Winter Camping in Mosquito Creek

Winter Camping in Mosquito Creek

Nathan Rider

The morning dawned bright and early. Well actually, it was not dawn, and it was not bright. Instead, it was pitch black when Brian, Paul, and I left Edmonton for Mosquito Creek – 4:00 AM to be exact. Due to some work-related delays, the three of us had left on Saturday morning instead of Friday night. Undaunted, Brian bravely drove through fog and over hill to arrive in our beloved mountains at 8:30 AM and meet up with Craig, Jake, and Erin at trailhead. After a short discussion about the route, we headed up the creek.

Jake adjusts his skins on the way up the creek. Erin ravenously devours some of the delicious marshmallows you can see all over the ground in the photo. Who knew there could be so much gelatin and sugar in one place?!

Jake adjusts his skins on the way up the creek. Erin ravenously devours some of the delicious marshmallows you can see all over the ground in the photo. Who knew there could be so much gelatin and sugar in one place?!

Arriving at our campsite, we set to work piling snow for a quinzhee, digging a cooking and sitting trench, erecting our tent and tarp shelter, and enjoying the views from our campsite. Then we headed off to enjoy some tree skiing on a nearby ridge to the northeast near Quartzite Peak.

Our camp. Photos were taken at dinner time – hence why you can see Paul acting as group chef. His homemade pasta sauce was pretty delicious! Thanks Paul! In the bottom right, you can see Noseeum Peak through the trees from our camp.

After dinner, it was time for bed. Three of us slept in the quinzhee while three others braved the cold in our tent or tarp shelter. After what was a cold night for some, we awoke around 7:30 AM for breakfast and packed up the camp.

Brian lounges in the quinzhee entrance. It should be noted that he opted to not sleep here for fear his white ball cap would be lost in the white snow. Photo by Brian.

Brian lounges in the quinzhee entrance. It should be noted that he opted to not sleep here for fear his white ball cap would be lost in the white snow. Photo by Brian.

Sad to leave our luxury palace, we were determined to get in a few more runs in order to console ourselves. Therefore, we headed up once again towards Quartzite Peak, this time venturing into the alpine. Carefully taking a ridge to minimize exposure to avalanche terrain, we inched higher and higher. The weather was gorgeous and it was quite warm.

Our ascent tracks from the top of an unnamed rise.

Our ascent tracks from the top of an unnamed rise.

Group photo, minus me. Noseeum Peak looms to the south in the background. From left to right: Brian, Jake, Paul, Erin, and Craig.  

Group photo, minus me. Noseeum Peak looms to the south in the background. From left to right: Brian, Jake, Paul, Erin, and Craig.  

Paul and Craig look out over the frozen wasteland and wonder why they ever bother coming out here. Nothing to see anyway…they look like they wish they were watching Netflix.

Paul and Craig look out over the frozen wasteland and wonder why they ever bother coming out here. Nothing to see anyway…they look like they wish they were watching Netflix.

The party skiing down the ridge opposite the one we came up. Noseeum Peak in the background. Photo by Craig.

The party skiing down the ridge opposite the one we came up. Noseeum Peak in the background. Photo by Craig.

After a lovely run down, we powered through the half-dozen or so kilometers back to the parking lot. The snow was sticking to our skis, so we hurried to reduce that problem! Overall a fantastic trip with good snow and company. Thank you again to Craig and Paul for organizing!