Peak Finder

Photo: Looking west to Cathedral Mountain (left) with Cathedral Crags at right

Cathedral Mountain

  • 3189 m (10,463ft)
  • First Ascent
  • Naming History
  • Hiking and Trails
51.3964N -116.389W
Located in the upper Kicking Horse Valley opposite the Yoho Valley

Province: BC
Park: Yoho
Headwater: Columbia
Visible from Highway: 1, 93N
Ascent Date: 1901
Ascent Party: James Outram
Ascent Guide: J. Bossoney, C. Klucker
Year Named: 1886
Named by: James Outram
Named for: The mountain features imposing steep cliffs are reminiscent of the walls of a cathedral.
Popular Hike: Lakes Louise/Moraine/O'Hara
Journal Reference: App 10-33, 20-544

Arthur Lismer, an artist who was one of Canada's "Group of Seven," was most impressed with Cathedral Mountain when he painted it in 1928 from the Opabin Plateau above Lake O'Hara. In a a letter to J. Russell Harper he wrote, "...This Cathedral Mountain to me was like a great gothic structure. It was an amazing thing. We were up to about 6 to 7000 feet, I suppose, and from every angle and in a vast territory like this you had to talk to your prey, as it were, to find a way of getting at it... There were buttresses and the pillars, towers and supporting weights like a vast piece of architecture..."

The mountain features "Teacup Lake" which in the past has periodically emptied itself causing major disruptions to the operation of the CPR in the valley below. The lake is situated on a glacier and is now regularly monitored and the flow controlled.

The name was in use as early as 1884 and appears on George Dawson's 1886 map.

Appropriately, the peak was first climbed by a minister, James Outram.

Looking north-northeast across Mary Lake to Cathedral Mountain

Looking west beyond the Golden Hawks to Cathedral Mountain (courtesy Karl Kjarsgaard)

Looking south-southeast to Cathedral Mountain from the Yoho Valley

Photo: Looking north-northeast beyond Mary Lake to Cathedral Mountain (courtesy Dave Whiting)

Looking southwest to Cathedral Mountain from the Trans-Canada Highway

Looking north-northeast to Cathderal Mountain (courtesy Rob Taerum)

Looking northeast to Cathderal Mountain from Wiwaxy Gap (courtesy Rob Taerum)

The summit block of Cathedral Mountain (courtesy Rob Taerum)

Looking south across Sherbrooke Lake to Cathedral Mountain (Cathedral Crags at right) (courtesy Sonny Bou)

Looking west to Cathedral Mountain (left) and Cathedral Crags (right) from the Trans-Canada Highway

Looking north-northeast to Cathedral Mountain (courtesy Brenda Everitt)