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Semi-Virtual Tour of Frank Slide Interpretive Center

Updated on October 15, 2015

Semi-Virtual Tour through Frank Slide Interpretive Centre

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Welcome to the Frank Slide Interpretive Centre1901 - Mine opens up in Frank, Alberta.Frank, Alberta's population jumps as workers show up to work in the coal mine.Mountain Falls Down - April 29, 1903, at 4:10 a.m17 men survived being buried alive under the mountain for 13 hours.Passenger train saved by local hero Sid ChoquetteBig Charlie, a mine horse, is trapped underground for a month before being found by miners.It took a massive effort to go through that debris, that limestone is like breathing chalk.A chance survival.I never saw them again.Word hits the paper.Desperate letters were sent to loved ones.D. Henry works to get mine up and working again.Myths and legends are born.Looking out the window.Possibility that mining under the mountain helped bring her down.People thought a volcano erupted that night.Not a matter of IF the mountain will fall again, but WHEN.Dinosaur remains found in Alberta.BeautyA community quilt remembering those who lost their lives.Not only does the gift shop have unique gifts, there are postcards and other memorabilia available.Thank you for joining us today. Little cold for the observational area today.Have a Great Day
Welcome to the Frank Slide Interpretive Centre
Welcome to the Frank Slide Interpretive Centre | Source
1901 - Mine opens up in Frank, Alberta.
1901 - Mine opens up in Frank, Alberta. | Source
Frank, Alberta's population jumps as workers show up to work in the coal mine.
Frank, Alberta's population jumps as workers show up to work in the coal mine. | Source
Mountain Falls Down - April 29, 1903, at 4:10 a.m
Mountain Falls Down - April 29, 1903, at 4:10 a.m | Source
17 men survived being buried alive under the mountain for 13 hours.
17 men survived being buried alive under the mountain for 13 hours. | Source
Passenger train saved by local hero Sid Choquette
Passenger train saved by local hero Sid Choquette | Source
Big Charlie, a mine horse, is trapped underground for a month before being found by miners.
Big Charlie, a mine horse, is trapped underground for a month before being found by miners.
It took a massive effort to go through that debris, that limestone is like breathing chalk.
It took a massive effort to go through that debris, that limestone is like breathing chalk. | Source
A chance survival.
A chance survival. | Source
I never saw them again.
I never saw them again. | Source
Word hits the paper.
Word hits the paper. | Source
Desperate letters were sent to loved ones.
Desperate letters were sent to loved ones. | Source
D. Henry works to get mine up and working again.
D. Henry works to get mine up and working again. | Source
Myths and legends are born.
Myths and legends are born. | Source
Looking out the window.
Looking out the window. | Source
Source
Possibility that mining under the mountain helped bring her down.
Possibility that mining under the mountain helped bring her down. | Source
People thought a volcano erupted that night.
People thought a volcano erupted that night. | Source
Not a matter of IF the mountain will fall again, but WHEN.
Not a matter of IF the mountain will fall again, but WHEN. | Source
Dinosaur remains found in Alberta.
Dinosaur remains found in Alberta. | Source
Beauty
Beauty | Source
A community quilt remembering those who lost their lives.
A community quilt remembering those who lost their lives. | Source
Not only does the gift shop have unique gifts, there are postcards and other memorabilia available.
Not only does the gift shop have unique gifts, there are postcards and other memorabilia available. | Source
Thank you for joining us today.
Thank you for joining us today. | Source
Little cold for the observational area today.
Little cold for the observational area today. | Source
Have a Great Day
Have a Great Day | Source

I have been fascinated by the Frank Slide since I moved to the area. It is unbelievable the amount of rock that came down from Turtle Mountain. I was in high school when the Frank Slide Interpretive Centre originally opened. At that time, our winters were still four months of minus 30° Celsius, and I volunteered for the annual haunted house and Halloween party for the younger kids.

In 2008, the Visitor Centre was completely revamped and the Frank Slide Interpretive Centre received a new look. Offering more programs and more comprehensive, updated information with regards to the slide.

Visiting the Frank Slide Interpretive Centre gives you a chance to find out what it was like to be in the coal mining town of Frank before the great rock avalanche. You also get a feel of what it was like to be there during the rock slide, and what happened to the town afterwards.

The Centre boasts a 70-seat, high definition theatre, and while you are there you have an opportunity to view two award-winning, audio-visual presentations, that are shown throughout the day.

"In the Mountain's Shadow" is a vibrant 25-minute presentation that presents the history of the Crowsnest Pass from immigration through coal mining to rum running. Below you will see a short clip from this presentation to give you an idea of how stunning it is.

"On the Edge of Destruction" is a powerful, 30-minute docudrama that recreates the remarkable night the rock-slide came down. There is a short scene selection of this unbelievable presentation on Youtube. You can view it here.

"In the Mountain's Shadow" was the original reason we visited the Frank Slide Interpretive Centre on this particular day, Kaos (my other half) wanted to go up and see the older slide show. He hasn't been up there in years, although I have been there a couple of times with the kids.

One of those times was during the annual Rum Runner Weekend in Blaimore and the Frank Slide Interpretive Centre had an open house that weekend. There were arts and crafts for the kids and a science presentation, where we received the cup you see in the picture. We used dry ice in water to make the cups change colours and for a 10 year old it was an awesome time (and for me too!).

A markerFrank Slide Interpretive -
Frank Slide Interpretive Centre, Crowsnest Pass, AB T0K, Canada
get directions

Provincial Historic Site of Alberta

In 1958, people of the Crowsnest Pass tried to get the Frank Slide designated as a National Historic Site.

Unable to achieve this, it was later designated as a Provincial Historic Site of Alberta.

In 1976, the provincial government designated the slide area as a restricted development zone, which prevents alteration of the site.

The Frank Slide Interpretive Centre was opened in 1985 and receives over 100,000 tourists annually. It boasts a wonderful museum and tourist shop.

Inside is phenomenal documentation of the Frank Slide and the region's coal mining history. Outside, well maintained walking trails take you through the massive field of limestone rock.

The Frank Slide Interpretive Centre is dedicated to one of the largest landslides of Canadian history, of which today, still remains the deadliest.

A hot topic of the area is the possibility of another slide happening in the area, off the East facing section section this time.

With the geological equipment used to monitor the mountain, it is said that it is no longer a matter of IF the mountain falls again, but WHEN.

Read More About the Possibility of the Turtle Mountain Disaster Happening Again

Have you ever been to the Frank Slide Interpretive Centre?

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Frank Slide in Music

  • Robert Gard's "Ballad of the Frank Slide" (BMI Canada 1949)
  • Ed McCurdy did a ballad featuring the story of Frankie Slide in the 1950s.
  • The most recent is song by The Rural Alberta Advantage, "Frank, AB".
  • Below is a video of Stompin' Tom Connors' "How the Mountain Came Down."
  • The Frank Slide has also been the subject of several books, both fictional and historical.

Stompin' Tom Connors - How The Mountain Came Down

I left the Crowsnest Pass for 15 years before returning in 2001. I have been so focused on camping, fishing and hiking, that I sometimes forget the extraordinary things around me. Living right beside Turtle Mountain, I sometimes take for granted all the beauty I have around me, right in front of me.

Below is a collection of photo's I have taken over the years. Some as much as 8 years ago, and some last week. I hope you enjoy them.

Random Photos of Turtle Mountain

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Memorial Dedicated to Those Who Lost Their Lives in the Frank Slide.  Located on the old Frank Road.Taken on Frank Slide Interpretive nature walk.Taken at the top of the hill going into Bellevue.Biking Through the Frank Slide - South of HighwayBiking Through the Frank Slide - South of HighwayOn a drive up behind Frank Slide Interpretive Centre. On a drive up behind Frank Slide Interpretive Centre. A shot of Blairmore, my home town.On a drive up behind Frank Slide Interpretive Centre.Taken from Frank Slide Industrial ParkKaos Fishing Below Frank SlideKaos Fishing Below Frank SlideInukshuk on Side of Road through the Frank SlideRainbow - Backside of Turtle Mountain - from my yard.Firetruck - Backside of Turtle Mountain - 2010 Thunder in the Valley ParadeMoon - Backside of Turtle Mountain from ColemanPanoramic View 1Panoramic View 2Panoramic View 3Panoramic View 4Panoramic View 5
Memorial Dedicated to Those Who Lost Their Lives in the Frank Slide.  Located on the old Frank Road.
Memorial Dedicated to Those Who Lost Their Lives in the Frank Slide. Located on the old Frank Road. | Source
Taken on Frank Slide Interpretive nature walk.
Taken on Frank Slide Interpretive nature walk. | Source
Taken at the top of the hill going into Bellevue.
Taken at the top of the hill going into Bellevue. | Source
Biking Through the Frank Slide - South of Highway
Biking Through the Frank Slide - South of Highway | Source
Biking Through the Frank Slide - South of Highway
Biking Through the Frank Slide - South of Highway | Source
On a drive up behind Frank Slide Interpretive Centre.
On a drive up behind Frank Slide Interpretive Centre. | Source
On a drive up behind Frank Slide Interpretive Centre. A shot of Blairmore, my home town.
On a drive up behind Frank Slide Interpretive Centre. A shot of Blairmore, my home town. | Source
On a drive up behind Frank Slide Interpretive Centre.
On a drive up behind Frank Slide Interpretive Centre. | Source
Taken from Frank Slide Industrial Park
Taken from Frank Slide Industrial Park | Source
Kaos Fishing Below Frank Slide
Kaos Fishing Below Frank Slide | Source
Kaos Fishing Below Frank Slide
Kaos Fishing Below Frank Slide | Source
Inukshuk on Side of Road through the Frank Slide
Inukshuk on Side of Road through the Frank Slide | Source
Rainbow - Backside of Turtle Mountain - from my yard.
Rainbow - Backside of Turtle Mountain - from my yard. | Source
Firetruck - Backside of Turtle Mountain - 2010 Thunder in the Valley Parade
Firetruck - Backside of Turtle Mountain - 2010 Thunder in the Valley Parade | Source
Moon - Backside of Turtle Mountain from Coleman
Moon - Backside of Turtle Mountain from Coleman | Source
Panoramic View 1
Panoramic View 1 | Source
Panoramic View 2
Panoramic View 2 | Source
Panoramic View 3
Panoramic View 3 | Source
Panoramic View 4
Panoramic View 4 | Source
Panoramic View 5
Panoramic View 5 | Source

Aerial flyover through the Crowsnest Pass

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