Quartzite Peak GR:490272

elevation: 2,865 m. height gain: 1,030 m.
area: Icefields Parkway,AB map 82 N/9
2010-Dec-05


We followed Mosquito Creek trail. Just ahead of the campground, we veered on Mosquito Mountain's south-west treed rib with a climbing traverse heading north. At treeline, 482250, we continued into the draw until a canyon forced us to cut a questionable slope, 491254. At the head of the drainage, 491263, we were able to cross onto the west side of the draw. From there, we trudged up the open slope to the top.
quartzite


Quartzite Peak comes into view.
Ski touring: RT 9.5; 5.75 up. Clear, crisp and calm, a gorgeous day for a ski tour. We left the car at dawn, pleased to see the Mosquito Creek trail was packed down and had sufficient snow coverage. We followed the trail as far as possible then we started trail breaking towards our objective. The heavily crystallized, shallow snowpack was easy to plow through at first but as it got deeper higher up, the task became increasingly difficult. We thought it would get better above treeline but the snowpack remained unsupportive. We expected Quartzite's open slopes to be somewhat wind-scoured but no fat chance. Instead, while almost every stride stepped down to rocks, a thin slab prevented ski tips from running above the snow. We kept our head down for this very tiring ascent. Eventually we reached the top; I was glad to be there and had given it my all! After enjoying the magnificent view, we headed down. The ski descent was treacherous, we didn't attempt any turns. We safely plowed our way down to the up-track below, stylish! In need of a good pause, we stopped before treeline and took advantage of the last sunrays. A sporty descent through the trees led us back to the main trail. This is a nice trip; I wish a couple of youths had been ahead of us...
further along the creek

A little further, Ramp Peak and Mosquito Mountain appear.

at treeline


At treeline.


dip ahead


After a dip, a canyon pushes us to the right.


nearing the open slope


Slowly getting closer.


last stretch


Quartzite's southern slopes.


looking back


Looking back.


noseeum


Noseeum Mountain in the background.


ramp and mosquito


Ramp and Mosquito along the way.


at the top


South-eastern view with Molar Mountain right of center.


impressive view


Watermelon Peak.


great weather


Not a single cloud and a strong inversion.


hector


View of Noseeum Mountain and Mount Hector to the south.


northern view


Looking north to Clearwater Mountain.


finally


Summit shot, yeah.


back down


Great descent!... Just kidding.


questionable slope


Questionable slope with a terrain trap below.
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