by Ron Perrier
The Kootenay Mountaineering Club has had a significant role in naming mountains in the West Kootenay. The Valhalla name apparently originated when the CPR lands superintendent, J. S. Dennis, recommended that the district be changed from Two Bit Creek to Valhalla as a result of a letter he received on May 30, 1911 from Philip Brooksbank, an English immigrant to Canada.
Few of the peaks of the West Kootenay are visible from major roads. The few exceptions are Devils Couch (originally called King Tuts Throne) at the east end of the Devils Range, Dag (originally called Gimli I), and Gladsheim in Mulvey Basin. Many of the mountains were visible from the air and Gimli was originally called Gimli II.
A meeting was held in September, 1968 to name peaks in Mulvey Basin. Bob Dean had been making a special study of Norse mythology and suggested the names of Asgard (Mulvey Cone), Midgard (Hemisphere), and Gimli (Gimli II). Helen Butling suggested the name Dag (Gimli I). That started things off and they used virtually every Norse name possible in the mountains the club climbs – the Monashees, Selkirks, and the Purcells.
Norse Mythology and Mountain Names in the West Kootenay
|Asgard, Pk.||Mulvey Basin, Valhallas||Home of the gods.|
|Baldr, Mt.||Purcells 6kms ENE of Loki at end of Bernard Creek||Son of Odin.|
|Baldur, Pk.||Gold Range||Son of Odin|
|Bor, Mt.||Valhallas north of Gwillim Lakes||Father of Odin|
|Dag, Mt.||Mulvey Basin, Valhallas||Day|
|Freya, Mt.||Valhallas between Hoder and Koch Creeks||Goddess who along with Odin, collects the slain|
|Gimli, Pk.||Mulvey Basin.||Land where all good men go after they die|
|Gladsheim, Pk.||Mulvey Basin||Meeting hall in Asgard|
|Heimdal, Mt.||S Valhallas south of Hoder Creek road and NW of Lower Little Slocan Lake||The white god.|
|Hela, Pk.||Valhallas 3.2km north of Beatrice Lake||Hell|
|Hoder Creek||S Valhallas main road access to Drinnon Pass and Gwillim||Son of Odin, kill his brother Baldr|
|Loki, Mt.||Purcells the prominent mountain across the lake from Kaslo||Trickster god, shape shifter and helper to the gods|
|Midgard, Pk.||Mulvey Basin.||Where normal people lived – Earth|
|Niflheim, Mt.||Gold Range||Mist World, a land of ice and snow.|
|Niord, Mt.||Valhallas NW of Wee Sandy Lake||Seafaring god|
|Nisleheim, Pk.||Valhallas between Gimli and Midgard||Hall in Valhalla|
|Norns Range||A subrange of Valhallas south of Koch Creek.||Females who decide the destiny of the gods.|
|Nott, Mt.||Mulvey Basin, Valhallas. This is a bump on the ridge leading to Batwing, Little Dag and Dag. Originally called Nothing, to rename this minimalist mountain Nott is a clever use of Norse mythology.||Night|
|Odin, Mt.||Gold Range.||Father god, resides over Valhalla|
|Rinda, Mt.||Valhallas on the south side of Bannock Burn SSW of Gimli.||Russian princess raped by Odin|
|Skade, Mt.||Gold Range||Skiing goddess|
|Thor, Mt.||Gold Range, Monashees||The popular, humanity protector god.|
|Urd, Mt.||Valhallas NW of the west end of Evans Lake.||One of the three Norns.|
|Valhalla||Range and Provincial Park– Selkirk Range.||Home of the gods in Asgard|
|Valkyr Range||a subrange of Valhallas west of Koch Creek||Female who decides who lives and dies in battle.|
|Vingolf, Mt.||N Valhallas SE of Shannon Lake at north end of range.||Home of goddesses in Asgard|
|Woden, Mt.||Valhalla Range, east end of McKean Lakes basin||German counterpart of Odin|
|Ymir, Mt.||Whitewater ski area.||The primordial being from which the oceans and land, and the two first humans arose.|
Norse mythology, or Scandinavian mythology, is the body of mythology of the North Germanic people stemming from Norse paganism and continuing after the Christianization of Scandinavia and into the Scandinavian folklore of the modern period. The northernmost extension of Germanic mythology, Norse mythology consists of tales of various deities, beings, and heroes derived from numerous sources from both before and after the pagan period, including medieval manuscripts, archaeological representations, and folk tradition.
Most of the surviving mythology centers on the plights of the gods and their interaction with various other beings, such as humanity and the jötnar, beings who may be friends, lovers, foes and/or family members of the gods.
Worlds of Norse Mythology
The cosmos in which all beings inhabit in Norse mythology consist of Nine Worlds that flank a central cosmological tree, Yggdrasil. Units of time and elements of the cosmology are personified as deities or beings. Various forms of a creation myth are recounted, where the world is created from the flesh of the primordial being Ymir, and the first two humans are Ask and Embla. These worlds are foretold to be reborn after the events of Ragnarök, when an immense battle occurs between the gods and their enemies, and the world is enveloped in flames, only to be reborn anew. There the surviving gods will meet, and the land will be fertile and green, and two humans will repopulate the world.
The gods inhabit the heavenly realm of Asgard whereas humanity inhabits the realm of Midgard, a region in the center of the cosmos. Pictured as placed somewhere in the middle of Yggdrasil, Midgard is surrounded by a world of water, or ocean, that is impassable. The ocean is inhabited by the great sea serpent Jörmungandr, who is so huge that he encircles the world entirely, grasping his own tail. The realm was said to have been formed from the flesh and blood of Ymir, his flesh constituting the land and his blood the oceans, and was connected to Asgard by the Bifröst, a burning rainbow bridge that reaches between Midgard (the world) and Asgard, the realm of the gods. Scholars have proposed that the bridge may have originally represented the Milky Way.
Midgard will be destroyed at Ragnarök, the battle at the end of the world. Jörmungandr will arise from the ocean, poisoning the land and sea with his venom and causing the sea to rear up and lash against the land. The final battle will take place on the plain of Vígríðr, following which Midgard and almost all life on it will be destroyed, with the earth sinking into the sea, only to rise again, fertile and green.
Niflheim (“Mist Home”, the “Abode of Mist” or “Mist World) is one of the Nine Worlds and is a location in Norse mythology which overlaps with the notions of Niflhel and Hel. Niflheim was primarily a realm of primordial ice and cold, with nine frozen rivers. It was one of the two primordial realms, the other one being Muspelheim, the realm of fire. Between these two realms of cold and heat, creation began when its waters mixed with the heat of Muspelheim to form a “creating steam”. Later, it became the abode of Hel, a goddess daughter of Loki, and the afterlife for her subjects, those who did not die a heroic or notable death.
Numerous gods are mentioned in the source texts. As evidenced by records of personal names and place names, the most popular god among the Scandinavians during the Viking Age was Thor, who is portrayed as unrelentingly pursuing his foes, humanity-protecting, his mountain-crushing, thunderous hammer Mjölnir in hand. In the mythology, Thor lays waste to numerous jötnar who are foes to the gods or humanity, and is wed to the beautiful, golden-haired goddess Sif.
The god Odin is also frequently mentioned in surviving texts. One-eyed, wolf and raven-flanked, and spear in hand, Odin pursues knowledge throughout the worlds. In an act of self-sacrifice, Odin is described as having hung himself on the cosmological tree Yggdrasil to gain knowledge of the runic alphabet, which he passed on to humanity. He is associated closely with death, wisdom, and poetry. Odin has a strong association with death. Odin is called Allfather because he is father of all the gods. He is also called Father of the Slain, because all those that fall in battle are the sons of his adoption; for them he appoints Valhalla and Vingólf, and they are then called Champions.
Borr (Old Norse: ‘son’, sometimes anglicized Bor) was the son of Búri, the husband of Bestla, and the father of Odin and his brothers.
Odin’s wife is the powerful goddess Frigg who can see the future but tells no one, and together they have a beloved son, Baldr (also Balder, Baldur). He has numerous brothers, such as Thor and Váli. Baldr’s wife is Nanna and their son is Forseti. Baldr had the greatest ship ever built, named Hringhorni, and there was no place more beautiful than his hall, Breidablik. The death of Baldr was both a great tragedy and a harbinger of Ragnarök. After a series of dreams had by Baldr of his impending death, his death is engineered by Loki, and Baldr thereafter resides in Hel, a realm ruled over by a goddess of the same name. Loki is a god or jötunn (or both). Loki is the son of Fárbauti and Laufey, and the brother of Helblindi and Býleistr. By the jötunn Angrboða, Loki is the father of Hel, the wolf Fenrir, and the world serpent Jörmungandr. By his wife Sigyn, Loki is the father of Narfi and/or Nari. And by the stallion Svaðilfari, Loki is the mother—giving birth in the form of a mare—to the eight-legged horse Sleipnir. Loki’s relation with the gods varies by source. Loki sometimes assists the gods and sometimes causes problems for them. Loki is a shape shifter and in separate incidents he appears in the form of a salmon, mare, seal, fly, and possibly an elderly woman. Loki’s positive relations with the gods end with his role in engineering the death of the god Baldr. Loki is eventually bound by the gods with the entrails of one of his sons. Loki’s origins and role in Norse mythology, which some scholars have described as that of a trickster god, have been much debated by scholars.
Höðr (often anglicized as Hod, Hoder, or Hodr) – is god of winter and brother of Baldr in Norse mythology. Tricked and guided by Loki, he shot the mistletoe arrow that was to slay the otherwise invulnerable Baldr. The goddess Frigg made everything in existence swear never to harm Baldr, except for the mistletoe which she found too young to demand an oath from. The gods amused themselves by trying weapons on Baldr and seeing them fail to do any harm. Loki, upon finding out about Baldr’s one weakness, made a missile from mistletoe, and helped Höðr shoot it at Baldr. After this, Odin and the giantess Rindr gave birth to Váli, who grew to adulthood within a day and slew Höðr.
Rindr (Old Norse) or Rinda (Latin) is a female character in Norse mythology, alternatively described as a giantess, a goddess or a human princess from the east (somewhere in present-day Russia). She was impregnated by Odin and gave birth to the avenger of Baldr’s death—in the Old Norse sources, Váli. There she is called Rinda and is the daughter of the King of the Ruthenians. After Balderus’ death Odin consulted seers on how to get revenge. On their advice Odin went to the Ruthenians disguised as a warrior called Roster. There he was twice turned down by Rinda. He then wrote runes on a piece of bark and touched her with it, causing her to go mad, and disguised himself as a medicine woman called Wecha, who was allowed to see her. Finally she fell ill and the disguised Odin then said he had medicine with which to cure her but that it would cause a violent reaction. On Odin’s advice, the king tied Rinda to her bed, and Odin proceeded to rape her. From the rape was born Bous, who would later avenge Balderus.
Woden (Old High German: Wôdan, Old Saxon: Uuôden) is a major deity of Anglo-Saxon and Continental Germanic polytheism. Together with his Norse counterpart Odin, Woden represents a development of the Proto-Germanic god *Wōdanaz.
Odin must share half of his share of the dead with a powerful goddess, Freyja (Freya) the beautiful, seiðr-working, feathered cloak-clad goddess who rides to battle to choose among the slain and brings her chosen to her afterlife field Fólkvangr; Freyja weeps for her missing husband Óðr, and seeks after him in far away lands.
The vengeful, skiing goddess SkaðiSkaði (sometimes anglicized as Skadi, Skade, or Skathi) is a jötunn and goddess associated with bowhunting, skiing, winter, and mountains. She prefers the wolf howls of the winter mountains to the seashore. In all sources, Skaði is the daughter of the deceased Þjazi, and Skaði married the god Njörðr as part of the compensation provided by the gods for killing her father Þjazi. In Heimskringla, Skaði is described as having split up with Njörðr and as later having married the god Odin, and that the two produced many children together. Skaði is responsible for placing the serpent that drips venom onto the bound Loki. Skaði is alternately referred to as Öndurguð (Old Norse “ski god”) and Öndurdís (Old Norse “ski lady”).
Freyja’s brother, the god Freyr, is also frequently mentioned in surviving texts, and in his association with weather, royalty, human sexuality, and agriculture brings peace and pleasure to humanity. Deeply lovesick after catching sight of the beautiful jötunn Gerðr, Freyr seeks and wins her love, yet at the price of his future doom.
Freyja and Freyr’s father is the powerful god Njörðr (Niord). Njörðr is a god among the Vanir. Njörðr is father of the deities Freyr and Freyja by his unnamed Vanir sister, was in an ill-fated marriage with the goddess Skaði, and lives in Nóatún. Njörðr is strongly associated with the sea, seafaring, wind, fishing, wealth, crop fertility and prosperity. Veneration of Njörðr survived into 18th or 19th century Norwegian folk practice, where the god is recorded as Njor and thanked for a bountiful catch of fish. Freyja and Freyr’s mother is Njörðr’s sister. However, there is more information about his pairing with the skiing and hunting goddess Skaði. Their relationship is ill-fated, as Skaði cannot stand to be away from her beloved mountains and Njörðr the seashore.
While they receive less mention, numerous other gods and goddesses appear in the source material. Some of the gods we hear less about include the apple-bearing goddess Iðunn and her husband, the skaldic god Bragi. The apples grant eternal youthfulness. The white-skinned god Heimdallr (Heimdal) is a god who possesses the resounding horn Gjallarhorn, owns the golden-maned horse Gulltoppr, has gold teeth, and is the son of Nine Mothers. Heimdalir is attested as possessing foreknowledge, keen eyesight and hearing, is described as “the whitest of the gods”, and keeps watch for the onset of Ragnarök while drinking fine mead in his dwelling Himinbjörg, located where the burning rainbow bridge Bifröst meets heaven. Heimdallr is said to be the originator of social classes among humanity and once regained Freyja’s treasured possession Brísingamen while doing battle in the shape of a seal with Loki. Heimdallr and Loki are foretold to kill one another during the events of Ragnarök.
The ancient god Týr lost a hand while binding the great wolf Fenrir; and the goddess Gefjon formed modern day Zealand, Denmark.
Houses of the gods
Odin is portrayed as the ruler of Valhalla, (Old Norse Valhöll “hall of the slain”), a majestic, enormous hall located in Asgard. Chosen by Odin, half of those who die in combat travel to Valhalla upon death, led by valkyries, while the other half go to the goddess Freyja’s field Fólkvangr. In Valhalla, the dead join the masses of those who have died in combat known as Einherjar, as well as various legendary Germanic heroes and kings, as they prepare to aid Odin during the events of Ragnarök. Before the hall stands the golden tree Glasir, and the hall’s ceiling is thatched with golden shields. Various creatures live around Valhalla, such as the stag Eikþyrnir and the goat Heiðrún, both described as standing atop Valhalla and consuming the foliage of the tree Læraðr.
Gimli is a place where the survivors of Ragnarök are foretold to live. It is described as the most beautiful place on Earth, more beautiful than the Sun. In Asgard, the realm of the gods, Gimli is the golden roof of a building where righteous men go when they die.
Odin’s greatest achievement, however, is the making of man and giving him a soul which will live and never die, although his body may decay to dust or burn to ashes. All righteous men shall live and be with him where it is called Gimlé [lee-of-fire] or Vingólf [friendly door], but wicked men will go to Hel and thence to Niflhel [abode of darkness], that is down in the ninth world. At first he appointed rulers who, along with him, were to control the destinies of men, and decide how the stronghold should be governed. That was in the place called Iðavöll in the middle of the stronghold. Their first task was to build a temple in which there were seats for the twelve of them, apart from the high-seat of the All-father. That is the largest and best dwelling on earth; outside and in it is like pure gold; it is called Glaðsheimr (Gladshiem – Old Norse “bright or radiant home”) where Odin’s hall of Valhalla is located. It is a meeting hall containing thirteen high seats where the male Asgardians hold council.vThey built another hall nearby that was the sanctuary of the goddesses, and it was a very beautiful building; it is called Vingólf. The three mentions of Vingólf seem somewhat contradictory. In the first instance it appears as an alternative name for Gimlé, a paradise where righteous people go after death. In the second instance it is the hall or hörgr of the goddesses. In the third instance it is a residence for those slain in battle.
The afterlife is a complex matter in Norse mythology. The dead may go to the murky realm of Hel (Hela) In Norse mythology, Hel is a female being who presides over a realm of the same name, where she receives a portion of the dead. Hel is referred to as a daughter of Loki, and to “go to Hel” is to die. Hel is described as having been appointed by the god Odin as ruler of a realm of the same name, located in Niflheim (Niselheim – fog home or abode of darkness). Her appearance is described as half black and half flesh-coloured and further as having a gloomy, downcast appearance. Hel rules over vast mansions with many servants in her underworld realm and plays a key role in the attempted resurrection of the god Baldr.
The dead may also be ferried away by valkyries to Odin’s martial hall Valhalla, or may be chosen by the goddess Freyja to dwell in her field Fólkvangr. The goddess Rán may claim those that die at sea, and the goddess’s Gefjon are said to be attended by virgins upon their death. References to reincarnation are also made. Time itself is presented between cyclic and linear, and some scholars have argued that cyclic time was the original format for the mythology.
Various beings outside of the gods are mentioned.
Outside of the gods, humanity, and the jötnar, these Nine Worlds are inhabited by a variety beings, such as elves and dwarfs. Travel between the worlds is frequently recounted in the myths, where the gods and other beings may interact directly with humanity. Numerous creatures live on Yggdrasil, such as the insulting messenger squirrel Ratatoskr and the perching hawk Veðrfölnir. The tree itself has three major roots, and at the base of one of these roots live a trio of norns.
Elves and dwarfs are commonly mentioned and appear to be connected, but their attributes are vague and the relation between the two is ambiguous. Elves are described as radiant and beautiful, whereas dwarfs often act as earthen smiths. A group of beings variously described as jötnar, thursar, and trolls (in English these are all often glossed as “giants”) frequently appear. These beings may either aid, deter, or take their place among the gods.
The norns, dísir, and valkyries also receive frequent mention. While their functions and roles may overlap and differ, all are collective female beings associated with fate.
The Norns are female beings who rule the destiny of gods and men, possibly a kind of dísire. The three most important norns, Urðr, Verðandi and Skuld come out from a hall standing at the Well of Urðr (well of fate) and they draw water from the well and take sand that lies around it, which they pour over Yggdrasill so that its branches will not rot. These norns are described as three powerful maiden giantesses (Jotuns) whose arrival from Jötunheimr ended the golden age of the gods. Beside these three norns, there are many other norns who arrive when a person is born in order to determine his or her future. There were both malevolent and benevolent norns, and the former caused all the malevolent and tragic events in the world while the latter were kind and protective goddesses. Recent research has discussed the relation between the myths associated with norns and valkyries and traveling Völvas (seiðr-workers). The norns were thought to have visited newborn children in the pre-Christian Norse societies.
Norns within skaldic references are often seen as negative beings that are mostly associated with transitional situations such as violent death and battle. Another negative aspect associated with the norns is that they are associated with death. Not all aspects of the norns were negative, however, as they were associated with life and birth as well. Urðr (Old Norse “fate”, English: Urd) is one of the Norns in Norse mythology. Along with Verðandi (possibly “happening” or “present”) and Skuld (possibly “debt” or “future”), Urðr makes up a trio of Norns that are described as deciding the fates of people. Urðr is together with the Norns located at the well Urðarbrunnr beneath the world ash tree Yggdrasil of Asgard. They spin threads of life, cut marks in the pole figures and measure people’s destinies, which shows the fate of all human beings and gods. Norns are always present when a child is born and decide its fate. The three Norns represent the past (Urðr), future (Skuld) and present (Verðandi).
In Norse mythology, a valkyrie (from Old Norse valkyrja “chooser of the slain”, Valkyr) is one of a host of female figures who decide which soldiers die in battle and which live. Selecting among half of those who die in battle (the other half go to the goddess Freyja’s afterlife field Fólkvangr), the valkyries bring their chosen to the afterlife hall of the slain, Valhalla, ruled over by the god Odin. There, the deceased warriors become einherjar. When the einherjar are not preparing for the events of Ragnarök, the valkyries bear them mead. Valkyries also appear as lovers of heroes and other mortals, where they are sometimes described as the daughters of royalty, sometimes accompanied by ravens, and sometimes connected to swans or horses. In modern culture, valkyries have been the subject of works of art, musical works, video games and poetry.
Elements of the cosmos are personified, such as the Sun (Sól, a goddess), the Moon (Máni, a god), and Earth (Jörð, a goddess), as well as units of time, such as day (Dagr, Dag, a god) and night (Nótt, a jötunn). In Norse mythology, Dagr (Old Norse “day”) is day personified. Dagr is stated to be the son of the god Dellingr and is associated with the bright-maned horse Skinfaxi, who “draw[s] day to mankind”. Depending on manuscript variation, Dagr is either Dellingr’s son by Nótt, the personified night, or Jörð, the personified Earth. Otherwise, Dagr appears as a common noun simply meaning “day” throughout Old Norse works.
Valhalla – modern references.
Valhalla is referenced in the video game titles Valhalla (1983), Valhalla: Before the War (1995), Valkyrie Profile (2000), Max Payne (2001), Valhalla Knights (2006), Final Fantasy XI (2002), Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (2007), Halo 3 (2007), The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011), Final Fantasy XIII-2 (2011), and Halo 4 (2012). Amusement park attractions named after Valhalla include Valhalla Borgen in Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, Denmark and Valhalla in Pleasure Beach Blackpool in Blackpool, England. Valhalla is also the name of Crom’s hall in the 1982 movie, Conan the Barbarian. There is a continuous spell card in Yu-Gi-Oh named Valhalla hall of the fallen.
Locations named after Valhalla exist in North America (including Valhalla, New York, Valhalla Centre, Alberta, Walhalla, Michigan, Walhalla, North Dakota, Walhalla, South Carolina, and Walhalla, Texas), Australia (Walhalla, Victoria), and South Africa (Valhalla, Pretoria), Valhalla Range of mountains and Valhalla Provincial Park in British Columbia, as well as Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky.
THE DEVILS RANGE – Valhalla Provincial Park
The Devils Range is a line of twelve named peaks in the Valhalla Ranges (part of the Selkirk Mountains which are part of the Columbia Mountains) in the West Kootenay of southern British Columbia. The 12 peaks run in an east/west direction between Gwillim Creek to the south and Evans Lake to the north. It is about nine kilometers from one end to the other. Many of the peaks have a dramatic spire shape, are made of gneiss, and make for excellent rock climbing.
The only reasonable access is the Hoder Creek Road (high clearance, overgrown for last 2 km), which gives access to the Drinnon Pass trail and Gwillim Lakes. Black Prince, and Lucifer are climbed from the Gwillim Lakes Basin (Trident and Mephistopheles can also be climbed from here or from Gwillim Creek). The rest are climbed from Gwillim Creek. There is no trail access to this part of the range.
They were named by members of the Kootenay Mountaineering Club.
The names all convey some image of the devil. The following list starts with Black Prince on the west end and ends with Devils Couch at the east.
THE DEVIL. The Devil (from Greek diablos = slanderer or accuser) is believed in many religions, myths and cultures to be a supernatural entity that is the personification of evil and the enemy of God and humankind. The nature of the role varies greatly, ranging from being an effective opposite force to the creator god, locked in an eons long struggle for human souls on what may seem even terms to being a comical figure of fun or an abstract aspect of the individual human condition.
While mainstream Judaism contains no overt concept of a devil, Christianity and Islam have variously regarded the Devil as a rebellious fallen angel or demon that tempts humans to sin, if not commit evil deeds himself. In these religions – particularly during periods of division or external threat – the Devil has assumed more of a dualistic status commonly associated with heretics, infidels, and other unbelievers. As such, the Devil is seen as an allegory that represents a crisis of faith, individualism, free will, wisdom and enlightenment.
In mainstream Christianity, God and the Devil are usually portrayed as fighting over the souls of humans, with the Devil seeking to lure people away from God and into Hell. The Devil commands a force of evil spirits, commonly known as demons. The Hebrew Bible (or Old Testament) describes the Adversary (ha-satan) as an angel who instigates tests upon humankind. Many other religions have a trickster or tempter figure that is similar to the Devil. Modern conceptions of the Devil include the concept that it symbolizes humans’ own lower nature or sinfulness.
1. BLACK PRINCE. (2790m) The westernmost peak of the range at the apex of the watersheds of Woden Creek, Gwillim Creek, and Evans Lake. First recorded ascent Ron Anderson, Stan Baker, Vince Joseph, and Peter Wood in 1975. Nontechnical by many approaches but usually climbed via south slopes from Gwillim Basin.
Edward of Woodstock, Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall, Prince of Aquitaine, KG (15 June 1330 – 8 June 1376) was the eldest son of King Edward III of England and his wife Philippa of Hainault as well as father to King Richard II of England. He was called Edward of Woodstock in his early life, after his birthplace, and since the 16th century has been popularly known as the Black Prince. He was an exceptional military leader, and his victories over the French at the Battles of Crécy and Poitiers made him very popular during his lifetime. In 1348 he became the first Knight of the Garter, of whose Order he was one of the founders.
Edward’s brutality in France is also well documented, and it is believed that this is where the title has its origins. The French soldier Philippe de Mézières refers to Edward as the greatest of the “black boars” – those aggressors who had done so much to disrupt relations within Christendom.
2. LUCIFER. (2760m) First ascent Bob dean, Howie Ridge August 24, 1970. Usually climbed via the east ridge (class 3) from Gwillim Basin.
Lucifer means “shining one, morning star, the planet Venus”, or, as an adjective, “light-bringing”. The pseudepigrapha of pre-Christian Enochic Judaism, which enjoyed much popularity during the Second Temple period, gave Satan an expanded role, interpreting Isaiah 14:12-15, with its reference to the morning star, as applicable to him, and presenting him as a fallen angel cast out of heaven. Christian tradition, influenced by this presentation, came to use the Latin word for “morning star”, lucifer, as a proper name (“Lucifer”) for Satan as Satan was before his fall. As a result, “Lucifer has become a by-word for Satan in the Church and in popular literature”, as in Dante Alighieri’s Inferno and John Milton’s Paradise Lost.
3. TRIDENT (2730m) First ascent as a traverse of Trident, Rosemary’s Baby and Mephistopheles by Howie Ridge, Gordon Stein, and Peter Wood early September, 1973. The hard bit was the SW ridge of Trident class 5.3 and the rest of the traverse is easy. Most commonly climbed as a traverse from the Mephistopheles/Rosemary’s Baby col. Approach from Gwillim Basin or from Gwillim Creek.
A trident is a three-pronged spear. It is used for spear fishing and was also a military weapon. Tridents are featured widely in mythical, historical and modern culture. Poseidon the Greek god of the sea, Greco-Roman Poseidon, or Neptune the Roman god of the sea, and the major Hindu Lord and God Shiva are all classically depicted bearing a trident. Tridents can be distinguished from pitchforks in that the latter is an agricultural tool with two to six tines (also called prongs) which are shaped in such a way that they can be used to lift and pitch (throw) loose material. The Grim Reaper carried a scythe.
4. ROSEMARY’S BABY (2700m) The mountain, on profile, looks like a pregnant woman lying on her back.
Rosemary’s Baby is a 1967 best-selling horror novel by Ira Levin, his second published book. It sold over 4 million copies making it the top bestselling horror novel of the 1960s.
The book centers on Rosemary Woodhouse, a young woman who has just moved into the Bramford, an old Gothic Revival style New York City apartment building with her husband, Guy, a struggling actor. The pair is warned that the Bramford has a disturbing history involving witchcraft and murder, but they choose to overlook this. Rosemary has wanted children for some time, but Guy wants to wait until he is more established. Rosemary and Guy are quickly welcomed to Bramford by neighbors Minnie and Roman Castevet, an eccentric elderly couple. Rosemary finds them meddlesome and absurd, but Guy begins paying them frequent visits.
After a theatrical rival suddenly goes blind, Guy is given an important part in a stage play. Immediately afterward, Guy unexpectedly agrees with Rosemary that it is time to conceive their first child. Guy’s performance in the stage play brings him favorable notice and he is subsequently cast in other, increasingly important roles; he begins to talk about a career in Hollywood.
After receiving a warning from a friend, who also becomes mysteriously ill, Rosemary discovers that her neighbors are the leaders of a Satanic coven, and she suspects they intend to steal her child and use it as a sacrifice to the Devil. Despite her growing conviction, she is unable to convince anyone else and soon becomes certain that there is no one actually on her side, least of all her own husband. Ultimately, Rosemary finds that she is wrong about the coven’s reason for wanting the baby – the baby is the Antichrist and Guy is not actually the father.
5. MEPHISTOPHELES (2730m) easily climbed from the col to the west.
Mephistopheles is a demon featured in German folklore. He originally appeared in literature as the demon in the Faust legend, and he has since appeared in other works as a stock character version of the Devil. The name is associated with the Faust legend of a scholar — based on the historical Johann Georg Faust — who wagers his soul with the Devil.
Although Mephistopheles appears to Faustus as a devil — a worker for Satan — critics claim that he does not search for men to corrupt but comes to serve and ultimately collect the souls of those who are already damned. Mephistopheles is already trapped in his own hell by serving the Devil. He warns Faustus of the choice he is making by “selling his soul” to the Devil: “Mephistophilis, an agent of Lucifer, appears and at first advises Faust not to forgo the promise of heaven to pursue his goals”. Faustus enters an ever-present private hell like that of Mephistopheles.
6. DEVILS DOME (2790M). The highest mountain in the Devils Range, it is the most impressive of the peaks as seen from the Drinnon Lake approach. First ascent Bob Dean, Howie Ridge July 18, 1971. It has no easy route. It is most commonly climbed via the south face Class 5.5.
7. CHARIOT PEAK (2700M). Located 1.6kms ENE of Devils Dome. First recorded ascent Howie Ridge, Gordon Stein, Peter Wood September, 1973. A long sidehilling traverse leads to the wide basin at the bottom of the peak. An easy traverse leads over all 3 peaks each with a cairn. The NE end is highest and has a 2 meter cairn. Descend the east ridge of the SW peak.
I could find no connection between chariots and the devil. Who named this mountain? Maybe they know.
8. DIABLO, MOUNT (2670m) Diablo, Banshee and Satan were first climbed by a large KMC party in August,1974. They are all easy scrambles up obvious ridges. Diablo is Spanish for the devil. Greek for devil is diablos.
9. BANSHEE PEAK (2730m) The banshee (Irish: “woman of the fairy mounds”) is a female spirit in Irish mythology, usually seen as an omen of death and a messenger from the Otherworld.
In legend, a banshee is a fairy woman who begins to wail if someone is about to die. In Scottish Gaelic mythology, she is seen washing the bloodstained clothes or armor of those who are about to die. Similar beings are also found in Welsh, Norse, and American folklore.
10. SATAN PEAK (2640m)
Satan (Hebrew: “the opposer,”) is a character appearing in the texts of the Abrahamic religions, who personifies evil and temptation, and is known as the deceiver that leads humanity astray. The term is often applied to an angel who fell out of favor with God, seducing humanity into the ways of sin, and who now rules over the fallen world.
Satan is primarily understood as an “accuser” or “adversary” in the Hebrew Bible, and is not necessarily the personification of evil that he would become in later Abrahamic religions. In the New Testament, Satan is a name that refers to a decidedly malevolent entity (devil) who possesses demonic god-like qualities. In Theistic Satanism, Satan is considered a positive force and deity who is either worshipped or revered. In LaVeyan Satanism, Satan is regarded as holding virtuous characteristics.
VADER PASS Darth Vader (born Anakin Skywalker) is the central character of the Star Wars saga, appearing as one of the main antagonists of the original trilogy and as one of the main protagonists of the prequel trilogy.
The character was created by George Lucas and numerous actors have portrayed him. His appearances span all six Star Wars films, and he is an important character in the expanded universe of television series, video games, novels, literature and comic books. The films establish that he was originally a Jedi who was part depicted in the prophecy of being the Chosen One by restoring balance to the Force but fell to the dark side of the Force; he is also the father of both Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia, the two of the main protagonists of the original trilogy.
In Attack of the Clones, Anakin Skywalker feels “smothered” by Obi-Wan Kenobi and is unable to control his life. By Revenge of the Sith, however, Anakin’s “father-son” friction with his master has matured into a more equal, brotherly relationship. Once he becomes Darth Vader, each evil act he commits makes it harder for him to return to the light, but Vader ultimately escapes the dark side and redeems himself before he dies by saving his son and killing Palpatine.
Eric Bui, a psychiatrist at University of Toulouse Hospital, argued at the 2007 American Psychiatric Association convention that Anakin meets six of the nine diagnostic criteria for borderline personality disorder (BPD), one more than necessary for a diagnosis. Bui says he found Anakin Skywalker a useful example to explain BPD to medical students. In particular, Bui points to Anakin’s abandonment issues and uncertainty over his identity. Anakin’s mass murders of the Tusken Raiders in Attack of the Clones and the young Jedi in Revenge of the Sith count as two dissociative episodes, fulfilling another criterion. Bui hoped his paper would help raise awareness of the disorder, especially among teens.
Darth Vader’s iconic status has made the character a synonym for evil in popular culture; psychiatrists have even considered him as a useful example to explain borderline personality disorder to medical students.
11. DEVILS SPIRE (2640m) An impressive peak between Satan Peak and Devils Couch. First recorded ascent by Ian Hamilton and Howie Ridge, August 1974. Class 5.3 climb up the middle of the NE face. Exposed on the summit riddge, class 4 and low 5. Two rappels on descent.
12. DEVILS COUCH (2730m) Originally called King Tut’s Couch. It is the easternmost peak of the Devils Range, NNW of Gladsheim. It is visible from Cape Horn on Highway 6. First climbed in 1967 by Bob Dean, Frank Nixon and his dog. The approach was up the old Gwillim Creek Road, a trail, then bush whack and many ups and downs on the ridge over 2 days. Now it is reached from Coven Lakes. The west summit is highest.
CAULDRON LAKE. This pretty lake is 2 kilometers south and 1,900 feet lower than the summit of Devils Dome. It is the common camp site for many trips in the Devils Range: to climb Mephistopheles, Devils Dome, False Devils Dome, Chariot, and the cross country trip to Coven Lakes, at the east end of the range.
Cauldrons have largely fallen out of use in the developed world as cooking vessels. While still used for practical purposes, a more common association in Western culture is the cauldron’s use in witchcraft – a cliché popularized by various works of fiction, such as Shakespeare’s play Macbeth. In fiction, witches often prepare their potions in a cauldron. Also, in Irish folklore, a cauldron is purported to be where leprechauns keep their gold and treasure.
COVEN LAKES. These 5 small lakes are set in a volcanic caldera at the east end of the Devils Range. They give access to climb Devils Couch, Devils Spire, Satan, Banshee and Diablo. The best camp site is on a spit between the two large lakes. It gets a breeze to help deal with all the mosquitos. Looking south are Mt Gladsheim and Asgard in Mulvey Basin. It is a magical place with very few visitors (on average one group per year).
In Wicca and other similar forms of modern neopagan witchcraft, such as Stregheria and Feri Witchcraft, a coven is a gathering or community of witches, much like a congregation in Christian parlance. It is composed of a group of believers who gather together for ceremonies of worship such as Drawing Down the Moon, or celebrating the Sabbats. The number of persons involved may vary. Although thirteen is considered ideal, any group of at least three can be a coven. A group of two is usually called a “working couple” (regardless of their sexes). Within the community, many believe that a coven larger than thirteen is unwieldy, citing unwieldy group dynamics and an unfair burden on the leadership. When a coven has grown too large to be manageable, it may split, or “hive”. In Wicca this may also occur when a newly made High Priest or High Priestess, also called 3rd Degree ordination, leaves to start their own coven. Wiccan covens are generally jointly led by a High Priestess and a High Priest, though some are led by only one or the other. In more recent forms of neopagan witchcraft, covens are sometimes run as democracies with a rotating leadership.
WICCA LAKE. This is the lovely lake on Drinnon Pass, above Drinnon Lake. A campsite on its shore has 6 tent pads, food cache, toilet and cooking center. Wicca is a modern pagan, witchcraft religion. It was developed in England during the first half of the 20th century and was introduced to the public in 1954 by Gerald Gardner, a retired British civil servant. It draws upon a diverse set of ancient pagan and 20th century hermetic motifs for its theological structure and ritual practice.
Wicca is a diverse religion with no central authority or figure defining it. It is divided into various lineages and denominations, referred to as traditions, each with its own organizational structure and level of centralization. Due to its decentralized nature, there is some disagreement over what actually constitutes Wicca. Some traditions, collectively referred to as British Traditional Wicca, strictly follow the initiatory lineage of Gardner and consider the term Wicca to apply only to such lineaged traditions, while other eclectic traditions do not.
Wicca is typically duotheistic, worshipping a god and goddess traditionally viewed as a mother goddess and horned god. These two deities are often viewed as facets of a greater pantheistic godhead. However, beliefs range from hard polytheism to even monotheism. Wiccan celebration follows approximately eight seasonally based festivals known as Sabbats. An unattributed statement known as the Wiccan Rede is the traditional basis of Wiccan morality. Wicca often involves the ritual practice of magic, though it is not always necessary.
WARLOCK LAKE. A small lake below Drinnon Pass and Wicca Lake on the trail to Gwillim. It is a common departure point for the bush whack to Cauldron Lakes and the east end of the Devils Range.
Warlock – a magician who uses or practices magic that derives from supernatural or occult sources. Magicians are common figures in works of fantasy, such as fantasy literature and role-playing games. They draw on a history of such people in mythology, legends, fiction, and folklore.