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Opal Range
Parent Area: Front Ranges

Area: 167 sq km.Location: The Opal Range is the long range of peaks directly east of the Kananaskis River. It is bounded on the north by Rocky Creek and on the east by Evan-Thomas Creek and the Little Elbow and Elbow Rivers. Includes: Includes Tombstone Mountain and ridge that extends to the north.

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.

History: The Opal Range was created during the Lewis Thrust. 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. It was 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.

Top Trips
Mount Schlee via Piper Creek Bill Leach
A Scramble up Mount Denny via Grizzly Creek Vern Dewit
Day and Night on the Southwest Rib of Mt. Brock Orvel Miskiw
A Scramble up Mount Potts from Grizzly Creek Vern Dewit
Mount Elpoca from Elbow Lake Orvel Miskiw
A Fine Climb with a Late Start on Mt. Blane Orvel Miskiw
The Standard Route on Mt. Brock Orvel Miskiw
The Wedge South Ridge Julian Ehlers
The South Ridge Direct on Elpoca Tower near Elbow Lake, Alberta Orvel Miskiw
Ascent of Mt. Fisher Rick Collier
More Trips

Top Photos
Ice Climbing in Kananaskis Ray Borbon
Elpoca Mountain and Meadows Mitch Sulkers
An Early Winter West Aspect of Mount Evan-Thomas from Grizzly Peak Alex Joseph
Mount Denny from the South Rick Collier
Mount Jerram from Southwest ridge Rick Collier
The West Ridge of Mount Potts Rick Collier
Route up Mount Schlee from Elbow River Road Bill Leach
Mount Hood Kevin Altheim
Mount Denny SW Face Vern Dewit
Elpoca Tower Orvel Miskiw
More Photos

Paper Maps