Fairview Mountain

Elevation: 2744 m
Elevation Gain: 1000 m
First ascended by Samuel E. S. Allen and Walter D. Wilcox in 1893 the peak was officially named by the latter in 1894. The name is an obvious reference to the view from the top, however, the term “fair” sells it a little short in this instance. Although not a major undertaking, Mount Fairview is, nevertheless, a favorite of many prominent mountaineers including J. Monroe Thorington who wrote of it: “A small peak as a rule is the best view-point because there is still something left to look up to... And so it is with Fairview. Year after year we have come back to it; perhaps as a convenient training walk, but more likely on account of the sheer beauty with which it is surrounded."
My Ascents:
July 17 2013, July 8 2012, September 10 2011, July 5 2011, September 26 2010, August 1 2010, September 20 2009, August 23 2008, September 9 2007, July 6 2007

When my boss Peter asked me if I would mind taking some Japanese distributors who sell our products hiking somewhere truly spectacular while they were in Calgary on business, I was quick (perhaps a little too quick) to say that I would love to! Better still, when I contacted our Japanese guests to assess their fitness level, they told me that they were accustomed to hiking 1000 vertical meters on a regular basis! Knowing that they were fit, I knew that if the weather cooperated, we could show them some truly amazing Rockies scenery! Based on previous experiences blowing people’s minds, I decided that we should target Mount Fairview. With its strategic location a km above Lake Louise, I was certain that our guests would be giddy taking in the views of the glaciated giants all around. Little did I know that our guests would show me a side of the Banff National Park that I’d never seen before as well! Nothing like bagging peaks on company time!

The breath-taking view of Mount Temple, complete with its characteristic plume of cloud, from Saddle Pass. The view from the pass impressed our guests enough already; little did they know what they were in for!

Isao San stops for a photo with Haddo Peak towering above sparse larch trees.

The picturesque view of the Victoria Glacier from the summit of Fairview Mountain.

Our Japanese guests look pleased with the views! ;) Two out of the three spoke little to no English but they still went out of their way to try to convey to me how much they enjoyed themselves: “Matt San – Thank you! We will never forget!” I must admit that I found the experience of bringing foreign visitors up Fairview to be VERY rewarding despite the fact that I have climbed this peak at least 10 times now. As their eyes got wide and their cameras clicked away, it reminded me of my first time up this peak and I could recall exactly how much I enjoyed that trip and how completely astounded I was with the view. It felt great to see others experiencing that same jubilation!

One of our guests tries to get a bit closer to the glaciated giants (Mount Aberdeen, Mount Lefroy and Mount Victoria from left to right).

Mount Niblock (left) and Mount St. Piran (right) across scenic Lake Louise. The peaks of the Waputik Icefield visible in the distance. Our guests had visited the Columbia Icefield the day before and had a difficult time believing that there were nearly eightly kilometers of different icefields stretching all the way north to the Columbia Icefield.

Peaks of the Waputik. From left to right: Mount Des Poilus (distant), Mount Niles, Mount Bosworth and massive Mount Daly atop the Bath Glacier.

Looking north along the Icefields Parkway towards Hector Lake. From left to right: BowCrow Peak, Mount Weed (distant), Observation Peak (distant), Bow Peak, Cirque Peak (distant), the Dolomites and Watermelon Peak.

Peter taking a business call on his Blackberry.

The Pipestone Valley bracketed by Mount Hector (left) and the peaks of the Skoki area (right) across the Bow Valley.

Mount Douglas (left) and Mount St. Bride (right) beyond Redoubt Mountain in Skoki.

Skoki peaks beyond the Lake Louise ski area. From left to right: Mount Richardson, Pika Peak, Ptarmigan Peak and Fossil Mountain.

Haddo Peak, Mount Aberdeen and Mount Lefroy.

A gorgeous view of the Aberdeen Glacier.

I told our Japanese guests, that we were going to climb this one the next time they visited us!

Just another day at the office! Making sure that I get my summit photo in before we head down. When we got down, our guests informed us that they would like to take us out to dinner in Banff to show their appreciation (after a dip in the hot springs of course). How could I say no to an offer like that? Little did I know HOW MUCH they appreciated the hike!

The view from one of our guest’s rooms at the Banff Springs. The Bow River winds its way between Tunnel Mountain and Mount Rundle with Mount Inglismaldie, Mount Girouard and Mount Peechee beyond. He could even see bikini girls at the pool below! Talk about a 5 star view! ;)

My turn to get treated (that’s a $300 bottle of wine that we’re starting off with)! Our guests showed their appreciation by taking Peter and I out for dinner at the prestigious Banffshire Club in the Banff Springs hotel. I’m fairly certain that Peter and I are breaking the restaurant’s dress code at this point (I think that hiking pants with holes in the butt, covered in jam from an earlier PB&J mishap and a sweat-stained “Yamnuska” T-shirt did not meet the pants and collared shirt requirement). They must have let us in because we kept such good company. My sincere thanks to our Japanese visitors for the amazing meal, the likes of which, I’m fairly certain that I will never get to enjoy again!

An amazing foie gras served with brioche. I ordered 3 courses plus dessert from a menu that did not feature any prices – a surefire sign that I could not afford this meal on my own!

Bison tenderloin served with smoked corn and asparagus on a stone plate. Magnificent!

Uninvited dinner guest. Sadly, he’s dressed better than I am. Again, many thanks to our guests for treating me to such a beautiful meal and showing me a more luxurious side of Banff National Park than I am accustomed to!