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Mosquito Mountain

Summit Elevation (m): 2977
Elevation Gain (m): 1142
Round Trip Time (hr): 7
Total Trip Distance (km): 18
Quick ‘n Easy Rating: Class 2/3 – You fall you badly sprain something
Difficulty Notes: Moderate scrambling on the upper mountain.
Technical Rating: SC5; YDS (Hiking)
Map: Google Maps


On Saturday, June 18 2011 Wietse, Kevin (Papke) and I stole a day on Mosquito Mountain along the Icefields Parkway in Banff National Park. The weather forecast was dreary but we all really wanted to get out and stand on a summit. I’d been planning a fall trip up Mosquito for a few years already, but since So posted a TR from early June on this summit I thought “why not do it now” and so we made plans.

Mosquito Mountain Route Map

The day started out great with some sun and cloud and a nice hike to the Mosquito Creek back country campground. I was surprised at the luxury of this camp, complete with biffy, fire pit and great shelter and access to a clear, rushing creek. Considering it’s only 5km from the road and relatively flat I am going to take my family in here some weekend. There are grizzlies in the area, as evidenced by some pretty large prints but our yelling kept them from sight.

On the lower SW ridge of Mosquito with the summit at left. Molarstone, North Molar Pass, The Fang, South Molar Pass and Noseeum at right.
From L to R, Watermelon, Quartzite, Ramp and Mosquito.

We didn’t bother continuing on the trail from the campground, but rather followed So’s descent option and bushwhacked on the north side of the creek right from camp. You really can’t go wrong here, just work your way up and to climber’s left and you will hit the ridge. From here you follow the ridge to the summit.

Kev descends the moderate crux on ascent.
Looking back down the ridge with Wietse now on the crux. South Molar Pass and Molar Mountain visible at distance left.

The snow on the upper mountain really slowed us down, and the moderate crux felt ‘difficult’ because of the conditions (loose, crappy wet rock) but the views were awesome even with the low cloud cover. Near the summit we endured a short blizzard but then the views opened up a bit again.

Looking south over the Pipestone River Valley. Hidden in clouds at left are Deluc and Cataract. Molarstone, the North and South Molar Passes and The Fang at center with Noseeum, Bow Peak and OXO to the right.
Summit views over Ramp and Quartzite Peaks towards Watermelon with Puzzle Peak left of center.

We never did see Willingdon, but the views into the Pipestone Pass area and over the Siffleur River Valley were tantalizing. I really want to explore that valley and scramble a bunch of peaks around there soon. I’ve had a trip planned into the area for the past 5 years and it just hasn’t worked out yet. Maybe this year…

Mosquito Mountain
A beautiful morning as we cross the road to begin our hike up Mosquito Creek.
A beautiful morning as we cross the road to begin our hike up Mosquito Creek.
Hiking up the Mosquito Creek trail.
Hiking up the Mosquito Creek trail.
Hiking up the Mosquito Creek trail.
Hiking up the Mosquito Creek trail.
Walking along the creek with Mosquito Mountain looming in the distance, Ramp Mountain to the left.
Walking along the creek with Mosquito Mountain looming in the distance, Ramp Mountain to the left.
Grizzly was here...
Grizzly was here...
Near the campground.
Near the campground.
View to North Molar Pass.
View to North Molar Pass.
Our summit at upper left with Molar Meadows at center and Noseeum at right.
Our summit at upper left with Molar Meadows at center and Noseeum at right.
Puzzle Peak, Watermelon and Quartzite Peak (L to R).
Puzzle Peak, Watermelon and Quartzite Peak (L to R).
On the ridge, above treeline looking up at the summit. Still over 700 meters of height gain from this point.
On the ridge, above treeline looking up at the summit. Still over 700 meters of height gain from this point.
Noseeum, Bow Peak and Puzzle Peak (R).
Noseeum, Bow Peak and Puzzle Peak (R).
Mosquito, Ramp, Quartzite and Watermelon Peak (R to L).
Mosquito, Ramp, Quartzite and Watermelon Peak (R to L).
Looking back at Kev coming up the ridge.
Looking back at Kev coming up the ridge.
Ramp Peak is a great ski objective!
Ramp Peak is a great ski objective!
Quartzite and Ramp Mountains as seen from the ascent ridge of Mosquito
Quartzite and Ramp Mountains as seen from the ascent ridge of Mosquito
Looking back at the moderate crux.
Looking back at the moderate crux.
Kev descends the tricky crux on the ridge. To avoid it meant crossing a snow slope so we didn't bother.
Kev descends the tricky crux on the ridge. To avoid it meant crossing a snow slope so we didn't bother.
Now it's Wietse's turn on the crux.
Now it's Wietse's turn on the crux.
Kev and Wietse follow me up to the summit. The snow was isothermal and made for exhausting travel.
Kev and Wietse follow me up to the summit. The snow was isothermal and made for exhausting travel.
Kev and Wietse follow me up to the summit. The snow was isothermal and made for exhausting travel.
Kev and Wietse follow me up to the summit. The snow was isothermal and made for exhausting travel.
Kev took over the lead for a bit. The weather is not improving at this point!
Kev took over the lead for a bit. The weather is not improving at this point!
The summit is finally within reach.
The summit is finally within reach.
Views are not great at the summit at first.
Views are not great at the summit at first.
Summit register.
Summit register.
The summit register is very interesting and old (1979).
The summit register is very interesting and old (1979).
Summit register.
Summit register.
There was a lot of references to "skyline" which I found interesting and usually had a number like '#5' or '#3' attached...
There was a lot of references to "skyline" which I found interesting and usually had a number like '#5' or '#3' attached...
The register container was retro. So is Kev... ;-)
The register container was retro. So is Kev... 😉
Devon Peak is covered in clouds.
Devon Peak is covered in clouds.
Views down the Siffleur River.
Views down the Siffleur River.
Views towards the Pipestone River.
Views towards the Pipestone River.
Socked in views towards Cataract, Molarstone, North and South Molar Pass, The Fang, Noseeum & OXO.
Socked in views towards Cataract, Molarstone, North and South Molar Pass, The Fang, Noseeum & OXO.
Looking past Ramp, Quartzite & Watermelon over the Siffleur River Valley.
Looking past Ramp, Quartzite & Watermelon over the Siffleur River Valley.
The Siffleur River valley.
The Siffleur River valley.
Descending with OXO (Puzzle) in the bg.
Descending with OXO (Puzzle) in the bg.
Views towards North Molar Pass and Molarstone Peak.
Views towards North Molar Pass and Molarstone Peak.
Dip Slope and Deluc sort of show up briefly.
Dip Slope and Deluc sort of show up briefly.
Deluc (L) with Cataract (R) still buried in clouds.
Deluc (L) with Cataract (R) still buried in clouds.
Our descent route with Mosquito Creek Valley.
Our descent route with Mosquito Creek Valley.
Watermelon Peak is in clouds.
Watermelon Peak is in clouds.
Molarstone, NMP, The Fang, SMP and Noseeum.
Molarstone, NMP, The Fang, SMP and Noseeum.
The route to the infamous Quartzite Col is up this valley to the north.
The route to the infamous Quartzite Col is up this valley to the north.
Molar Mountain, South Molar Pass and part of Mount Hector.
Molar Mountain, South Molar Pass and part of Mount Hector.
Mount Hector in clouds.
Mount Hector in clouds.
Kev descends.
Kev descends.
Watermelon Peak.
Watermelon Peak.
Cataract, Molarstone, Minnow and The Fang.
Cataract, Molarstone, Minnow and The Fang.
Kev re-ascending the crux. It's much easier going up!
Kev re-ascending the crux. It's much easier going up!
Kev re-ascending the crux. It's much easier going up!
Kev re-ascending the crux. It's much easier going up!
Spring is here at valley bottom.
Spring is here at valley bottom.
Spring is here at valley bottom.
Spring is here at valley bottom.

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