Mount Elsay is a mountain 14 km NE of North Vancouver, located near the Centre of Mount Seymour Provincial Park in the District of North Vancouver, British Columbia. It is a part of the North Shore Mountains, rising from the shores of Indian Arm to a summit of 1419 metres. In 1909 it was originally named Mt Jarret in honour of George Jarret, a South African who became the first secretary of the British Columbia Mountaineering Club (BCMC).
It has subsequently be re-named Mount Elsay, after nearby Elsay Lake and Creek. These names are thought to derive from a Scottish settler, probably after a place name in Scotland.
The first ascent of Mount Elsay was made in 1909 by a party of climbers from the British Columbia Mountaineering Club
led by Fred Mills. The mountain was approached by boat to the top of Indian Arm, opposite Crocker Island, where the group camped overnight. In the morning they broke into two groups, the others climbing Mount Bishop
and headed up Bishop Creek. Among the Bishop party was a Mr Cromie, former owner of the Vancouver Sun
. Upon reaching the summits of the two mountains at about 9.30am, the two parties of climbers called to each other. Fred Mills' memoirs and photographs are to be found at the North Vancouver Museum and Archives.
Unlike the nearby Mount Seymour
Elsay is not visited by hikers with much frequency. Given its position, approaches can be made from any direction. Two main routes are most popular; the best hike is to go out by one and return by the other. The West Trail is reached by hiking toward Mount Seymour
, then bearing left (west) in the saddle between Second and Third Peaks. A route marked with tapes takes one around Mount Seymour's West flank, across the gully below Runner Peak
, then trends upward to the ridge, then a rock face to the summit. Alternately, the Elsay Lake
Trail takes one to the East of Mount Seymour, across several rock slides, then up an enormous and exhausting Talus
Slope to join the other trail on the South shoulder of the Mountain.
The Peak is flanked by Mount Bishop
and Elsay Lake
on the North, with Mount Seymour
and Runner Peak
to the South.
- Mount Elsay Bivouac.com Web site
- Archives Website of the North Vancouver Archives
- BCMC Website of the British Columbia Mountaineering Club