Diane and I visited the Frank Slide near the Crowsnest Pass last week. Unfortunately, Turtle Mountain, or what’s left of it, was shrouded in fog.
In less than 100 seconds, at 4:10 AM, on April 29, 1903, a hundred unfortunate souls out of a town of 600 were buried alive. The railroad, the Crowsnest River and the road were also taken out. The river blockage had to be dynamited before it flooded the town. Though it has been much debated in the over a century since, consensus seems to be that coal mining under the mountain certainly contributed to the cause.
The community of Frank is now part of the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass in the Province of Alberta and has a population around 200.
I had only heard a bit about the slide before our tour of the interpretive center and observation points, and had no concept of just how far the rubble ‘washed’ out from the mountain. The following photos can not possibly do it justice. One of the observation points just meters from the edge of the massive boulders states (to the effect of), “If you were standing on this spot on the morning of April 29, 1904, you would have survived — if you’d had the nerve to stand your ground!”