Dr. Peter Murphy describes the history of the fur trade in Canada and the race between the Americans and Canadians to reach the Pacific via overland and the Columbia River. For Canadian fur traders, the Great Portage, "La Grande Traverse" was the one of the two major portages on the fur trading route from York Factory on Hudson Bay to the mouth of the Columbia River on the west coast. From 1811 onwards for almost fifty years, this was a key route traveled twice a year by Canadian fur trading expeditions.
In Part 4, Dr. Peter Murphy describes in detail the steps on the route of La Grande Traverse with photos and airphotos from Jasper House through to the crossing of the Athabasca River. Disaster Point was a critical trek for travelers and horses in this section of the trail. Remnants of the trail can be found throughout Jasper National Park. Dr. Murphy describes what he has found in his research for the actual path of the La Grande Traverse.
Dr. Peter Murphy is Professor Emeritus, Forestry, Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta. He is a co-author of "A Hard Road to Travel", about the land, forests and people of the upper Athabasca River from Hinton, Alberta to Jasper National Park.
This video is part 4 of 5.