Tantalus Range from the Sea to Sky Highway
|Elevation||2,603 m (8,540 ft)|
|Parent range||Pacific Ranges|
|Borders on||Garibaldi Ranges
North Shore Mountains
The Tantalus Range is a small but spectacular subrange of the Pacific Ranges of the Coast Mountains in southern British Columbia, Canada. The range is well-known to travellers to and from the ski resort at Whistler as the stunning vista on the highway to the resort from Squamish.
To Sḵwxwú7mesh, the local indigenous people of the area, the name of the Tantalus Range is tsekílx. In their history, these mountains were once men and their dogs on a mountain goat hunting trip but turned to stone by the "Transformers".
The range's southern end is on the western edge of that town and it runs only about 35 km northwest on the west bank of the Squamish River and is less than 16 km wide at its widest. It is about 460000 ha (4600 km² or 1775 mi²) in area. Mount Tantalus 2603 m (8540 ft) is the highest in the range.
The origin of the name, as well as the names of many of its peaks, are from Greek mythology. Tantalus was doomed in Hades to be half-submerged in cold water with fruit dangling close but not close enough to eat, which is where the word tantalize has its root. Allegedly the name was conferred by a local mountain climber who was "tantalized" by the sight of the range's impressive spires and icefalls from across the turbulent waters of the Squamish River. Alternately another version of the legend has Tantalus and his family frozen before a banquet, unable to move - very descriptive of the ice-draped and somehow regal character of the peaks and icefields of the range. The names of Tantalus' wife Dione, his daughter Niobe and his son Pelops and that of Thyestes', Pelops' son, are found on lesser summits in the range.
The Tantalus Range is a favourite with climbers, and also with photographers and filmmakers. The best views of it can be had just north of Squamish from the Brohm Ridge and Cheakamus Canyon stretches of BC Highway 99 (the Sea-to-Sky Highway).
(unnamed ranges not listed at present)