Peak Finder

Photo: Looking northwest to Holy Cross Mountain in early June from Highway #541

Holy Cross Mountain (Alberta)

  • 2650 m (8,695ft)
  • First Ascent
  • Naming History
50.4217N -114.631W
Located in the Highwood River Valley at the southern end of the Highwood Range; headwaters of Wileman Creek

Range: Highwood
Province: Alberta
Park: Kananaskis
Headwater: Bow
Major Valley: Highwood
Visible from Highway: 40S, 541
Ascent Date: 1937
Ascent Party: Raymond M. Patterson
Year Named: 1900
Named by: George Pocaterra
Named for: The mountain was named because of the clearly defined cross which often appears in the spring as the snows are melting off of the east facing slopes.

Immediately west of the Bull Creek Hills lies Holy Cross Mountain, so named because of the clearly defined cross which often appears in the spring as the snows are melting off of the east facing slopes. The appearance of the cross is dependent upon the snow conditions of the previous winter and it only lasts a couple of weeks at best. The peak lies just north of Highwood Gap, the point where the Highwood River passes through the front range and into the foothills. George Pocaterra named the mountain in the early 1900's after arriving from his birthplace in the Italian Alps.

This mountain was a favourite of Raymond M. Patterson. From this summit he enjoyed wonderful views of his other favourites such as Mount HeadMount McPhailMount CadornaMount SwiderskiMount BattistiHoly Cross Mountain.

Photo: Looking northwest to Holy Cross Mountain in early June from Highway #541

Photo: Looking west to Holy Cross Mountain (left) and Mount Head from Highway #22

Looking northwest to Holy Cross Mountain (left) and Mount Head from Sullivan Hill on Highway #541

Looking northwest to Holy Cross Mountain from Sullivan Hill

Looking northeast to Holy Cross Mountain from south ridge of Cat Creek Hills

Looking northeast to Holy Cross Mountain from Highway #940

Looking west-southwest up the shaft of the cross to Holy Cross Mountain

Looking northwest beyond Bull Creek Hills to Holy Cross Mountain from Highway #941

Looking south-southeast to Holy Cross Mountain from the west summit of Mount Head (courtesy Sonny Bou)

Looking east-northeast to Holy Cross Mountain (courtesy Sonny Bou)

Looking west to Holy Cross Mountain (left) and Mount Head from near Connemara (courtesy George Shaw; www.redskyegallery.com)