1-5-Oh Canada! 150 Canadian Rocky Mountain Summits Reached for Canada’s 150th!
For Pete DuBeau, General Manager of The Moose Hotel & Suites, reaching the 2,845m summit of Wasatch Mountain – close to Mt. Temple in Paradise Valley of Lake Louise – wasn’t only a physical high, but an emotional one.
Standing out looking over the deep glaciated valley below, dressed in a Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games hockey jersey with a huge ‘150’ emblazoned across the shoulders in white hockey tape, Pete had reached his lofty goal of climbing 150 summits in the Canadian Rockies – in Canada’s 150th year.
Pete, an active, outdoorsy type, can often be found scrambling his way to impressive summits and hiking steep trails in and around Banff National Park. Beginning his summit-climbing career with the guidance of Banfflife, Pete is now a volunteer trip leader for the Alpine Club of Canada; an experienced hiker with confidence and know-how of keeping safe at elevation.
Being one of his favourite out-of-work pastimes, it was only in 2010 when Pete started to list the peaks he had climbed, and then later in 2015, he consciously started to count all of his Canadian Rockies summits (which was then, a total of 100). It was then that he thought about setting the challenge of hiking his way to a total of 150 summits.
“Lately, I’ve been summitting about 25 peaks a year,” explains Pete. “It seemed fitting to me, that if I was going to set a goal of chalking off 150 summits within the Canadian Rockies, that I should reach that within Canada’s 150th year.”
For his 150th peak, summited after a seven-hour climb to reach the very top of Wasatch Mountain, Pete was joined by hiking buddy Mercedes MacDougall, although his 150 summits have seen him being joined by various partners.
“My wife Aoi [also a previous employee of Banff Lodging Co.] has been my summit partner for most of the 150,” says Pete, “but I climbed Mt. Columbia – the highest peak in Alberta, standing at an impressive 3,747m – with two friends and colleagues, Jan Tol and Mike Wilkinson, who were both involved in the building of The Moose Hotel & Suites. Now, that was an adventure – we camped for two nights on the Columbia Icefields to reach that summit.”
When it came to selecting his summits, Pete had some set criteria: they needed to have been officially named and have a published route to the top – oh, and be a dominating mountain of the Canadian Rockies landscape, with some serious effort and scrambling work required to reach the top.
And his favourite summit of the 150?
“That would have to be Mount Assiniboine,” Pete answers. “With it’s unique, sharp pyramid shape and with a height of 3,618m, it just dominates the Canadian Rockies skyline; to reach that well-recognized summit was definitely a milestone for me.”
So now Pete’s goal of 150 summits has been reached, what’s the next challenge on the agenda?
“Well I’m about to embark on a very different challenge”, Pete says with a smile. “I’m about to become a father for the first time, so at age 40, perhaps it’s now time for me to just stay home and get old!”
Somehow, we don’t think that’ll be the case.
Camping shots – Jan Tol
150th Summit – Mercedes MacDougall