Saturday, July 14, 2012

Frank Slide, Alberta

July 14, 2012
Crowsnest Pass RV Park
2 km east of Bellevue
Alberta, Canada

Today was a day of sleep in and a leisure breakfast.  So after a great breakfast of scrambled eggs and turkey sausage we headed to the Frank Slide Interpretive center.  This is Canada's deadliest Rockslide.
The interpretive center is well worth a visit, even if you don't have time; take the time, you will be glad you did.  We saw two films and a demonstration of the use of lights in mines from the early years until present time.

I will share with you a few of the facts and event that led up to this deadly rockslide.

On April 29, 1903 at 4:10 am, 30 million cubic metres of limestone crashed from the summit of Turtle Mountain and buried part of the sleeping town of Frank.  The rock mass that fell was 150 metres (500 feet) deep, 425 metres (1,400 feet) high and one kilometre (3,280 feet) wide.

The bustling town of Frank was home to approximately 600 people in 1903.  Most of the roughly 100 individuals who lived in the path of the slide were killed.

The primary cause of the Frank Slide was the mountain's unstable geological structure.  Underground coal mining, water action in summit cracks and unusual weather conditions contributed to the disaster.

The rock likely moved like a dense, fast-flowing liquid, covering three square kilometres of the valley in 90 seconds.  The debris averages 14 metres (46 feet) deep, but in some areas it is more than 30 metres (100 feet) deep. 

I cannot do this justice, go to this site:

What's left of Turtle Mountain, the rocks behind us are from the mountain 

Community quilt displayed inside the Interpretative Center

Roadside plaque

The film that was shown "On the Edge of Destruction - Frank Slide Story" was quite moving, I was in tears because I knew what was going to happen to the town and the families.

On a brighter note, we are camped with seven other Airstreamer friends and we will all caravan to our next and final stop at the Great Canadian Barn Dance and Family Campground in Hill Spring, Alberta, that sure is a mouthful.  Here we will be attending an Airstream Region Rally for five days.  We have missed the last couple of region rallies and they only have them every other year, so we are glad that we were able to go to this one.

Safe travels to all and thanks for stopping by.

Joe and Nancy


  1. Your gathering sounds like fun. Sorry about the tire problem. It is interesting to hear what the dealer felt caused the flat. It was very hot in May when we had our flat.

  2. Thanks for sharing the story about the Frank Slide. Have fun at the Airstream Rally!