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Devon Mountain

Difficulty: 
Moderate Scramble
Elevation [m]: 
3004
Round Trip Distance [km]: 
29.5
Net Elevation Gain [m]: 
1060
Total Elevation Gain [m]: 
1600
Ascent Time: 
6:45
Bushwhackyness: 
Very Little
Tripdate: 
Thursday, August 29, 2013

Another week, another 11000er (or so things were looking like for the last month or so). Once again Steven, Eric, Vern and I saddled up from the parkway with our sights set on Mount Willingdon one of the lower 11000ers located in the less visited north eastern park of Banff National Park.

Setting out from the Mosquito Creek parking lot we made short work of the official approach trail and were quickly branching off climbers left (after 2 bridges) to follow a creek up the valley to the north towards the fabled Quartzite Col. The route to the col was pretty much just follow the creek all the way up and eventually we topped out at a section that looked very familiar from So's Willingdon TR a few weeks before. The col itself (at least by our route) is kind of a deathtrap and I can see why it has such a bad reputation. Rock hard ice is a boundary on one side while outrageously loose scrambly holds have to by contended with to slowly work downwards. I would strongly advise against any inexperienced scramblers taking this route down as rockfall hazard is immense! Once down the col and back on relatively solid flat ground it was time to start taking in the sights. The valley gives a great sense of scale with distant peaks such as Mount Loudon and Cataract Peak marking the boundaries to the north and south while Willingdon looms ahead to the east.

Our first objective of the trip was Devon Mountain, a prominent peak on the south side of Devon Lakes which looked to offer a straightforward way up to survey the surrounding terrain. After ditching our excess gear on the lower slopes it was time to head upwards via a route which would be familiar to any veteran of easy Kane scrambles (ie scree). The scree continued for quite a while eventually yielding at the ridgecrest to some more scrambly sections and then eventually a patch of slabs just before the summit. Once at the summit views were much better than expected, Devon mountain is certainly worth the effort if you find yourself at Devon Lakes with a few hours to spare! After getting a good look around in case the weather for Willingdon was less ideal it was time to wander back down, regain our gear, and go in search of a bivy site for an attempt on Willingdon the day after.

 

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