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Skoki Mountain
Skoki, Banff National Park, Alberta
July 28,2007

Despite the hardship of backpacking to Baker Lake and climbing Oyster Peak the previous day, the hot weather didn't permit us to sleep well. The following day when we did Skoki Mountain it would prove to be just as hot, 27°.

After a leisurely morning at the campsite, we hiked up the Cotton Grass Pass trail. In a short time, we reached the turnoff for Jones Pass that would take us to Skoki Valley.

Much of the trip was in the open under the hot sun, so we welcomed the shade of the trees on Jones Pass, although it didn't last long. Soon we were back under the sun as we neared Skoki Lodge. The lodge, incidentally, sits almost a hundred metres lower than the Baker Lake campsite.

Behind the lodge, a signed trail leads to the base of Skoki Mountain. After breaking out of the trees, the mountain looked like a bicoloured scree pile with orange rock on the left and gray rock on the right. A trail went up in the orange slope, but it seemed better left for the descent. We ascended the gray slope following sections of large rocks that were less likely to slide under our boots. The summit, however, sits atop the orange slope.

We climbed slowly because of the heat. We passed a group of young people coming down the trail in the orange scree. They didn't have poles and were constantly falling and cursing, undoubtedly getting bruises and cuts.

After we reached the ridge right of the summit, it was an easy scramble to the top. For a minor peak, it has exceptional views in all directions. After a half-hour stay, we returned the same way.

The trip took seven hours, although that included time spent on the summit and chatting with people at the lodge, maybe an hour in all. Rather than pack up and leave that same day, we decided to spend another night. For one thing, we were hot and tired. Also we could catch a lift with the lodge shuttle bus, a white van, at 10:30 the following morning, saving us the 4 km walk down Temple Road to our car. The ride back was a fine finish to our stay in Skoki!

KML and GPX Tracks

Dinah gets water at Baker Lake campsite

Hiking the trail on Cotton Grass Pass, Oyster mountain on our right

The sign reads: "Jct. Skoki Valley/Deception Pass 3.7 km." Skoki Mountain ahead.

A closer look at Skoki Mountain's southeast slopes

Almost at the top of Jones Pass

Looking back at Oyster Peak

We cooled off a bit in the shade on Jones Pass

Skoki Lodge (mouse over to read the plaque)

Sign indicates the trail to Skoki Mountain

False summit of Skoki Mountain appears ahead

Left to right: Mount Redoubt, Ptarmigan Peak and Wall of Jericho

Where's the summit? Later we learned that it's above me but hidden.

A profusion of pink flowers on the lower slopes

The slog up. Behind are Merlin and Castilleja Lakes.

Molar Mountain

The summit appears but we headed to the ridge crest first

On the ridge

Zigadenus and Myosotis Lakes left of the Wall of Jericho

Red Deer Lakes, Mount Drummond (I think) in the background

Relaxing on the summit

82 N/8 Lake Louise, 82 N/9 Hector Lake

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