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Blank Spaces of the Canadian Rockies, Part 2:

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Legend of the Silver Ice Axe
In the last blog post of Blank Spaces of the Canadian Rockies Part 1, we recounted the first chapter of the mountaineering history of Mount Alberta. We followed the Japanese team up the mountain and watched as they planted the ice axe in a cairn near the summit. In the aftermath of the first ascent a rumor began to spread throughout the mountaineering community that the ice axe left by the Japanese climbers was made of pure silver and that it had been presented to them by the Emperor of Japan himself. Continue reading to discover what happened next…
On the 30th of July, 1948 (23 years after the first ascent) the second ascent of Mount Alberta was made by Americans Fred Ayres and John Oberlin. During their ascent one of their ice axes had to be used as a rappel point in order to descend into the saddle. When they reached the summit and found the ice axe left by the first Japanese team they decided to u…