It seemed that Spring was well upon us, and plans were hatched to attempt ski-mountaineering objectives, tenting within Valhalla Park. But with the return of winter conditions we sensibly reconsidered, and hut based day touring in the Norns was the perfect way to spend a snowy week. I’ve long wondered at the origin of the Scandinavian theme running through mountain names in this part of the world. I’ve heard Norwegian miners attributed, but following a little research, it seems we have famed Canadian surveyor George Dawson‘s predilection for Wagnerian operas to blame.
“Dr. Dawson, of the Geological Survey of Canada, has applied names derived from Scandinavian mythology to several of the mountain ranges and peaks in Southern Kootenay. Where no cogent reasons exist for giving other names it might be well to follow the lead given and designate the principal peaks by Scandinavian names. The Valhalla Mountains, west of Slocan Lake, form a magnificent mass of lofty rugged peaks rising from great ice fields and glaciers, which somehow convey an impression to the beholder that they can be surmounted only by giant effort, and that if once a mortal becomes involved in their labyrinths he vanishes for ever from mortal ken.” (Photo-topographical Survey of West Kootenay by W.S. Drewry, land surveyor, published in British Columbia’s Crown Land Surveys Report 1894, p 786…).
While on this trivial tangent, I discovered that the Norns (Urd, Verandi and Skuld) are the Norse demigoddesses of destiny (past, present, and future). I don’t know what to make of all this, but the skiing’s great.