “first Canadian mountaineer”.

Mary Sanseverino

Currator of the In his Footsteps Gallery

Mary Sanseverino has been involved, in one way or another, with the Mountain Legacy Project since 2010. She has been in the field with MLP many times and continues to undertake mountain rephotography projects. In 2016 she was able to involve Ken Wong and Judith Holm, two climbing partners from the Alpine Club of Canada – Vancouver Island Section, in the project. With their help she was able to successfully repeat one of Jame McArthur’s classic survey stations overlooking Lake O’Hara in Yoho National Park. More photos from that trip: Lake O’Hara images.