Snow-capped Canadian Rocky Mountains landscape. Snow-capped Canadian Rocky Mountains landscape.

Reaching New Heights: A Complete Guide to The Highest Mountain in Canada

Canada is a country renowned for its mesmerizing scenic beauty. The lush and great mountains spread across the country contribute to this beauty.

Canada is the hometown of some of  North America‘s tallest mountains. There are a lot of high peaks in Canada, five summits exceeding an elevation of 5000 meters.

So, a trip to Canada is on the bucket list of every mountain lover and trekking enthusiast. Many mountains are attractive to adventure-loving people in Canada.

1. About the Mountain Range

1.1. Pacific Coast Ranges

The Pacific Coast Ranges are mountain ranges stretching from Alaska in the United States through Canada.

They are a part of the Pacific Cordillera, which includes the Columbia Mountains, the Sierra Nevada, and many other mountains and plateaus. The Canadian Rockies are part of the Rocky Mountains system, distinct from the Pacific Cordillera.

The Saint Elias Mountains are a subgroup of the Pacific Coast Ranges.

8034346 rocky mountains in winter
Image by pictureguy from UnlimPhotos

1.2. The Saint Elias Mountain Range

The Saint Elias Mountains form the tallest coastal mountain range on the planet. It is named after Mount Saint Elias.

The Saint Elias Mountains are home to the top 5 highest mountains in Canada: Mount Logan, Mount Saint Elias, Mount Lucania, King Peak, and Mount Steele.

2. The Highest Mountain in Canada – Mount Logan

The tallest mountain in Canada is Mount Logan. It is only the second-highest peak in North America to Denali (also known as Mount McKinley).

Mount Logan is in the Yukon territory and part of the Saint Elias mountains.

2.1. The World’s Most Massive Mountain

Mount Logan stands at a staggering 5959 meters (19,551 feet) at the main summit. It is the tallest mountain in Canada. It also has the largest circumference of a nonvolcanic mountain in the world.

It is topped by eleven peaks with elevations over 5,000 meters (approximately 16,404 feet).

Mount Logan has been named after the famous Canadian geologist Sir William Logan. He founded the GSC (The Geological Survey of Canada). Israel Russel gave the Mountain the name ” Mount Logan.”

Mount Logan is said to have been created more than 450 million years ago. It is made up of metasedimentary rock and metal rock.

The temperatures on and around Mount Logan are extremely cold. The cold usually ranges around -44 degrees Celsius in winter and around -25 degrees Celsius in summer. It is highly advised to consider ascending the peak only during summer.

Mount Logan. Canada on the map
From DepositPhotos

2.2. Climbing Mount Logan

The first ascent of Mount Logan was back in 1925. 

It had taken them 65 days to get to the mountain from the closest town (across the border in Alaska), reach the summit, and return with all climbers intact, even though some had severe frostbite.

Things to Keep in Mind

  • Climbers must have insurance to cover the costs of search and rescue.
  • Also, no solo or winter expeditions are allowed due to the risks and freezing weather.
  • The King’s Trench and the East Ridge are the routes leading to Mount Logan’s summit. The King’s Trench route is the more popular one.

2.3. Scenic Beauty and Wildlife of Mount Logan

Mount Logan is home to many different animals. Various animals exclusive to the Canadian wilderness, including marmots, red foxes, coyotes, beavers, wolves, and lynxes, can be found on Mount Logan.

Numerous stunning birds have been observed there. You can, for instance, observe the stunning variety of golden and bald eagles. It is wonderful to see even the well-known yellow-rumped warbler there.

 label with Mount Logan mountain peak
From DepositPhotos

2.4. Rename Controversy

The proposal to rename Mount Logan to Mount Trudeau was made by then-Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, a close friend of the late Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, following his death in 2000.

This proposal was rejected after backlash from mountaineers and political rivals.

3. Mount Logan’s Successors

3.1. Mount Saint Elias

Mount Saint Elias is the second-highest mountain in both Canada and the United States. It is part of the Saint Elias mountains range and is located on the border between Alaska and the Yukon Territory, with both countries having jurisdiction over their respective sides.

It has been nicknamed the “Man Eater” because of the bad weather and intimidating summit. Mount Saint Elias has an elevation of 5489 meters or 16,000 ft.

This remote summit, which has only been climbed fifty times since the first ascent in 1897, provides experienced climbers with a world-class mountaineering challenge.

On July 31, 1897, a well-known explorer named Prince Luigi Amedeo, Duke of the Abruzzi, led an Italian expedition that climbed Mount Saint Elias for the first time.

Mount Saint Elias is rarely climbed today despite its height because it has no easy way to the summit and long periods of bad weather.

Mount Saint Elias
From DepositPhotos

3.2. Mount Lucania

Mount Lucania is the third tallest mountain in Canada. It has an elevation of 5240 meters or 17190 feet. It is also part of the Saint Elias mountains.

On July 31, 1897, when he had just completed the first ascent of Mount Saint Elias, the Duke of Abruzzo gave the mountain her name, Lucania. Lucania was the name of the ship on which the Duke had set sail.

Bradford Washburn and Robert Hicks Bates made Mount Lucania’s first official ascent in 1937.

3.3. King Peak

King Peak, also known as Mount King, is the fourth-highest mountain on Canadian soil. It is the ninth-highest peak in North America.

King Peak is also the satellite peak of Mount Logan but is still one of the highest mountains in Canada. It has an elevation of 5173 meters or 16972 feet at its highest point.

In 1952, a group of University of Alaska students made the initial ascent of King Peak.

3.4. Mount Steele

Mount Steele is the fifth-tallest mountain in the country. It was named after Sir Sam Steele. Its exact elevation is unknown, but most believe it to be 5073 meters or 16644 feet.

The first time someone went out to climb Mount Steele was in 1935. A team led by Walter A. Wood embarked on the mission.

3.5. Mount Fairweather

Climbing Fairweather Mountain

Mount Fairweather is the highest mountain in the province of British Columbia. It is also one of the Saint Elias mountains.

It has an elevation of 4653 meters or 15,266 feet and lies on the international border between Alaska and British Columbia.

Although two-thirds of the mountain lies in Alaska, the summit is in British Columbia.

There is a funny reason why it was named “Fairweather.” Captain James Cook named the mountain Mount Fairweather on May 3, 1778, about the unusually pleasant weather at the time.

Reaching New Heights:

Mount Logan, the tallest mountain in Canada, is one of Canada’s most attractive pieces of nature and brings tourists and admirers of its beauty to Canada every year. The intimidating summit attracts adventure-loving hiking enthusiasts every year.

For those who find the taller mountains too big of a climb, there are other summits like Mount Slaggard, Mount Wood, and Mount Vancouver, which could be more to their liking.

So, if you are planning a trip to Canada, make sure you make plans to explore the Canadian wilderness and scenic beauty. If you are an adrenaline junkie, maybe try and plan an expedition to the top of one of the highest mountains in Canada.

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