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Parent Area: Columbia Mountains
Area: 53060 sq km.
Location: The Monashee Mountain region is located in the BC interior, between the Columbia and Okanagan-North Thompson Rivers. It stretches all the way from Valemount BC across the US border.
Includes: For Bivouac purposes, the Monashee region contains everything between the Okanagan and Columbia rivers, including considerable low lying dry country to the south and west of the mountains.
Terrain: The mountains themselves vary from glaciated peaks in the north, to low tree covered hills further south. The region is bordered by a series of big lakes such as Shuswap lake and then Okanagan Lake. On the south, the ridge gradually tapers down to the Christina Range and Midway Range, and highway 3 running just north of the US border through Greenwood and Grand Forks.
History: The name "Monashee" means "Peaceful Mountain", a name given to part of them by a Scottish prospector. West of Revelstoke in the heart of the Monashees is another Scottish placename - "Craigellachie" - which was the location where the "last spike" of the Canadian Pacific Railway was driven, joining the eastbound construction with the westbound. This was the site of what is probably the most famous picture in Canadian history.
At one time these mountains were known as the Gold Range, but this name is now restricted to a narrow strip of territory along the western shore of the Arrow Lakes and the Columbia River, south of Revelstoke.
When Milton and Cheadle descended the North Thompson valley in 1863, they saw and described a striking snow peak at the northern end of the range which they called Mount Milton. It is visible from the road and is now known as Albreda Peak. The triple snow-summits of Mount Begbie, just south of Revelstoke, form the other familiar peak of this range.
The chain is crossed by two transportation corridors: the Trans-Canada highway and CPR running west out of Revelstoke, and then further south, highway 6.
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