The Tantalus Range, a majestic stretch of peaks nestled northwest of Squamish, is home to the renowned trio of mountains: Alpha, Ossa, and Omega. Each with its tale, these summits offer breathtaking panoramas and resonate with deep historical and cultural significance. From the towering dominance of Alpha Mountain, the first in the series, to the mythological undertones of Ossa, and concluding with the captivating Omega, the trio provides a journey through time, nature, and legends.
Alpha Mountain | Photo Credit Tim Gage
Standing tall at 2,302-metre (7,552-foot), Alpha Mountain is an impressive landmark in the Tantalus Range. It is a gatekeeper of sorts, positioned 14 km northwest of Squamish and 4.6 km southeast of Mount Tantalus, the highest peak in the Tantalus Range. The Serratus Glacier graces its west, while unnamed glaciers wrap around its northern and eastern sides. Lake Lovely Water nestles below its southern slope, offering a serene vista.
History tells us that the first ascent of Alpha Mountain was made in 1914 by Basil Darling and Alan Morkill via the southwest ridge. They christened the peak, alluding to its position as the first summit of the Alpha-Serratus-Tantalus-Zenith Ridge and inspired by its form, reminiscent of the first letter of the Greek alphabet, Alpha. The Geographical Names Board of Canada officially adopted the mountain’s name on June 6, 1957.
Ossa Mountain | Photo Credit Tim Gage
Ossa Mountain rises to a height of 2,261-metre (7,418-foot). Located 21 km northwest of Squamish and a mere 3.54 km north-northwest of Mount Tantalus, Ossa is adorned with unnamed glaciers on its northern and eastern slopes. The waters from Ossa drain into the tributaries of the Squamish River and Clowhom River.
Its first ascent was made on July 25, 1960, by Dick Chambers, Jack Bryan, and Howie Rode via the east ridge. The mountain’s name is derived from Greek mythology. Named after the legendary Mount Ossa in Thessaly, the lore speaks of the Aloadaes’ attempt to pile Mount Pelion atop Mount Ossa to reach Olympus, the abode of the Greek gods. This Greek mythology theme resonates throughout the Tantalus Range, and the mountain’s title was officially recognized on June 6, 1957.
Omega Mountain | Photo Credit Tim Gage
Standing at 1,918-metre (6,293-foot), Omega Mountain offers stunning vistas and lies 10 km northwest of Squamish. Lake Lovely Water cradled below its northwestern slope, paints a picturesque scene with Alpha Mountain poised on the lake’s opposite side.
The first ascent of Omega Mountain was undertaken in 1916 by the Fyles brothers, Tom and John. Named after the Greek letter Omega, it continues the Greek alphabetic naming convention seen with nearby peaks, notably Alpha and Iota. Omega Mountain’s name was officially endorsed on June 6, 1957.
Our commitment at Sea to Sky Air goes beyond offering unparalleled scenic flights. We believe in education, fostering a love for the environment, and promoting sustainable tourism. Whether you opt for our small plane scenic flights or our immersive seaplane tours, you’re in for an enlightening experience.
Our experienced pilots don’t just fly during our guided scenic flight tours – they educate. You’ll learn about the geological processes that formed these mountains, the indigenous communities that hold them sacred, and the rich biodiversity they support.
As you soar above the peaks of Alpha, Ossa, and Omega, remember that you’re not just witnessing natural beauty – you’re connecting with a land that has thrived for millions of years. Let’s vow to protect it, appreciate its wonders, and ensure it remains for generations.