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Photograph of Major Albert B. Rogers


Major Albert B. Rogers

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Famous Moments

Finding a Way Through

The search for a route through the Rockies and the Selkirk Mountains was long and difficult. In 1881, Major A.B. Rogers was asked to find a passage through the Selkirks. If he succeeded, the Canadian Pacific Railway promised him $5,000 and would name the pass after him. Rogers sent his 21-year-old nephew, Albert, to explore a route called the Kicking Horse Pass from the western side, while he tried another route called Howse Pass. After Albert failed to arrive at camp, a search party was sent out. He was found half-starved and exhausted. Rogers declared that the Kicking Horse Pass was the pass through the Rockies that the railway should use. He abandoned his exploration of the Howse Pass. He had his doubts though, for he had only found half of the route. Was there a route through the Selkirks? After many ordeals and nearly starving to death, Rogers found his pass through the Selkirks on July 24, 1882. It is known today as Rogers Pass.

Kicking Horse Pass was found by Dr. James Hector. The pass got its name because Hector was kicked in the chest by a packhorse and knocked unconscious for several hours. He carried on with the expedition the next day, discovered the pass and named it after his accident. It is still called the Kicking Horse Pass today.

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