Armor Peak
Banff, Alberta
July 24, 2010

Dinah and I had the vague objective of either attempting Pulsatilla Mountain or scoping a route up it from Protection Mountain. Our plans were unfocused as I wasn't certain if Pulsatilla was even feasible as a day trip from Protection, at least for us: dropping down to the basin between Protection and Pulsatilla would incur hundreds of metres of elevation loss.

We hiked up the trail to the old mine and then made our way offtrail to the ridge crest. We didn't make good time, however, and by the time we crested, I had misgivings about trying Pulsatilla. We started down to the basin before we turned around.

But we had a backup: we would traverse Protection Mountain. Although we've been on Protection a couple of times, we hadn't been to the north end, Armor Peak.

The traverse to Armor Peak was an enjoyable ridgewalk with magnificent alpine scenery. The immense basin below captivated us but no less interesting was the undulating ridge stretching to the summit ahead of us. Despite its name, we easily penetrated Armor's boulder-strewn lower slopes and scrambled up to the summit.

Fortunately, ascending Armor Peak was a worthy alternative. Of course we can always return to climb Pulsatilla another time. And we'll be better prepared for it.

KLM Track

The trail ends above the treeline. We'll gain the ridge using the slope in the centre.

Nearing the ridge crest

On the ridge, Armor Peak is in centre

Pulsatilla Mountain (mouse over for a close-up)

Dinah watches hikers on Television Peak (mouse over)

The ridge is mostly scree, but there are a few rocky sections

At a couple of places, like here, we had to leave the ridge and drop down on the left side

Still plenty of snow on some of the slopes

There's a considerable drop on the left as we approached the summit

Looking back: we lost nearly 100 m of elevation here

Approaching the base of the summit

Another view of Pulsatilla Mountain

Easy scrambling

Almost on the summit

The summit

Summit cairn

The wing-shaped peak in the foreground is Bulwark Peak. Skoki Valley lies behind it

The basin (mouse over for a close-up of Muella Lake)

82 N/8 Lake Louise

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