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Insular Mountains
Parent Area: Pacific Cordillera Range
 

Area: 133875 sq km. Location: This mountain chain covers Vancouver Island as well as the Queen Charlotte Islands. Terrain: The Insular Mountains are made up mostly of rocks called turbidites and interbedded pillow lavas, unlike the Coast Mountains; granitic plutons are relatively uncommon in the Insular Mountains. The range has not yet fully emerged above sea level, and Vancouver Island and the Queen Charlotte Islands are really just the higher elevations pf the range, which was in fact fully exposed during the last ice age when the continental shelf in this area was a broad coastal plain.

The range has much seismic activity, with the Pacific Plate being subducted into the earth's mantle. Large earth quakes have led to crumbling mountains, land slides, and the formation of fissures. For example about one quarter of the Mount Colonel Foster massif was turned into rubble by an earthquake in 1946.

During the last ice age 18000 years ago, ice covered most of the mountains. Glaciers that flowed down toward the ocean steepened the valley sides and eroded their floors. These valleys became fjords after ice melted and the sea level rose. Remnants of ice, such as the Comox Glacier still remain today. The erosion created the steep faces of Mount Elkhorn.

Top Trips
Overland to Golden Hinde Robin Tivy
Golden Hinde Traverse with a Twist: From the Elk River to Phillips Creek Gord Johnson
Generic Mountain Nomenclature: Trip to Bedwell Lake Lucas Earl
Port Renfrew Backroad Bicycle Loop - CP railway Variation Robin Tivy
Nine Peaks - April Ski Tour Henrik Hinkkala
A Personal Quest: Golden Hinde from Marble Meadows Gord Johnson
Mount Tom Taylor - Climb Peter Rothermel
Traverse of Mount Colonel Foster Steven Harng
Sleeping Beauty and Mount Raymond, Haida Gwaii David Campbell
Rugged day, Rugged Mountain Len Zedel
More Trips

Top Photos
Golden Hinde from Phillips Ridge Robin Tivy
The Golden Hinde Looking Meaner Than It Really Is Gord Johnson
Elkhorn from North Reid Holmes
Victoria Peak and Warden Peak from the East Sandy Briggs
Tom Taylor from East Ridge Sasha Kubicek
Mount Arrowsmith - Southwest Side David Campbell
Sutton from "Third" Lake John Robertson
Triple Peak from 5040 Peak David Campbell
Mount Abel from Northwest Reid Holmes
Golden Hinde from Schjelderup Lake Robin Tivy
More Photos

Alpine Journal Articles