Mosquito Mountain
Icefields Parkway, Alberta
September 13, 2008

Inspired by Andrew Nugara's ascent of Mosquito Mountain, Dinah and I wanted to do it ourselves. We parked at the Mosquito Creek Campground, crossed the highway and started up the trail. Although the trail starts in trees it soon opens up providing views of Quartzite and Ramp Peaks as well as Mosquito Mountain.

After hiking 5.1 km we unexpectedly reached the campground. I was confused until I realized the NTS map showed the campground wrongly placed 500 m farther up the trail. After hiking another kilometre or so we left the trail, crossed the creek and bushwhacked up the soutwest slopes.

After breaking out of the trees, we could see the summit but we decided to head to the ridge which was still some distance away. We crested the ridge at some impressive pinnacles. After taking several photos we hiked to the summit.

A search of the summit cairn yielded a rusted tin containing a summit log that dated back to 1979! As interesting as the register was, the alpine scenery captured our attention, from the turquoise tarns in the valleys to the snow-covered peaks.

After a lengthy stay we started back down. Rather than descend the SW slopes, we stuck to the SW ridge. Except scrambling up a chimney by the pinnacles, it was a ridge walk. When the ridge ended abruptly in a steep, treed slope, we bushwhacked south toward Mosquito Creek and reached the trail 500 m west of the campground.

At the campground we were surprised to see two sets of fresh bear tracks – a sow and a cub apparently – leading back to the trailhead. We continued down the trail mindful that we were following bear tracks. We soon encountered two women who were also headed back. They seemed nervous about the bears and their agitated dog kept barking. The four of us hiked out together but we never did see any bears.

It's a wonder that Mosquito Mountain isn't better known since an easy ascent leads to beautiful alpine vistas. Perhaps we'll return to the area some day and see the views again – from Quartzite and Ramp Peaks.

Postscript: After returning to the area we discovered what I think is a much better route to reach Mosquito Mountain. See Ramp Peak.

KML Track

MOVIE (posted on YouTube)

Bow Peak in the background as we hiked up the trail

Ramp Peak and Mosquito Mountain

After leaving the trail we bushwhack through frost-laden woods

These Ice crystals – 2-3 inches long – were abundant on the forest floor

We break out of the trees with Noseeum Peak behind us

Unnamed peak sports a distinct summit (mouse over)

The boulder-strewn SW slopes look surreal

View to the SE includes Molar Pass (centre)

Nearing the ridge crest

I'm a spec on the broad slopes

On the ridge

We followed the ridge to the summit

Looking back along the ridge to Mosquito Creek. In the background Bow Peak lies in front of
Mount Balfour (mouse over).

Walking along a broad section of the ridge

The view to the south includes Molar Mountain (mouse over for a close-up).

Almost on the summit

Mount Hector and Little Hector

Starting back down the ridge

Quartzite Peak framed by rock

Ramp Peak on the left

We headed for the chimney in the rock band

Ascending the chimney (mouse over to zoom in)

Quartzite Peak and Ramp Peak

Checking the view from projecting rock

Hiking along the ridge

Looking back at Mosquito Mountain from near the end of the ridge

This photo shows the rubbly SW slopes that we ascended to reach the ridge

82 N/9 Hector Lake

Nugara | Canada | Home