Mt. Andromache

Climbed: July, 1997 (2nd attempt).
Elevation: 2996 m = 9,826'
Elev. gain: 1140 m = 3,740'
Ascent time:4.5 hours
Difficulty: Moderate scrambling up NW slopes.
Location: Banff NP
Trail head: Mosquito Creek on the Trans-Canada.
Topo map: 82 N/9 Hector Lake

front view
I made my first attempt of Mt. Andromache in July 1995 but was forced back due tosnow and high winds just as I reached the summit ridge on the left. 1995 was a pooryear for weather and after waiting several days at Mosquito Creek for better weather,I took a chance on a mostly cloudy day.

Fortunately I had much better weather on my second attempt in July 1997. Frommy campsite at Mosquito Creek, I walked along the highway to Noseeum Creek (15min).There is a faint trail at best through the forest but the way is fairly obviousbefore reaching boulders and the bottom of the lower slopes about 1/2 hour from camp.I scrambled up the lower slopes, easy to semi-moderate in difficulty, to top off at thelower bench after another 75min. There are numerous paths leading up the lower slopesto this bench, pick one that suits your fancy. I ended up topping out near a rock wing.

lower slopeFrom the bench, ascend over talus and boulders, angling towards the very left side ofthe summit ridge. Unfortunately, the higher up you go the looser the scree but I foundthat keeping closer to the right side of the route offers a bit more stability.

upper slopeAs I finally neared the slope leading to the lengthy summit ridge, a snow fieldappeared to cover the width of the ridge. I decided to scramble up a rottingrock band rather that tackle the snow field head on. However, after getting onto theslope above the snow field, I discovered that the snow did not cover the entire ridge --oh well, the rock band scramble was a pleasant change after the scree slog. Once onthe summit ridge, I followed it as it made its way to the summit. This is pretty muchhiking here although don't get to close to the edge or the Molar glacier on yourleft! This section took about 20min.

Nearing the summitFinally, the summit comes into full view. After a bit of downclimbing into a somewhatexposed section, I took a few minutes to decide on a route to the top. A gendarme appearsto block progress to the summit but this is circumvented by a chimney running through it.An alternative would be to climb onto snow on the edge of the Molar glacier. I didn't take anice axe with me so I decided not to pursue this route. By the way, if you come across a black water bottleholster on the summit ridge, think of it as my gift to you! I scrambled up beside the snow onmy left and made my way through the crack. While this final section may look ratherintimidating there are few problems as long as you keep close to the snow on your left.

summit viewI reached the summit @ 1:40pm just as another party of four arrived from the glacier. Viewsfrom the summit are spectacular. To the west, you can see almost all of Hector Lake withPulpit Peak, Waputik Peak and Bow Peak forming its backdrop. The high point in the photo isMt. Daly which sits in the Waputik Icefield.

Mt. Hector from summitDirectly south are the northern slopes of Mt. Hector. I esssentially retraced my ascentroute on descent although I descended the lower slopes much further to the left of whereI topped out on the ascent. There are several good descent gullies on the lower slopes.


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©1997 All images by Craig Knelsen. All rights reserved.

Revised: Nov 11, 2002.