Christmas Mountains

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Christmas Mountains
1986 North Pole Stream.jpg
North Pole Stream, a tributary to the Little Southwest Miramichi River in north-central New Brunswick, Canada
Highest point
Elevation 750 m (2,460 ft)
Coordinates 47°10′N66°40′W / 47.167°N 66.667°W / 47.167; -66.667
Location Northumberland County, New Brunswick
Parent range Appalachian Mountains
Topo map NTS 21O/02
Easiest route Hike

The Christmas Mountains are a series of rounded peaks in northern New Brunswick, Canada, at the headwaters of North Pole Stream and the Little Southwest Miramichi River, west of Big Bald Mountain, and south of Mount Carleton. The mountains, in part, separate the Miramichi River watershed from the watersheds of the Serpentine River and the Nepisiguit River.

New Brunswick province in Canada

New Brunswick is one of four Atlantic provinces on the east coast of Canada. According to the Constitution of Canada, New Brunswick is the only bilingual province. About two thirds of the population declare themselves anglophones and a third francophones. One third of the population describes themselves as bilingual. Atypically for Canada, only about half of the population lives in urban areas, mostly in Greater Moncton, Greater Saint John and the capital Fredericton.

Canada Country in North America

Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Canada's southern border with the United States, stretching some 8,891 kilometres (5,525 mi), is the world's longest bi-national land border. Its capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. As a whole, Canada is sparsely populated, the majority of its land area being dominated by forest and tundra. Consequently, its population is highly urbanized, with over 80 percent of its inhabitants concentrated in large and medium-sized cities, with 70% of citizens residing within 100 kilometres (62 mi) of the southern border. Canada's climate varies widely across its vast area, ranging from arctic weather in the north, to hot summers in the southern regions, with four distinct seasons.

North Pole Stream

North Pole Stream is a tributary to the Little Southwest Miramichi River, with its headwaters in the Christmas Mountains of north-central, New Brunswick, Canada. It is an important spawning stream for Atlantic Salmon, and renowned among fly fishers.


In 1964, Arthur F. Wightman named the range and peaks after noting that the previously unnamed peaks lay near the source of North Pole Stream, hence this sub-range of the Appalachians has been named after the Christian holiday of Christmas.

Appalachian Mountains mountain range in the eastern United States and Canada

The Appalachian Mountains, often called the Appalachians, are a system of mountains in eastern North America. The Appalachians first formed roughly 480 million years ago during the Ordovician Period. They once reached elevations similar to those of the Alps and the Rocky Mountains before experiencing natural erosion. The Appalachian chain is a barrier to east–west travel, as it forms a series of alternating ridgelines and valleys oriented in opposition to most highways and railroads running east–west.

Christmas holiday originating in Christianity, usually celebrated on December 25 (in the Gregorian or Julian calendars)

Christmas is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ observed on December 25. as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world. A feast central to the Christian liturgical year, it is preceded by the season of Advent or the Nativity Fast and initiates the season of Christmastide, which historically in the West lasts twelve days and culminates on Twelfth Night; in some traditions, Christmastide includes an octave. Christmas Day is a public holiday in many of the world's nations, is celebrated religiously by a majority of Christians, as well as culturally by many non-Christians, and forms an integral part of the holiday season centered around it.

The ten peaks are: [1]

The eight latter names commemorate Santa Claus's reindeer as named in the 1823 poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas" by Clement Clarke Moore. The poem reads in part:

Santa Clauss reindeer Legendary reindeer who pull Santa Clauss sleigh

In traditional festive legend, Santa Claus's reindeer pull a sleigh through the night sky to help Santa Claus deliver gifts to children on Christmas Eve. The commonly cited names of the eight reindeer are Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen. They are based on those used in the 1823 poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas" by Clement Clarke Moore, arguably the basis of the reindeers' popularity.

"A Visit from St. Nicholas", more commonly known as "The Night Before Christmas" and "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" from its first line, is a poem first published anonymously in 1823 and later attributed to Clement Clarke Moore, who claimed authorship in 1837.

Clement Clarke Moore American biblical scholar

Clement Clarke Moore was a writer and American Professor of Oriental and Greek Literature, as well as Divinity and Biblical Learning, at the General Theological Seminary of the Protestant Episcopal Church, in New York City. The seminary was developed on land donated by Moore and it continues on this site at Ninth Avenue between 20th and 21st streets, in an area known as Chelsea Square. Moore's connection with the seminary continued for more than 25 years.

With a little old driver so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles, his coursers they came,
And he whistled and shouted and called them by name:

Now Dasher! Now Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! On, Donder [2] and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!

Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!

Although a ninth reindeer was later added to Santa Claus' team in the popular Christmas song "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer", no peak was named for Rudolph, "the most famous reindeer of all". [3] [4] [5] [6]

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (song) 1949 Christmas song by Gene Autry

"Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" is a song by songwriter Johnny Marks based on the 1939 story Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer published by the Montgomery Ward Company. Gene Autry's recording hit No. 1 on the U.S. charts the week of Christmas 1949.

Clearcutting controversy

Until the mid-1990s, the Christmas Mountains remained untouched by industrial forestry operations. As Crown land, the New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources administered the property as part of a vast swath of forest across the north-central part of the province. With few roads leading into the area, the Christmas Mountains maintained an old growth Acadian forest that was unique to northeastern North America.

New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources leased the property comprising the Christmas Mountains to a U.S. owned pulp and paper company Repap (the name is the word "paper" reversed). Repap began building logging roads into the region around 1995 and began an aggressive clearcutting operation over the next several years, despite numerous vocal and radical protests by New Brunswick-based environmentalists who feared the consequences of habitat destruction and the loss of the old growth forest. Despite the efforts, the Christmas Mountains old growth forest was largely logged by the end of the decade. [7] [8] [9] [10]

See also

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  1. Precise locations estimated from Google Earth, maximum elevations from Toporama, Natural Resources Canada
  2. 'Donner' was originally spelt 'Donder', but has changed over time.
  3. Rayburn, A. (1975) Geographical Names of New Brunswick. "Toponymy Study 2". Surveys and Mapping Branch, Energy, Mines and Resources Canada, Ottawa.
  4. Geographical Names of Canada Archived February 7, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  5. New Brunswick "What's in a Name"
  6. New Brunswick Atlas, Second Edition
  7. Fight Grows to Save New Brunswick's Last Old Growth Forest
  8. Duplisea, Bradford (October 1996). "Why The Christmas Mountains Should Be Saved". Archived from the original on May 21, 2009. Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  9. 16 Hotspots for Boreal Forest Conservation
  10. 1996 Rio Report Card - New Brunswick, Sierra Club of Canada