Second World War-era explosive found by climbers in Jasper National Park

An unexploded ordnance was found by climbers on Mt. Athabasca on July 4, 2019.
An unexploded ordnance was found by climbers on Mt. Athabasca on July 4, 2019. Jasper RCMP

A Second World War-era explosive was found on a mountain this past week in Jasper National Park, prompting the military to go in and detonate it.

The surprising discovery was made on July 4, when a group of climbers found an unexploded ordnance (UXO) on the north side of Mt. Athabasca.

The Government of Canada defines a UXO as military explosives that did not explode or function as intended.

READ MORE: Warning signs for Unexploded Ordnances

In a release, Jasper RCMP said news of the old bomb was reported to them around 2 p.m. by the Jasper Park Visitor Safety, who received the information from the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides.

A notice was issued to warn climbers to avoid the area because of the concern for public safety.

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Mounties consulted with the federal government’s Department of National Defence (DND) and on July 5, an explosive ordnance disposal team from CFB Wainwright was sent out to Jasper.

The DND said the UXO was a Second World War-era armour piercing round, but didn’t know how it was shot or detonated. Their best guess as to why it was up on the mountain is that the round was used at some point as an option for avalanche control and didn’t end up exploding.

READ MORE: ‘Mountains are rumbling’: Extreme risk in Rockies prompts warning to backcountry enthusiasts

The responding team was able to secure the location of the round and safely detonate it, police said.

RCMP commended the climbers who found, photographed, reported and didn’t interfere with the explosive.

Mounties remind the public if they find anything that looks like it could be detonated, to not touch it and to call police immediately.

Editor’s note: This post has been updated to correct the name of the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides.