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Fossil Mountain

Easy Winter Scrambling
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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Headed back up to Lake Louise with Steven and Kelly planning to head up the Skoki trail to Fossil Mountain (and possibly Heater Ridge). Setting out from the Fish Creek parking lot we followed much the same path as for our Unity Peak and Purple Peak trip several weeks ago, though this time kept on the Skoki trail. Once past the ski hill the trail was still really well packed (the reason for which was made clear soon enough as hordes of skiers were going up and down the trail to the lodge, along with snowmobiles!). Sticking to the trail until hitting Ptarmagin Lake proved to make for a speedy route and from there it was just a matter of gaining the lower slopes of Fossil and going upwards. Intense winds over the past few days had left the face of Fossil quite windblown and it was hiking up scree all the way to the summit (while contending with fierce blasts of frosty wind blown ice crystals). The whole day was a mix between moderate visibility to not much visibility so after hanging out on the summit for a bit we scratched our Heather Ridge extension plan, and headed back down the way we came. On the way down we stayed around the Half Way Hut for a bit waiting for Kelly (skis are often slower then snowshoes on flat/uphill parts), which is completely covered in graffiti, and apparently the home to some sort of furry marmot-like critter. Good trip and a nice introduction to the Skoki area, have to come back in the summer.

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