Purcell Mountains

PURCELL MOUNTAINS are one of 4 ranges in south-central BC (the others are the MONASHEE, SELKIRK and CARIBOO Mts) that form the COLUMBIA MTS. Extending south from GOLDEN to the US border, they are considered the dividing line between east and west KOOTENAY. Generally lower than the ROCKY MTS, they nonetheless feature several peaks that soar as high as 3,400 m. The highest is Mt Farnham (3,457 m). Nestled in the southern part of the range, KIMBERLEY is the highest city in Canada. In the north the BUGABOOS offer some of the most spectacular backcountry SKIING in the world. The PURCELL WILDERNESS CONSERVANCY protects the vast, isolated central section of the range. MINING and FORESTRY have been the main economic activities. The range is named for Goodwin Purcell, an Irish academic.