Edward Feuz, Jr. and Abbott Hut

Edward Feuz Jr. with client, (NA66-2116 (v200)), Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies

The story of Edward Feuz Jr. is just one of the many stories in the new Gateway to the Rockies exhibition being developed by the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies.  We want your input and feedback on this permanent (ten year life) exhibition that we are planning to open at the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies in the spring of 2012. Tell us what you think of this and the other concepts and stories featured here. Let us know how you think we could make this exhibition more interesting. Please keep in mind that this is a draft of the storyline, not the finished product. As the stories develop, information will be updated.

With the growing interest in mountaineering at Lake Louise, increasingly more guests wanted to climb Mt. Lefroy and Mt. Victoria. Due to concerns over safety related to the endurance of the climbers, Swiss guide, Edward Feuz, Jr. suggested building a shelter with his fellow guides on the narrow saddle separating the two peaks. Thus began the difficult construction of Abbot Hut on the continental divide at an elevation of 2925 meters, one of the highest buildings in Canada.

The only route to Abbott Pass from Lake Louise led through a section that was overhung on the Mt. Victoria side by unpredictable ice known as the “Death Trap.” To build a hut, the guides had to transport everything from cement, lime, bolts, windows, timbers, a stove, tools, beds, mattresses and bedding, cutlery and food over the crevasses to the Death Trap by horse.  The Brewster Company provided the horses. The story of Beulah, a horse who fell into a crevasse has become a legend in the Rockies. Someday, perhaps she will melt out the toe of the glacier.

From the Death Trap, the guides carried the material on their backs.  In 1923, Abbot Hut opened and made climbing safe for adventurous guests from Lake Louise. For fifty years, the Hut was the highest permanent building in Canada and was, In Edward Feuz’s opinion, the only true alpine hut in Canada.


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