MOUNTAINS Falkland IslandsByron Range, West Falklands- Photograph Robert Maddocks


The main mountain ranges in the Falklands follow an East West fold underlaid with Paleozoic rock that on the West  includes Mount Adam and Byron Heights  and continues on the East as the Wickham Heights. Other significantly high mountains are the Hornby Mountains on the West. Although the East has the highest peak in Mount Usborne the West has more mountains, they extend right down the island whereas on the East there are none on the lower half below Darwin and on Lafonia. The geological phenomenon of stone runs feature on many Falkland mountains.

East Falkland Mountains

  • The chain of mountains really begins on the west coast of East Falklands at San Carlos with the Sussex Mountains and Rodeo Mountain. They continue rising to the east to No Man's Land and the Wickham Heights.
  • The Sussex Mountains lie on the south east edge of San Carlos Water and north shore of Grantham Sound. They are the beginning or an extension of the Wickham Heights, which stretches across East Falklands. During the 1982 Falklands War British troops had to cross the Sussex Mountains to get to Goose Green.
  • Mount Usborne at 705metres (2,313ft) only slightly holds the distinction of being the Falkland's highest mountain, being 5m higher than Mount Adam on the West. As with Mount Adam there are remains of glacial corries. Mount Usborne is named after Alexander Burns Usborne, a naval officer and master's assistant on H. M. S Beagle during 1831-1835 and Darwin's visits to the Falklands.
  • Mount Wickham is the highest and main summit of the Wickham Heights. Rocky Mountain is next to Mount Wickham in the chain running east, followed by Smoko Mountain (possibly named as place where a stop for smoke or morning snack might have been taken by shepherds). Pleasant Peak is just south of these mountains then on to Mount Challenger, Mount Kent, Two Sisters, Mount Harriet, Tumbldown, Mount William and Sapper Hill running west and south to Stanley and Mount Longdon and Wireless Ridge which bear to the north side of Stanley. These mountains became so familiar during the 1982 conflict.
  • Mount Simon, White's Mountain, Jack's Mountain 648m (2125ft) and Big Mountain is a block of mountains just north of the Wickham Heights which terminates in the Malo Hills to their north-east.
  • Pleasant Peak is just two miles north of RAF Mount Pleasant and was where in 1982 a British Army Gazelle helicopter was the victim of friendly fire with the loss of 4 lives.
  • Mount Challenger is south of Mount Kent and west Tumbledown, Two Sisters and Stanley. During the 1982 conflict it was the scene of some action and some of it is still mined. The Murrell River rises on Mount Challenger.
  • Mount Kent is just north of Mount Challenger, and like Challenger saw action in the 1982 conflict, leaving it mined.
  • Mount Low 265m (871ft) lies north of Stanley, overlooking Port William to the south and Berkley Sound to the north.
  • Mount Longdon is west of Wireless ridge and overlooks Stanley to the north-west. On 11th & 12th June 1982 it was the site of a decisive battle between Argentine and British (3 Para) forces that led to occupation of key ground and British victory to free Stanley.
  • Wireless Ridge a hill opposite and north west of Stanley was strategic to the recovery of Stanley during the 1982 conflict and an engagement between Argentine and British troops on the night of 13/14th June took place there. A total of 28 soldiers died and 136 were wounded during the battle.
  • Two Sisters and Two Sisters Ridge lies to the west of Stanley between Mount Kent and Mount Harriet. On the night of 11/ 12 June 1982 British Royal Marines forced Argentine troops from Two Sisters Ridge. A total of 28 soldiers died and 77 were wounded in the advance.
  • Mount Harriet lies to the east of Two Sisters, west of Stanley. On the night of 11/ 12 June 1982 600 Royal Marines and Welsh Guards drove 400 Argentine troops from the slopes of Mount Harriet. 20 soldiers died and 76 were wounded.
  • Tumbledown is a high point just west and close to Stanley. On 13/14 June 1982 500 Argentine marines were forced off the heights of Mount Tumbledown by 900 British troops. Forty soldiers died and over 150 were wounded in the encounter. This action helped lead to the surrender of Stanley by the Argentines.
  • Mount William is part of the mountain range just to the south-west of and close to Stanley, between Tumbledown and Sapper Hill. During the 1982 conflict British Gurkhas drove an Argenine battalion from Mount William..
  • Sapper Hill  rises to 138m (453ft) and lies just south of Stanley and is named after a company of sappers who were based at Moody Brook barracks. Because of its close proximity to Stanley Sapper Hill was strategically very important during the 1982 conflict. It was held by an Argentine marine battalion, heavily mined, and the final obstacle before British troops retook Stanley.
  • Mount Estancia
  • Mount Vernet and Long Island Mountain

West Falkland Mountains

Main mountain ranges on the West Falklands are Byron Heights, Hill Cove Mountains, The Hornby Mountain range running south south west to north north west, the block that includes Sulivan and Philomel in the centre of the West, and a range of mountains north east of Port Stephens.The Coast Ridge runs right up the east coast of the West starting at the East Head at Fox Bay East and running parallel to the Falkland Sound through Hill Gap and Shag Cove and beyond Port Howard to Bold Cove.

  • Mount Adam at 700m high(2296ft) is the second highest mountain in the Falklands but highest West Falklands mountain, and is is part of the Hill Cove mountain range. There are remains of glacial corries on this mountain.
  • Mount Robinson is second highest West Falklands mountain and joins on to Mount Adam.
  • Mount Edgeworth is east of Hill Cove and north east of Mount Adam, and Robinson, part of the same Hill Cove Range.
  • Mount Maria is part of the Hornby range and Port Howard settlement is at its base. It is 658m high.
  • Mount Moody 554m (1816ft) is part of the Hornby Mountains, the most southerly mountain in that range.
  • Byron Heights and Storm Mountain, situated on a narrow peninsular between Byron Sound and King George Bay is very exposed to weather, hence it’s name. Terrific views towards West Point, Carcass Islands and the Jason Islands to the north west can be seen from here.
  • Mount Sulivan and Long Mountain, rise above Lake Sulivan, and are northwest of Fox Bay, roughly in the middle of the West.
  • Mount Philomel  is part of the same range as Mount Doyle and Gun Hill which is directly across from Chartres settlement and runs towards the Narrows and Dunnose Head. Philomel is a familiar landmark seen from both Fox Bay and Chartres.
  • Mount Young is found in the southern half of the West, near Cape Meredith and Port Albemarle, east of Port Stephens. It rises to 361m (1184ft).
  • Mount Emery is at the north east end of Mount Young.
  • Mount Alice is east of Port Stephens and south of Mount Young. This is the southern most mountain on West Falklands.
  • Grand and Steeple Jasons Islands in the extreme north west of the West rise on Grand to 361m (1186ft) and other islands in the north of the West have high points, including Rookery Mountain, Saunders, 421m (1384ft),  and Mount Keppel at 341m (1122ft).
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Photographic credits: Header Robert Maddocks