Pass Finder

Tornado Pass

  • 2149 m (7050ft)
  • Naming History
  • Peaks and Rivers
49.9666N 114.6708W
Province: Alberta/Bc
Year Named:
Named by:
Named for: The pass takes its name from Tornado Mountain. The mountain was named by the Interprovincial Boundary surveyors because, "Tornado Mountain is a storm centre of the locality and, on the occasion of two ascents, the party had narrow escapes."
Mountain (NW):
Mountain (SE): Tornado Mountain
Headwaters (NE): Tornado Creek
Headwaters (SW): Dutch Creek


Tornado Pass is dominated by Tornado Mountain on its east side. Arthur Wheeler wrote that the mountainĀs, "gigantic rock buttresses and cavernous chimneys [were] awe inspiring."

Of the pass, Richard Cautley and Wheeler of the Interprovincial Boundary Survey wrote, "In form, the summit is a U-shaped trough, a little more than a mile wide, from rim to rim. The upper portion of the pass is of a delightfully alpine character, presenting open grass-lands and groves of spruce on both sides of the watershed. The southern approach is particularly attractive and meadow-like glades, in which flow little crystal streams, interspersed with open belts of graceful spruce and larch trees charm the eye. The northern approach also presents numerous alpine meadows but is somewhat marshy and is marred by the unsightly relics of a forest fire. A narrow, open flat marks the pathway of the pass across the watershed and steep slopes rise abruptly on either side to towering precipices and crags of rock, below which constant attrition has piled immense quantities of scree. It is a veritable gateway through the High Rock Range and, at first glance, the passage northward would seem to be barred to farther progress by the encircling ramparts of mighty hills. The pass summit is most picturesque and grandly impressive in its surroundings. The precipices of Tornado Mountain rise fully 2500 feet and the gigantic rock buttresses that stand out, separated by huge, cavernous chimneys, are awe inspiring."