The Club Logo

The Kootenay Mountaineering Club

A world of adventure in our own backyard

photo by

Alpinist's Guidebooks of Mountain Ranges of British Columbia


THE ALASKAN PANHANDLE and NORTH BRITISH COLUMBIA: A CLIMBER’S GUIDE

by Earle R. Whipple and Steven C. Gruhn

March, 2018

Even today, the Alaskan Panhandle and the Coast Range (Coastal Ranges) of British Columbia are two of the wildest and most unknown ranges in the world. It is a land of high mountains, long distances, difficult access, long fjords (inlets), big inland lakes, large glaciers and icefields, powerful rivers and deep valleys with undergrowth. When measured from north-northwest to south-southeast, British Columbia is 1600 km (1000 miles) long, up to 800 km wide in the north, but narrower in the south, and is endowed with several cordilleras, of which the Coast Range and the Canadian Rockies are the longest. Only a relatively few areas are routinely visited by mountaineers in Alaska and the northern Coast Range.


THE NORTHERN COASTAL RANGES OF BRITISH COLUMBIA: A CLIMBER’S GUIDE (unfinished)

by Earle R. Whipple

March, 2018

Even today, the Coast Range (Coastal Ranges) of British Columbia is one of the wildest and most unknown ranges in the world. The northern-most parts of the range have been visited by mountaineers only in recent times. It is a land of high mountains, long distances, difficult access, long fjords (inlets), big inland lakes, large glaciers and icefields, powerful rivers and deep valleys with undergrowth. When measured from north-northwest to south-southeast, British Columbia is 1600 km (1000 miles) long, up to 800 km wide in the north, but narrower in the south, and is endowed with several cordilleras, of which the Coast Range and the Canadian Rockies are the longest. It has almost three quarters of the surface area of Peru. With the four cordilleras of the Columbia Mountains in the interior, these mountains constitute an enormous extent of ridges and peaks. This province is a sea of mountains, and even today only a relatively few areas are routinely visited by mountaineers, especially in the northern Coast Range.

The Southernmost Selkirks and the Northernmost Purcells of British Columbia: An Alpinist’s Guide

by Earle R. Whipple and Kim Kratky

March 2018

Even today, British Columbia, the most western province of Canada, is still a wilderness of mountains, valleys, glaciers, forest and plateau. The Columbia Mountains (the Interior Ranges; containing the Cariboo, Monashee, Selkirk and Purcell Ranges) all lie entirely within British Columbia, just west of the Canadian Rocky Mountains and the southern Alberta/British Columbia border.

When compared with other mountainous areas in British Columbia, the Southernmost Selkirks are especially well provided with roads.

One large, active glacier exists in this area on its highest mountain, Mount Cooper (well to the south in the Columbia Mountains) and there is good climbing on rock and snow, excellent rock climbing in the Mulvey and Prestley Groups, and the Devil’s Range, and routes for those climbers wishing easy, relaxing climbing in beautiful scenery. The Kokanee Group offers fine hiking on trails as well as climbing, and backpacking traverses have been worked out in the northern Valhallas and the northernmost Purcells. Various groups in the Columbia Mountains are famous, such as the Adamants, Sir Donald and the Bugaboos, and the above are still other attractive groups. There are beautiful lake districts in the Kokanee and Valhalla areas.


The Cariboo and Monashee Ranges of British Columbia: An Alpinist’s Guide

by Earle R. Whipple

March 2018

Even today, British Columbia, the most western province of Canada, is still a wilderness of mountains, valleys, glaciers, forest and plateau. The Columbia Mountains (Interior Ranges; which contain the Cariboo, Monashee, Selkirk and Purcell Ranges) lie entirely within British Columbia, just west of the Canadian Rocky Mountains and the southern Alberta/British Columbia border. This Guide describes the access and mountaineering in this large area.

Aside from parts of the Coast Range and the northern Rockies, the Cariboo and Monashee Ranges are the most isolated in B.C. However, if one listens to the helicopters from the lodges in these ranges, when camped there, one may question this.

Large, active glaciers with spectacular icefalls exist in the mountains of the western part of the Halvorson Group, the northern Wells Gray Group, the Premier Ranges, the Dominion Group and northern Scrip Range; there is good climbing on rock, snow and ice, and routes for those climbers wishing easy, relaxing climbing in beautiful scenery. Good rock climbing on gneiss and granite is in the southern Gold Range and Mt. Begbie in the north. The Gold Range alone has more than one fifth of all the climbing information. There are also locales offering fine hiking on trails or alpine meadows (Halvorson Group, southern Wells Gray Group, southern Scrip Range, and the Shuswap Group), and backpacking traverses have been worked out through the Halvorson Group, the Dominion Group and Scrip Range, and the Gold Range. Some groups in the Columbia Mountains are famous, such as the Adamants, Sir Donald and the Bugaboos, and the above are other highly attractive groups. Beautiful lake districts exist in the northern Cariboos, and the Monashees.

The area covered by this book starts from the town of McBride, on Highway 16, southeast of Prince George, and extends south to near the border with the U.S.A., staying all the while within the great bend of the Fraser River (on the bend’s east side), and then west of Canoe Reach (lake; formerly Canoe River) and just west of the lower Columbia River south of its great bend.


Canada's 35 Greatest Hikes

by Explore Magazine

A quick glance at some of the great Canadian hikes. There really are more than 35 great Canadian hikes, but but these are a good overview.