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Selkirk Mountains

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Selkirk Mountains  

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Elevation: 11,000'
Location: 51.20627, -117.53792 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 85,656
Administrators: Nate Ball, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Ken Trout on Dec 13, 2010
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MOUNT GIMLI-WEST FACE All known routes marked appr...

Selkirks, the mispelling will be fixed, sub ranges...
Selkirks, the mispelling will be fixed, sub ranges introduced, and the map redone in the next few days (3/12/2015)

The Selkirk Mountains are hard to discern as a discrete range because they are surrounded by the other big ranges of the Columbia Mountains (blue outline on map). The Rogers Pass transportation corridor, Trans-Canada Highway One and Canadian Pacific Railroad, divides the Selkirks into two halves, the Northern Selkirk Mountains and the Southern Selkirk Mountains.

The Selkirk Mountains are the oldest climbing area in the Americas. The first technical climb, using rope and done for sport, was in 1888 when skilled alpinists from Europe made the ascent of Mount Bonney (Chris Jones, Climbing in North America, 1976).
Mt Bonney from Sir Donald Camp
Mt Bonney from Sir Donald Camp

Mount Sir Donald was nabbed just two years later by Swiss guides with more advanced rope-work. Other people who climbed regularly for sport soon followed, eager for new terrain as the Golden Age of the Alps ended (Chris Jones, Climbing in North America, 1976).
Mt Sir Donald submitted by MP contributor Flex, 20...
Mt Sir Donald
submitted by MP contributor Flex, 2008


One hundred years ago there were already several guide books to climbing in the Selkirk Range. Today, use Selkirks North and Selkirks South, by Dave Jones, both printed in 2001.

For ski mountaineers, and climbers seeking to better educate themselves, there is an important book by Chic Scott: Summits and Icefields . His book covers all levels, from basic information for roadside tele-glades up to advanced details for the great ski traverses of each range. Good beta for most huts and some big peaks too.

For rock climbers, the West Kootenay Rock Guide, by Aaron Kristiansen & Vince Hempsall covers all the low altitude crags from the Valhallas south to the border. Find this book for sale at the Valhalla Pure mountain shop in Nelson, British Columbia.

Climbing Season

For the Columbia Mountains area.

Weather station 5.2 miles from here

21 Total Routes

['4 Stars',4],['3 Stars',6],['2 Stars',8],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Selkirk Mountains:
Northwest Ridge   5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c X     Trad, Alpine, 2400'   Mount Sir Donald
South Ridge   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13     Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, 1000'   Valhalla Mountains : Mount Gimli
Browse More Classics in Selkirk Mountains

Featured Route For Selkirk Mountains
The NW Ridge looking head-on from the descent off ...

Northwest Ridge 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c North America : Canada : ... : Mount Sir Donald
This is one of best long moderate rock routes anywhere. Inclusion in the Fifty Classics was well warranted, but certainly hasn't made it crowded. When we did it, we were the first in eight days according to the summit register and the weather had been great for weeks. A bear-related closure of the approach trail might have had something to do with it though.Many people bivy just below the Sir Donald-Uto col, but the hike can be done in under three hours, so you can time it to reach the route...[more]   Browse More Classics in International

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By Kevin Craig
Apr 26, 2008
The definitive and most up-to-date guidebooks for the range are "Selkirks North" and "Selkirks South" by David P. Jones. The dividing line for North & South is roughly Rogers Pass. Note that these books do not cover the Bugaboos which technically are part of the Selkirks (the Piche' guide is the ticket for the Bugs).
By Ken Trout
From: Golden, CO
Aug 30, 2011
The mountains of British Columbia are very difficult to outline. It doesn't help that the boundary between the Selkirk and Purcell ranges is a narrow valley hidden in wilderness. Rock & Ice Magazine once stated that the Bugaboos are part of the Canadian Rockies, so even the experts have trouble.

It should be pointed out that Dave Jones knows his topic. The Bugaboos are indeed a part of the Purcell Mountains, not the Selkirks.

For anyone who likes geography as much as a finely detailed route topo, there is a brief geographic explanation of southern British Columbia's Mountains on the Columbia Mountains introduction page.
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