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Ramp Peak
Banff National Park, Alberta
August 18, 2012

Of the triumvirate of peaks rising above the headwaters of Mosquito Creek, Dinah and I had only climbed Mosquito Mountain. Four years have since passed and we were ready to ascend the next peak in line: Ramp Peak.

We parked at the Mosquito Creek Campground and hiked to the backcountry campground an hour away. I had hoped to find a trail at the back of the campground to start us off, but no such luck. We started hiking offtrail, easily bushwhacking. We angled left (north) since going straight up would place us on the impossibly steep slope below the south end of Mosquito Mountain. Ten minutes after leaving the campground, we found a faint animal trail (480244). It ended after 300 m but it set us in the right direction (when I saw a talus slope above the tree tops, we veered left a bit). We soon arrived at the end of a spur leading to the south end of Mosquito on our right.

Ramp Peak lay ahead but a bowl and another spur intervened. We could reach this spur directly by dropping down to the bowl, or we could take a longer route by ascending the end of Mosquito and traversing to the intervening spur. We learned that both routes work well. On the ascent we used the bowl but after summiting we took in the south end of Mosquito. (If I were to do Mosquito Mountain again, I would use this route. Routefinding and bushwhacking seemed much easier.)

Routefinding didn't improve after we reached the intervening spur. Below us a deep drainage and a tract of lumpy alpine meadow dissuaded us from going directly to Ramp. So we kept right to minimize elevation loss and made our way to the base of our objective. To avoid climbing a steep slope at the base we went left and easily hiked up a gully hidden around the corner.

At the top of the gully we encountered a mountain goat and scree extending all the way to the summit. The goat left but the scree stayed. So we plodded up 250 m to the summit.

We stayed for half an hour on top of Ramp Peak, enjoying the alpine scenery and warm weather before heading back. As I mentioned, we returned via the south end of Mosquito. By doing so we caught a superb view of the Mosquito Creek triumvirate. Four years hence, we should be ready and willing to ascend the third peak: Quartzite Peak.

KML and GPX Tracks


Hiking alongside Mosquito Creek


Quartzite Peak, Ramp Peak and Mosquito Mountain


Following the animal trail


From here we dropped down and climbed the spur ahead. The elevation loss wasn't as bad as it looks. By going left we avoided dropping to the bottom of the bowl. Ascending right leads to the south end of Mosquito.


Looking back at the south end of Mosquito and the bowl


View from the intervening spur


To avoid the drainage we kept right


Along the way we passed a profusion of wildflowers


Looking back at the slopes we traversed


At the end of the meadows we kept left to ascend a hidden gully below Ramp Peak


Amid the gray and brown rocks, a small spring brings a touch of color


Making our way to the gully


Looking back after we started up the gully


Partway up, Ramp's summit comes into view


Another look back


At the top of the gully we saw a mountain of scree


We also saw this mountain goat less than 100 m away. It calmly ambled away.


The uninspiring plod to the top of Ramp Peak


Mosquito Mountain on our right


Left is an unnamed ridge southwest of Watermelon Peak


Looking back (click for a larger image)


Mount Hector, Mount Andromache and Noseeum Peak (mouse over for a close-up of Hector)


On the summit


Pipestone Pass below


Heading back down


On the way back, instead of dropping to the bowl we traversed to the bump at the end of Mosquito (centre)


View of Quartzite, Ramp and Mosquito from the south end of Mosquito


82 N/9 Hector Lake

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