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Protection Mountain (TV, Television Peak)

Summit Elevation (m): 2972
Elevation Gain (m): 1700
Trip Time (hr): 10
Total Trip Distance (km): 21
Quick ‘n Dirty Rating: Class 3 – you fall, you break something
Difficulty Notes: Easy hiking and scrambling on trail.
Technical Rating: SC6; YDS (Hiking)
Map: Google Maps


On August 25, 2009 I got together with Marta and scrambled Protection Mountain, a.k.a. Television Peak in Banff National Park. I had heard lots from Marta on the RMBooks Web Board and read many of her trip reports with interest but we had never done a scramble or climb together.

Protection Mountain Route Map

With Marta having over 250 mountains and me having over 200 myself I guess it was only a matter of time that we do a trip together! Unfortunately her partner, Chester, was out with a sore back so Marta was looking for scrambling and climbing partners to avoid doing solo trips and since we both wanted the same peak we managed to join forces.

You can just barely make out the trail beneath Marta (look on the grassy part of the slope). Mount Temple and the Lake Louise peaks show up in the background. The view doesn’t get much better than from right here so if that’s all you’re after I wouldn’t bother going any further than the mine. I’m at the entrance to the mine taking this photo.

We ascended via Sonny and Bob’s recommended route – the Protection Mountain mine hiking trail. Following their great descriptions we had no route finding issues and enjoyed the interesting mine site.

The mine is pretty cool.
The view out of the mine entrance looking towards Mount Temple.
Marta is a tiny speck on the far right – can you spot her? She thought I was behind her and waited for me. OOPS. I was dashing off to the summit unaware that she was concerned about me… She eventually found me. At the summit. 🙂

The hands-on scrambling on the ridge is quite fun but you pay for it with an approach of 4-5 hours depending on your speed. We found the mine quite interesting and were both very impressed with the great approach trail. We both found no issues at all on the ridge, it was mostly a hike with maybe 2 sections of moderate scrambling.

Summit views include Avens (L), Douglas, Lychnis, St. Bride, Pulsatilla, Bonnet, Block, Noetic, Helena Ridge, Stuart Knob and Castle Mountain (R).
Another panorama including Temple (L), Victoria, Daly, Hector, Richardson, Armor, Anthozoan, Avens, Douglas, St. Bride, Pulsatilla, Hickson and Bonnet (R).

Total elevation gain was much more than I thought it would be – over 1650m on Marta’s Suunto, but there are a lot of ups and downs on the ridge and I certainly felt tired enough to confirm this altitude reading. 

Overall this is a recommended outing with a great approach trail, interesting history at the mining site and a fun ridge. Just don’t be like me and under-estimate the size of this outing.

Protection Mountain (Mine, Television, TV)
The Protection Mine trail is quite well maintained.
The Protection Mine trail is quite well maintained.
Ascending the west face of Protection.
Ascending the west face of Protection.
You can just barely make out the trail beneath Marta (look on the grassy part of the slope).
You can just barely make out the trail beneath Marta (look on the grassy part of the slope).
The Protection Mine.
The Protection Mine.
The Protection Mine.
The Protection Mine.
The Protection Mine.
The Protection Mine.
Views to Mount Temple from the Protection Mine.
Views to Mount Temple from the Protection Mine.
Interesting rock.
Interesting rock.
Views off the west face looking north.
Views off the west face looking north.
Protection's summit is just above the snow patch at right along the north ridge.
Protection's summit is just above the snow patch at right along the north ridge.
Views north to Mount Avens.
Views north to Mount Avens.
Looking back along the ridge towards Armor peak.
Looking back along the ridge towards Armor peak.
Deltaform, Neptuak and Temple.
Deltaform, Neptuak and Temple.
Bident and Quadra.
Bident and Quadra.
View over Avens to Lychnis and St. Bride.
View over Avens to Lychnis and St. Bride.
The views off the ridge are still pretty good and the scrambling is fun in short bursts which makes this peak tolerable.
The views off the ridge are still pretty good and the scrambling is fun in short bursts which makes this peak tolerable.
Losing height to the summit.
Losing height to the summit.
Marta is a tiny speck on the far right - can you spot her? This is looking back.
Marta is a tiny speck on the far right - can you spot her? This is looking back.
The scrambling gets more interesting but the peak is still a ways off...
The scrambling gets more interesting but the peak is still a ways off...
Quadra shows up under a more interesting section of the ridge.
Quadra shows up under a more interesting section of the ridge.
The final plod to the summit.
The final plod to the summit.
Armor Peak is on the left and Pulsatilla on the right.
Armor Peak is on the left and Pulsatilla on the right.
Noetic at left, Helena at right.
Noetic at left, Helena at right.
Block (C) and Noetic (R).
Block (C) and Noetic (R).
Why it's called "TV Peak". The entire Castle Mountain massif visible here.
Why it's called "TV Peak". The entire Castle Mountain massif visible here.
Avens, Pulsatilla, Hickson, Bonnet, Block, Noetic, Helena, Stuart Knob, Castle.
Avens, Pulsatilla, Hickson, Bonnet, Block, Noetic, Helena, Stuart Knob, Castle.
Armor, Anthozoan, Avens, Pulsatilla, Hickson, Bonnet, Block, Noetic.
Armor, Anthozoan, Avens, Pulsatilla, Hickson, Bonnet, Block, Noetic.
Temple, Lefroy and Victoria.
Temple, Lefroy and Victoria.
Panorama Ridge and Mount Temple.
Panorama Ridge and Mount Temple.
Chimney, Bident and Quadra.
Chimney, Bident and Quadra.
Quadra and Mount Fay (R).
Quadra and Mount Fay (R).
Hungabee, Temple, Lefroy and Victoria (R).
Hungabee, Temple, Lefroy and Victoria (R).
Temple, Lefroy and Victoria.
Temple, Lefroy and Victoria.
Balfour, Gordon, Olive and Forbes (R).
Balfour, Gordon, Olive and Forbes (R).
Presidents, Daly and Balfour.
Presidents, Daly and Balfour.
Hector and Richardson (R) over Armor Peak.
Hector and Richardson (R) over Armor Peak.
Douglas, Lychnis and St. Bride.
Douglas, Lychnis and St. Bride.
Armor, Anthozoan, Avens and Pulsatilla
Armor, Anthozoan, Avens and Pulsatilla
Mummery, Daly, Balfour (R).
Mummery, Daly, Balfour (R).
Marta decides to join me at the summit after waiting for me.
Marta decides to join me at the summit after waiting for me.
With more snow this is a tougher down climb on the way up. We encountered no issues and climbed down on the side with snow.
With more snow this is a tougher down climb on the way up. We encountered no issues and climbed down on the side with snow.
The ridge has some very interesting terrain.
The ridge has some very interesting terrain.
The ridge has some very interesting terrain.
The ridge has some very interesting terrain.
Descending the north ridge.
Descending the north ridge.
Descending the north ridge.
Descending the north ridge.
Descending the north ridge.
Descending the north ridge.
Descending the north ridge.
Descending the north ridge.
Descending the north ridge.
Descending the north ridge.
This is the route for Pulsatilla too - a long one!
This is the route for Pulsatilla too - a long one!
Descending the west face.
Descending the west face.
Descending the west face.
Descending the west face.
Descending the west face.
Descending the west face.
Descending the west face.
Descending the west face.
Someone lost an egg.
Someone lost an egg.
The trail is a great way to gain 800 meters and seems quite long on the way back.
The trail is a great way to gain 800 meters and seems quite long on the way back.

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