This was the first time to climb Ha Ling for both Garth and myself.
The name of the mountain has been subject to much controversy. Originally, the mountain was referred to locally as The Beehive. In 1896 Ha Ling, a Chinese cook for the Canadian Pacific Railway (some say the Okaloosa Hotel in Canmore) was bet 50 dollars that he could not climb the peak and plant a flag on the summit in less than 10 hours.
According to the Medicine Hat News of October 24 1896, he started the ascent at 7:00 am the previous Saturday morning and was back in time for lunch. As nobody believed his story, he led a party of doubters to the summit where he planted a much larger flag beside the original, this one visible to the naked eye from Canmore. The townsfolk referred to the mountain as Chinaman’s Peak in his honour.
The name Chinaman’s Peak did not become official until 1980. Later, in 1997 it was renamed Ha Ling Peak as the term Chinaman was viewed as derogatory.