Look at the sentences below about two climbers called Gertrude Benham and Charles Fay.

Read the text to decide if each sentence is correct or incorrect.

If it is correct, mark A.

If it is incorrect, mark B.


Climbing mountains


Gertrude Benham was born in England in 1867. She had made 130 climbs in the European Alps before going to the Canadian Rocky Mountains in 1904, where she spent the summer climbing. In 1904, the paths of Gertrude Benham and Charles Fay briefly crosses. He had spent several successful summers climbing in the Rocky Mountains. In fact he was so successful that the Geographical Board of Canada asked him to select a mountain to take his name. He chose one known as Heejee and was determined to be the first to reach the top. But Gertrude Benham had the same idea.


On 19 July 1904, Gertrude and her guide, Christian Kaufmann, reached the top of a mountain which they thought was Heejee. Upon their return, however, they were told that that particular mountain was called something else. They decided to try again the next day but, unknown to Gertrude, Charles Fay and his guide Hans Kaufmann, Christian’s brother, were planning to climb Heejee that day as well.


Both groups set out on 20 July but Charles Fay and Hans Kaufmann found the snow conditions difficult and had to turn back. Gertrude and Christian were successful. Charles Fay was annoyed and later wrote a letter, ‘Hans Kaufmann led me, against my wishes, up Consolation Valley instead of taking my advice to go round Moraine Lake, while Christian led Miss Benham straight to the top of the mountain.’


Some people said that the Kaufmann brothers had wanted Gertrude to get to the top first and Hans had therefore taken Charles Fay on a route which took more time. Although this is a good story, no documents exist to prove this actually happened and it was never thought that Gertrude had any knowledge of it.


Disappointed, Charles Fay asked if he could choose a different mountain to take his name and chose Mount Shappee, but then found out that Gertrude and Christian had climbed that one as well. At this point Charles Fay agreed to have his name attached to Heejee, as he had originally wanted. He finally climbed to its top on 5 August 1904. Half a century later, his grandson climbed the north-eastern side of the mountain, by then known as Mount Fay. No other climber had ever managed to do this.


Gertrude Benham then travelled to New Zealand and Japan to do more climbing before going home to England, spending time in Australia and India on the way. Charles Fay made many more successful climbs. The first hut built in the Canadian Rockies to shelter climbers was called the Fay Hult. It was built in 1927 but unfortunately was destroyed in a forest fire in 2003.