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Mount Caubvick is Canada’s Highest Peak East of Rockies

The remote mountain stands on the border of Quebec and Labrador and is rarely climbed

The highest mountain in eastern continental Canada at 1,652 metres has had two names: Mont D’Iberville and Mount Caubvick. It rises directly on the border of Labrador and Quebec in the Selamiut Range of the Torngat Mountains.

There are three active glaciers on the north side and the summit has a number of knife-edge ridges leading to it: The Minaret ridge, The Koroc ridge, and the North Ridge. The first ascent was by American climbers Michael Adler and Christopher Goetze in 1973. The first Canadian party to climb it was Ray Chipeniuk, Ron Parker, and Erik Sheer in 1978.

The first name was given in 1971 by the Commission de toponymie du Québec for Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville. D’Iberville led many expeditions in North America, including a destructive rampage in St. John’s and the Avalon Peninsula of Newfoundland in 1696 and 1697.

In 1981, the Newfoundland Geographical Names Board decided that the peak should be assigned a name more suitable to that region’s history. Caubvick, who was an Inuk from Labrador, and the wife of one of George Cartwright’s Inuit friends. Her name comes from the Inuktitut word for “wolverine” which is kapvik.

In 1773, George Cartwright took Attuiock and Tooklavina and their wives, including Caubvick, to England where they met with the king, members of the Royal Society and James Boswell. The Inuit all got smallpox in England. Caubvick was the only survivor of the group and unknowingly passed on the disease to people in Canada.

In August 2003, two climbers from Ontario died during their descent from the summit. A search was initiated in late August when they failed to meet a plane at a pre-arranged location. The approaching winter weather forced an early end to the search in 2003. In August 2004, their bodies were discovered high on the mountain. The most plausible scenario appears to be that one of the climbers became injured and was unable to continue the descent. The other climber made an attempt to seek help, taking an alternate route down and apparently fell about 50 metres down a headwall.

Read a trip report about an expedition to the summit from back in 2019 here.