Photo: Looking southwest to Sentinel Peak (left) and Plateau Mountain from Highway #541 in the Highwood Valley
- 2438 m (8,000ft)
- Naming History
Located east and north of Wilkinson Creek; south buttress of Salter Pass
Visible from Highway: 40S, 940S, 22
Named for: The mountain features a more or less flat summit for a distance of eight kilometres (north-south).
An interesting feature of the extensive flat area which forms the top of this mountain are the areas of patterned ground where larger pieces of rock have accumulated into polygonal patterns surrounded by finer materials in the centre. This phenomenon is thought to have been caused by a cracking of the ground due to cooling which produces a series of surface fissures such as those seen on a dried-out mud puddle.
The reason for the sorting of the surface rocks to correspond with the cracks is less clearly understood. At any rate the patterned ground on Plateau Mountain was probably formed during the ice age when the mountain, like most of the nearby peaks, stood above the surrounding ice surface as a nunatak.
Of the eight producing gas wells in the Savannah Creek Field, two are located right on top of Plateau Mountain. Because the soft limestone which makes up the mountain has numerous caverns, seepages, and underground streams, severe lost circulation problems plagued the drilling of the first well in the 1950's. Dumping tree boughs, cement, and truckloads of asphalt and sawdust down the hole failed to stop the drilling fluid from escaping.
*A hiking route to the summit is described in Gillean Daffern's Kananaskis Country Trail Guide.