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In 1811, fur trader David Thompson of the North West Company of the British Empire crossed Athabasca Pass to return to Henry House, a shelter his men had built that spring opposite the present site of the town of Jasper. In so doing, he established the primary trade route through the Canadian Rockies for the next 50 years.
Today, Athabasca Pass is in the southwest corner of Jasper National Park. It is a remote pass, as wild and forlorn as the day David Thompson first set eyes on it, marked only by a small historical cairn.