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Armor Peak
Banff National Park, 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 Wonder Valley, the basin between Protection and Pulsatilla, would incur hundreds of metres of elevation loss.

We hiked up Protection Mountain trail 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.

But we had a backup plan: we would traverse north along 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. Below us, Wonder Valley 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.

KLM Track


The trail ends above the treeline. We'll gain the ridge using the break in the cliffs ahead, just a steep hike


Heading to the opening in the centre


Nearing the ridge crest


On the ridge, Armor Peak is in centre


Taking a break. Anthozoan Mountain in the background (mouse over)


To get to the top, we'll encounter a few ups and downs, not to mention slight detours


Wonder Valley


Pulsatilla Mountain


Dinah watches hikers on Television Peak (mouse over)


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


Mount Temple


At a couple of places, like here, we left the ridge and dropped down on the left side


Still plenty of snow on some of the slopes


Looking back along the ridge


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


Dinah follows me up


Almost on the summit


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


Wonder Valley (mouse over for a close-up of Mitella Lake)


Standing by the summit cairn


82 N/8 Lake Louise

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