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.
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.
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.
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.
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…