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Pyramid Mountain
Jasper National Park, Alberta
July 21, 2006

Distance: 30.8 km
Cumulative Elevation Gain: 1760 m

After reading the description in the Scrambles book, Dinah and I were expecting a long day on Pyramid Mountain. The nearly 1600 m gain includes a 12 km mountain bike approach. However, our trip took nine hours including nearly an hour spent on the summit.

Dinah is not a strong cyclist, and I thought we lost time on the bike approach. Even so, we cycled passed three Edmontonians on the road. They had started from Whistler campground after surrendering their cars to their wives and kids. Their lower start added 45 minutes and 200 m of gain.

At the end of the road, after stashing our bikes and chatting with the Edmontonians, Dinah and I were three hours into our trip. We set off up the slope ahead of the Edmontonians, but the exertion proved too much for one of them, and they turned back before reaching the ridge.

Dinah and I had no difficulties in reaching the ridge. Indeed, a good trail took us to the crest. We continued up the ridge until boulders forced us to scramble. Sticking close to the ridge afforded the most interesting rocks. Some may find the endless boulders tiresome, but we enjoyed the scrambling.

This mountain, I heard, was originally higher than present times; the top had been leveled off to make way for a microwave repeater tower. Thankfully, the tower was removed last year, and all that remains is a concrete floor. Views were superb in all directions, although a haze obscured distant peaks.

Soon after reaching the top, we were joined by Trent, a solo scrambler from Edmonton. After a long chat with him, Dinah and I began our descent. Trent caught up to us back at the bikes, and the three of us started riding down. The ride back was fast if rugged, and I made it to the parking lot in a little over 30 minutes. Dinah and Trent arrived shortly after. The expected high in Jasper was 32°, and it felt every bit of that at our cars.

Dinah and I parted ways with Trent but not for long. The following day Trent joined us to bag Utopia Mountain.

KML and GPX Tracks

A view of Pyramid Mountain from across Patricia Lake en route to the trailhead

There was only one break in the trees to view the mountain, about an hour's ride in

Ahead is the ridge that leads to Pyramid Mountain

The road ends ahead and we took to the trail (mouse over). Despite appearances, there is little elevation loss along the ridge.

The trail meanders up the slope but is easy to follow

Looking back at the road

There are some fairly long switchbacks

The Edmontonians below us on the trail

From the ridge are views of Jasper Lake and Roche Miette (right of centre)

Continuing up the path

Typical scrambling up the ridge

Dinah is lost in a sea of boulders

Mount Kinross

The red mountain on the right is Mount Kerr, not to be confused with the one in Yoho!

Mostly small, nameless peaks in the foreground

Mount Robson lies 70 km north

Surprisingly, there was no summit cairn so I stacked a few rocks

Woodland caribou

83 D/16 Jasper

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