Friday, December 21, 2007

Selkirks

It was a beautiful sunny day Friday so Ranger and I went out roaming to see if we could find some photos and we found these of Mount Spokane. It is part of the Selkirk mountian range. There is some information at the end of this post about the Selkirk range. The ski area on MT. Spokane is about a thirty minute drive from my house depending on the weather. In the summer you can drive to the top which takes about 45 minutes or so, and I think you can see seven lakes from the top, you can also see into Idaho and Montana it is quite spectacular.
I hope everyone has a wonderfull Christmas



Location: The Selkirks are nestled between the Purcell Mountains on the east and the Monashee Mountains on the west. The eastern boundary is the Kootenai River (in the US), Kootenay Lake, Duncan River, Beaver River, and Columbia Reach on McNaughton Lake. The western boundary is formed by Arrow Lake and the north flowing Columbia River, as well as a section of the Spokane River and, on the far SE, Lake Pend Oreille. The chain encompasses the Rogers Pass Area.

Terrain: The geology of the Selkirks is quite different from the Rockies and from the Purcells and other ranges to the West. Some of the rocks are the oldest outside the Pre-Cambrian shield dating about 600 million years. Before the Rockies were thrust up by continental drift, the Selkirks stood alone as an island of mountains bordering the Pacific Coast with an inland sea separating them from the Shield. The largest peak is Sir Sandford rising to a height of 11580 feet, north of Rogers Pass.

Selkirk Mountains History

The Selkirks were first identified as a separate range of mountains from the Rockies by David Thompson, of the Northwest Company of fur traders in 1807. At this time they were named "Nelsons Mountains". When the Northwest Company was merged with the Hudson's Bay Company, the mountains were given their present name of the "Selkirks", after Thomas Douglas of the Hudson's Bay Company, and the fifth Earl of Selkirk.

It was the Selkirks, and not the Rockies that formed the most formidible barrier to the Canadian Pacific Railway, and the confederation of Canada. In David Thompson's day, the only way to get through the Selkirks was to follow the river valleys such as the Columbia which skirted around the edge. The thing that made the Railway possible was the discovery of Rogers Pass. Initially the railway ran over the top of both Rogers Pass in the Selkirks, and the Kicking Horse Pass in the Rockies but within the first 40 years were made less severe with tunnels: the Connaught tunnel under Rogers Pass and the Spiral Tunnels to reduce the 7% grade on the "big hill" up from Field to the Kicking Horse Pass.

Rogers Pass was initially the hub of mountaineering in Canada, with the CPR providing guides and hotels from the pass. The railway through Rogers Pass continued to be plagued by snowslides, and was eventually abandoned in favor of the Connaught Tunnel under the pass. From then until the Trans Canada highway was completed in the early 1960's, Rogers Pass was deserted, as the road went north around the "big bend" at Mica Creek. Due to tremendous snowfalls, full time avalanche crews now bombard the slopes regularly above the pass in winter to bring down the snow. It is not uncommon for the trans-Canada highway to be closed for 12 or 24 hour periods.

8 comments:

NorthBayPhoto said...

Great photos and fantastic information in the blog entry!

Thanks for visiting my NorthBayPhoto blog. Hope you and Ranger have a Merry Christmas.

Luke Wiley said...

very nice shots! I live this view of Mt. Spokane, I see it on my way to school.

don said...

A fine series of a very frosty Mt. Spokane. I like how your series move from a distant setting shot to a relative close up. Very interesting background information too.

Sonia said...

What a great reportage! Beautiful photos, too!

Thanks for your visit on my blog.

I hope you have a HAPPY CHRISTMAS and a WONDERFUL NEW YEAR!

Ex-Shammickite said...

Those are nice pictures of fabulous scenery. You're so lucky to live within easy reach of these spectaular views! It's so flat around here!
And I enjoyed reading your little bit of history about the railways. While you were exploring the Selkirk Range on Friday, I was having a Christmas Dinner!

Ex-Shammickite said...

It's Christmas Day here in Canada, the sky is grey, and the sun is hiding behind the clouds. It's cold and there are remnants of last weeks snowstorm still on the ground, making it a rather muddy white Christmas. But it's a lovely day, and I wish you and your family (and of course not forgetting the dogs) all the best, and may 2008 be a good year for you.
Ex-shammy

Lilli & Nevada said...

Good post, i will have to check it out the next time we get that way.

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