Peak Finder

Photo: Looking southwest to Storm Mountain from Castle Junction on the Trans-Canada Highway

Storm Mountain (Banff)

  • 3100 m (10,171ft)
  • First Ascent
  • Naming History
51.2078N -116.005W
Located on the continental divide in the Bow River Valley opposite Castle Mountain; East buttress of Vermilion Pass

Range: Ball
Province: Alberta/BC
Park: Banff/Kootenay
Headwater: Bow/Kootenay
Major Valley: Bow
Visible from Highway: 1, 93N
Ascent Date: 1889
Ascent Party: W.S. Drewry, A. St. Cyr
Ascent Guide: Tom Wilson
Year Named: 1884
Named by: George Dawson
Named for: The mountain was shrouded by storm clouds for much of the time that Dr. Dawson was camped below it.

Storm Mountain is the beautiful and colourful peak that towers above Castle Junction just south of the point where Highway 93 passes over Vermilion Pass into Kootenay National Park. During the summer a large, triangular-shaped snowpatch near the top of the gentle western shoulder helps with identification when viewing the mountain from the northwest.

The mountain was named by George Dawson in 1884 after numerous storm clouds were seen on its summit.

The mountain must have seemed particularly well-named to surveyor James McArthur who climbed it on three separate occasions and each time was prevented by taking the photographs necessary for his work by sudden bad weather. (Mapper of Mountains)

The government department which regulates place names attempts to avoid having the same name for two different features, particularly when they are fairly close to each other. In the case of the name "Storm Mountain" we have two of them only one hundred kilometres apart and both are said to have been named by George Dawson in the same year and for the same reason. A further coincidence is that they are within five metres of each other in elevation. As a "calendar" or "postcard" mountain the Highwood Valley Storm Mountain cannot compete with the Vermilion Pass Storm Mountain which is somewhat isolated and very picturesque from the Bow Valley.

Neither Storm Mountain appears on Dr. Dawson's 1886 map and it seems quite out of character, given his precise nature, that he named both these peaks as outlined above. However Storm Creek is noted on the map and must have been named at the time he visited the upper Highwood Valley and named Mist Mountain. It seems likely that the mountain at the head of the creek subsequently took on the name of the creek.

Photo: Looking south to Storm Mountain from the Bow Valley Parkway

Looking south-southeast to Storm Mountain from the Bow Valley Parkway