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.
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
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