Cross Mountain

Although the official name (that’s on the maps) is apparently Cupola Peak, Cross Mountain is what I’ve always heard as the name of the distinctive mountain that stands beyond Bear Mountain above Silver Bay. Rising from the ocean to a summit nearly 4000 feet high, the peak is also only about a mile distant from similar elevations on Bear Mountain, though between them lies Medvejie Lake at less than 250 feet. A steep-sided valley that might be better described as a canyon, I suppose.

From town in the summer, the patch of permanent snow just below the summit takes on a very cross-like appearance which presumably is what has led to the common name. The actual snow field is not quite that shape, but a secondary peak in front blocks part of the snow, creating the lower indention that makes creates the cross shape. In the fall view from Silver Bay (seen here with this post), the front minor peak is clear, but the other side of the cross appears stubby due to lack of snow.

I’m curious whether there is a glacier in the cross, though unlike on nearby Bear Mountain, I’ve never noticed ice appear from under the snow during the fall. I’m also curious how old the snow is up there. I have never seen it come close to melting out, so it seems likely that snow has persisted in that spot for centuries at least. I think there is a fair amount of year-to-year variability which is one of the reasons I think it’s worthwhile to keep taking pictures of the same scenes, even though it might seem like it’s not ‘new’. I also think it could be interesting to compare the extent of the snow during summer/fall in recent years with photos from decades past and see if there is a noticeable difference, and of course that will be true in the future as well, so hopefully I (or someone after me) will be able to use these photos to compare with conditions at a future time.

If anyone knows of (or has) some photos from the past that I could use for comparison purposes, I would be interested to know – please leave me a comment.

Additional photos of Cross Mountain

1 thought on “Cross Mountain”

  1. I moved to Sitka back in 1985 and lived there for 3 years.

    At that time I was told that the cross was a glacier. The person who told me that had lived in Sitka his who life and so had his family many generations back.
    However, I would not consider him an extremely factual individual since he also refused to take my friends and I camping on an island across the bay because it was the living place of a creature the locals call the Kushnacaw. (spelling phonetically, so not know actual spelling)
    They truly believed in this creature which was supposedly half man and half otter with glowing red eyes and anyone who saw the creature never was found again.

    Of course I didn’t to mention that if the person disappeared how did people know the person saw the creature but that would have been futile since I discovered the locals are very defensive when it comes to anyone being skeptical or sarcastic with regards to this belief.

    Anyway, sorry to regress. What I was getting to was that being told it was a glazier by him was not a very reliable statement. At that time I just took it to be true.

    All I know is back in the 80’s, even during the summer the cross was very distinct and stood out.
    So, in the 3 years I lived there I never saw it look even slightly faded, even through the warm, meaning in the 60’s, summer weather it always was completely covered in snow while everything around it has melted.

    Hope that gives you an idea of what it was like back then. I heard it’s not as covered year round like it was back then. To bad such a shame, it really was beautiful to look at from town.

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