Alberta Appreciation Post: An Epic Trip Report

Dated: January 6 2021

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Mosquito Creek – Quartzite and Ramp Peaks

One of the great things about living in Calgary is access to incredible adventures in any season.
On Saturday morning Patrice I met on the SW end of the city at 6:05am and were at Lake Louise shortly after 8am to meet Jay. Together we drove to the Parking lot to Mosquito Creek along the Icefields Parkway.

Our Objective this weekend: To snow kite the base of Quartzite Peak. The wind forecast was roughly 4-16 kt from the West. (Sub objective for me: test my snow camping / “expeditioning” skills!).

Shortly after 9am, in about -15 degrees we started up Mosquito Creek to our camp site – 5km in. Patrice and I set up our tents and Jay claimed an existing Quinzhee as his home. From the campsite, we immediately left the trail, and entered the forest, diagonally uphill towards climber’s left side on Quartzite.

Mosquito Mountains

Finally we broke tree line and were at the flats of Mosquito Mountain. I was excited as I felt wind and was ready to pull out my Ozone 15m Kite. I checked my enthusiasm, got my wind meter out, and the wind was not even strong enough to make it move.

We climbed to 2500m up Mosquito before a terrific Ski back to camp.

It was cold … I suspect dipping to -20 degrees Saturday night. Jay, an Edmonton based fire fighter – likes to make fire more than he likes to put them out – making him a perfect snow camping partner! We had a ranging fire and delicious supper prior to hitting our shelters about 8:15 pm. We agreed to meet for breakfast at 8 am, just after sunrise.

Comparing notes – Patrice won the sleep game, hardly waking at all. I slept pretty well – waking at 10pm, 2am, and 6:30 am for short ‘rolling sessions’. Jay said he slept twice for about 10minutes! He was done and would head down to the trailhead.

Patrice and I followed a different route to the base of Mosquito. Once again, reaching the flats … I was optimistic about the wind. Pulling out my wind meter … the wind was obviously nothing that would allow me to launch my kite. I decided I’d summit Ramp Mountain.

My orienteering skills failed me. I ended up on Quartzite – prior to an epic ski down!

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Bryon Howard

From a very young age, I had determined that I wanted to be in the eco-tourism / adventure business. I would take small groups of people into communities in interesting parts of the world. I would ass....

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