Mount Arrowsmith

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Mount Arrowsmith
Mt Arrowsmith pano2.jpg
Mount Arrowsmith from Highway 19
Highest point
Elevation1,819 m (5,968 ft) [1]
Prominence1,429 m (4,688 ft) [1]
Coordinates49°13′25″N 124°35′40″W / 49.22361°N 124.59444°W / 49.22361; -124.59444Coordinates: 49°13′25″N 124°35′40″W / 49.22361°N 124.59444°W / 49.22361; -124.59444[1]
Topo mapNTS 92F/02
First ascentJohn Macoun 1887
Easiest routescramble

Mount Arrowsmith is the largest mountain on southern Vancouver Island. Its dominant rock is basalt. The mountain is contained within a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and as of September 18, 2009 is designated part of 1,300 hectare Mt. Arrowsmith Massif Regional Park.


The first recorded ascent was made by botanist John Macoun in 1887. Macoun was a botanist to the Geological Survey of Canada. Mount Waddington was first seen from the peak of Mount Arrowsmith by Don and Phyllis Munday in 1925 (see also Mount Munday). The mountain was named about 1853 by Captain Richards for cartographers, Aaron Arrowsmith and his nephew John Arrowsmith.[2][3]:9

The mountain was known as "Kulth-ka-choolth", meaning "jagged face", in the Coast Salish language.[4]

Biogeoclimatic Zones[edit]

Mount Arrowsmith has three main biogeoclimatic zones. On the windward, wetter west-facing slopes the Coastal Western Hemlock zone occurs up to 1,050 meters, where it grades into the Mountain Hemlock zone. This forms a continuous forest up to 1,300 meters; above is a parkland phase which grades into the Alpine Tundra zone at 1,600 meters. The leeward, east-facing slopes are warmer thanks to more sunshine, and all zone boundaries are higher by 50 meters.[5]


  1. ^ a b c "Mount Arrowsmith". Retrieved 2006-06-05.
  2. ^ Walbran, Captain John T. (1909). British Columbia coast names, 1592-1906 : to which are added a few names in adjacent United States territory, their origin and history. Ottawa: Geographic Board of Canada. ISBN 0-88894-143-9. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
  3. ^ Akrigg, G.P.V.; Akrigg, Helen B. (1986), British Columbia Place Names (3rd, 1997 ed.), Vancouver: UBC Press, ISBN 0-7748-0636-2
  4. ^ "Mount Arrowsmith". BC Geographical Names. Retrieved 2010-02-20.
  5. ^ R.N. Green and K. Klinka (1994). A Field Guide to Site Identification and Interpretation for the Vancouver Forest Region, p. 36

External links[edit]

Mount Arrowsmith from the Strait of Georgia with Ballenas Islands in the foreground