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Mosquito Mountain
Banff National Park, 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 southwest 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 deep valleys to the tall, 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)


Following the trail alongside Mosquito Creek


Bow Peak rises behind us as we hiked up the trail


Ramp Peak and Mosquito Mountain


After leaving the trail we bushwhacked through frost-laden woods


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


We broke out of the trees to see Noseeum Peak behind us


A unnamed peak sports a distinctive 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. Bow Peak sits 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


Standing next to the summit cairn


Mount Hector and Little Hector


Starting back down from the summit


Pinnacles frame Quartzite Peak


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 back the ridge


Looking back along the length of the ridge


Looking back 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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