Mount Blane and the Blade visible from Calgary

January 27, 2009

On clear days the Rockies are visible from the Crowfoot Library lookout and unique features of specific mountains make them easier to identify. Mount Blane (2993 m), the highest in the Opal Range is distinct because of the Blade, a gendarme or tower on the ridge to the right of Mount Blane’s summit.

From CrowfootLibraryLookout

The map insert situates the Opal Range, which is a long range of peaks directly east of the Kananaskis River.

This map indicates distances between visible peaks and the Crowfoot Library lookout.

View Larger Map

bivouac.com provides this information on the Opal Range:
“It is bounded on the N by Rocky Creek and on the E by Evan-Thomas Creek and the Little Elbow and Elbow Rivers. KeyPasses: Elbow Pass (2088m – border pass with Misty Range); Little Elbow Pass (2240m – border pass with Cornwall Group); Evan-Thomas Pass (2149m – border pass with Fisher Range) Includes: Includes Tombstone Mountain and ridge that extends to the N. Excludes the Wedge because it is separated from the Range by Rocky Creek and an Unnamed Creek. Terrain: A period that occurred during the Lewis Thrust called the Laramide Orogeny created the Opal Range. The steeply tilted strata are virtually the same in each peak, with softer layers sandwiched between harder layers. These softer layers have eroded, leaving the harder layers in place and forming the deep notches and gaps typical of the range. History: Named by George Dawson because he discovered small cavities lined with quartz and coated with what he thought were thin films of opal. However, it was not Opal but a chert with a similar appeareance composed of silica imbedded with various quartz impurities. Recorded first ascents of the peaks were not completed until the 1950’s and most of the peaks in the range are named for ship’s or people that were part of the Battle of Jutland in World War I. The W side of Mount Blane (13 km NE of Upper Kananaskis Lake). (44 km SW of Bragg Creek). (4 km SE of Mount Evan-

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