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Abstract

McConnell thrust can be reached by driving west from Calgary for 49 mi (78 km, official mileage from the city’s center) along the Trans-Canada (T-C) Highway 1 to the intersection with T-C 1X leading north to the old Calgary-Banff highway (T-C 1A; Fig. 1). Those in a hurry to get to Banff may go past the intersection to viewpoint no. 3 for a distant view of the McConnell thrust, which rises from the valley floor up a ramp into the saddle on the west side of Mt. Yamnuska (Fig. 2). A small splay fault occurs in the saddle, and the eastward continuation of the thrust along the base of the Yamnuska wall is essentially horizontal in the direction of transport. For a closer view, turn north onto T-C 1X and stop at the entrance to the campground; better yet, proceed to the vicinity of the junction with T-C 1A and pull over onto the shoulder for a view as in Figure 3. In all cases, field glasses will be helpful. Those ardent souls who wish to touch the thrust plane should turn east on T-C 1A and drive for 1.3 mi (2.1 km) to the dirt road leading northwest into the quarry at the foot of Mt. Yamnuska. They may park here and then proceed on foot to the upper east end of the marked shale coulee (Fig. 4)—a steep climb of about 1,600 ft (480 m), which should take about 1% hours.

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