Under the flag of Canada, British Columbia is a place imbued with natural sites to behold. With the Pacific Ocean on the one hand and rugged mountain ranges on the other, BC is home to beautiful landscapes, including beaches, lakes, coastlines, forests, plains, and deserts.
British Columbia is most popularly known for the breathtaking views that its mountain ranges provide. Mount Robson, Waddington Range, Grouse Mountain Stawasz Chief, Mount Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Mount Fairweather, Mount Clemenceau, Mount Seymour, and Rainbow Mountain are some of the famous mountains in BC.
Did you know about BC
- 14% of the province comprises parks, conservation areas, ecological reserves, and recreation areas.
- British Columbia’s 75% province is covered only by mountains.
- BC is home to 5 people per square kilometre.
- It is larger than France and Germany combined.
1. Mount Fairweather
Lying in the heart of Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in British Columbia and Borough of Yakutat in Alaska, Mount Fairweather being the highest mountain, stands proudly at an elevation of 4671 meters (15,325 ft).
Mount Fairweather gained this great height because of its rise from Glacier Bay, where it is stationed in the Fairweather Range in Saint Elias Mountain. It borders Alaska (US) and British Columbia (Canada) and thus has been titled a border peak.
A credit of the discovery of this mountain is attributed to Bering and Chirikoff.
The peak’s name contradicts its true nature as Captain James Cook was offshore in a rarity of good weather.
The weather conditions, in actuality, are quite bitter. Though it is the highest peak in British Columbia, providing a great adventure opportunity, it is not one of the favourite options for mountaineers because of its poor weather conditions. It is also regarded as the worst-named mountain on Earth.
1.2. First Ascent to The Summit
Allen Carpe and Terry Moore made the credit first successful ascent of the highest mountain in British Columbia in 1931. Various attempts were made before but to no avail.
In 1926, Allen Carpe, Andy Taylor, and WS Ladd attempted to climb the mountain, but they had to return after reaching 2890 m (9840 ft) because of the terrible mountainous terrain they encountered.
But their hunger for adventure did not let them hold for long, and they started again in 1931, but this time with a new partner called Terry Moore. Furthermore, they faced many difficulties, and Andy Taylor and WS Ladd had to return, hoping their fellows would finish what they all started. And the rest is history.
Allen Carpe and Terry Moore listed themselves as the first summiteers of the highest of mountains in British Columbia, which is famous for its bitter and non-cooperating nature.
1.3. Ranks that The highest Mountain in BC Holds
Besides being the highest mountain in British Columbia, Mount Fairweather holds many ranks in the lists concerning mountain ranges with various parameters in North America, Alaska, British Columbia, and the whole world. British Columbia Regional District High Points ranks this peak as number one.
It has been ranked in various other lists like the Ultras of British Columbia and Alberta, the British Columbian 11,000-foot Peaks, The USA Second Lap List, British Columbia Peaks with over 1500 meters of Prominence, and Southeast Alaska Peaks with 2000 feet of Prominence.
As it lies 12 miles east of the Pacific Coast, it is the highest mountain in the Coastal mountains. It also stands 3rd in the US National Park High Points.
2. Successors to The Tallest Mountain in BC
2.1. Mount Waddington
Mount Waddington is the second highest mountain. It lies in the lower Pacific Coast region on the Queen Charlotte Strait coast, on Vancouver Island’s north shore. Along with its good neighbour peaks, Mount Waddington forms the Waddington range.
The mountain is revered among mountaineers because of its remoteness and rugged landscapes. The weather is unpredictable and targets the wet winds of British Columbia. Talking about height, it is at an elevation of 4,019 meters (13,186 ft).
Mount Waddington, also known as ‘mystery mountain‘ until the 1920s, was even questioned for its existence because it was not explored or submitted by anyone till then. However, it could be seen from Vancouver Island.
To find answers to this mystery, Phylis and Don Munday started on an adventure. After facing many difficulties, they captured photographs of the peak to prove that the mountain existed. But they could not reach the main summit and had to return.
In 1936, Fritz Wiessner and Bill House recorded their name in history as the first summiteers of Mount Waddington.
On Dec 4, 1987, the Britten-Norman Islander took off from Bella Coola for Campbell River, but it never reached its destination. Though the wreckage of this accident was not found, the plane crash is believed to happen in Mount Waddington.
2.2. Mount Robson
Considering Mountain Rockies, Mount Robson is the highest mountain in British Columbia. It is also the highest point in the whole of Canada as such. It lies within Mount Robson Provincial Park.
After Mount Fairweather and Waddington, Mount Robson is the third-highest mountain in British Columbia. It reaches 3954 meters (12,972 feet) high in the air. The peak is also a part of the Rainbow Range.
It has even been named a UNESCO World Heritage site for its snowcapped peaks, adventurous opportunities, and impressive history it flaunts.
Around 180 species of birds and 33 kinds of mammals can be spotted here.
Interesting Facts about Mount Robson
- British Columbia’s oldest park is Mount Robson Provincial Park, in the center of which this mountain lies. This park is also home to the origin of the Fraser River, which is the largest producer of salmon in the world.
- Because of this mountain’s diversity, it is said that one experiences all four seasons in a single day going up its height. The waterfalls, meadows, and forests are home to various flora and fauna.
- There are various ways to summit the peak, like South face, Kain face, Wishbone Arete, Emperor Ridge, Emperor Face, North Face, and Fuhrer Ridge. The peak’s first ascent was made by a guide Conrad Kain and his clients. Because of the first climb he made, Kain Face has been named after him. He has been credited for the first ascent of around 60 such summits.
- Mount Robson is also the most prominent mountain in North America’s Rocky Mountain range.
2.3. Mount Root
Laurel Adkins, Thomas Distler, George Fisher, and Walter Gove glorified the first ascent to this one of the highest mountains in BC.
The fourth highest mountain in BC, Mount Root’s summit rise at an elevation of 3,928 meters (12,887 feet). It is a part of the Fairweather Range.
There was some border issue between Canada and the United States which was resolved by a diplomat named Elihu Root. In honour of Mr. Root, the peak was named so.
2.4. Mount Tiedemann
Three thousand eight hundred thirty-eight meters (12,592 ft) high, another one of the tallest mountains in BC, Mount Tiedemann is also British Columbia’s one prominent coast mountain. Its parent peak is Mount Waddington.
3. Tallest Mountains in Canada
3.1. Mount Logan
Mount Logan is the highest mountain in Canada and the second highest mountain in North America. It is 5959 meters (19551 feet) tall and is situated in Kluane National Park in the Saint Elias Mountains.
The peak is still growing at a rate of 0.35 mm per year.
3.2. Mount Saint Elias
The sub-peak of Mount Logan and namesake of Saint Elias Mountains, Mount Saint Elias is the second-highest mountain in Canada and also in the U.S. Lying on the border of Yukon and Alaska. Some parts are in Kluane National Park and Preserve, and others in Wrangell- St Elias National Park and Preserve.
3.3. Mount Lucania
The third-highest mountain in Canada and eighth in the US, Mount Lucania is 5,226 meters in height. It was named by the duke of Abruzzi when he saw the peak of Mount Saint Elias.
3.4. King Peak
In the list of highest mountains in Canada, King Peak ranks fourth and ninth among the highest mountains in North America.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What is the mountain range in BC called?
The majority of British Columbia is covered by the Cordillera mountain chain. There are two primary mountain ranges in it. The Coast Mountains in the west and the Rocky Mountains in the east
2. How old are the BC mountains?
The majority of the rocks that make up the Canadian Cordillera in British Columbia were formed between 10,000 and 400 million years ago. The BC mountains do, however, contain some regions with rocks that are more than 2 billion years old.
3. What is the biggest cliff in BC?
The biggest cliff in BC is Mount Thor.
These were some of the highest mountains in BC and Canada. These are important in history, geology, geography, and the vegetation they own. For example, the largest population of grizzly bears in North America is found in Kluane National Park, which encompasses several regions of these mountains. It is having world’s largest non-polar icefields.
For those who love adventures, these are a place of fascination and awe for them.
Also, check out Rondeau Provincial Park.