Monkhead Mountain

August 5, 2020


Jasper / Icefield Parkway North, AB

Monkhead is the official name of an outlier on the north side of Mt. Warren overlooking the south end of Maligne Lake. This “peak” does not look impressive from Mt. Warren, but does boast a very steep profile on the north side. and Google Earth call this peak “Monkhead Mountain” and as a result, I think “Monkhead Mountain” is now more commonly used than just “Monkhead”. In any case, this summit is very rarely ascended because one basically have to traverse up and over Mt. Warren. To ascend Mt. Warren is an exhausting fest in its own and very few ended up bothering this bonus peak. Steven N. and myself did it on our Mt. Warren’s summit day because we were peak-baggers and we wanted to explore. And of course for the full story you have to read Mt. Warren’s trip report.

Mt. Warren and Monkhead from Icefield Parkway. GPX DL

From the summit of Mt. Warren I was expecting a casual walk to Monkhead but I was quite wrong. Descending the north ridge of the north summit of Mt. Warren proved to be the trickiest in this entire trip. The snow soon turned into ice forcing us to descend on the edge of the cornice. We did bring some ice climbing gears but at the point we weren’t even wear a harness so we had to be extra careful not getting onto more difficult terrain. Thankfully the ice parts were short-lived. The rest of the plod to Monkhead was indeed easy, on mostly scree and occasionally snow and ice. The view looking down at Maligne Lake was one of the finest I’ve ever seen in the Rockies so it’s well worth the detour. I lingered up there for about half an hour and then leisurely slogged back to Mt. Warren’s summit.

Steven descending the north ridge of Mt. Warren

It soon became easier

The south slopes of Monkhead ahead

The full show of Maligne Lake from Monkhead

Maligne Mountain

Lots of remote eastern Jasper peaks in this shot

Mt. Unwin dominates the center shot

The north end of Maligne Lake

Me posing on the summit of Monkhead for Instagram…

Summit Panorama from Monkhead. Click to view large size.

Behind this unnamed peak are Mt. Fraser and Mt. Edith Cavell

Mt. Fryatt behind Llysfran Peak

The north face of Mt. Alberta

Steven N. on the summit of Monkhead

I think all peaks in this shot are unnamed or unofficially named

Mt. Scott, Lowell Peak, Brussels Peak and Christie Peak

Steven N. and I on the summit of Monkhead

Hiking back across the summit plateau

Plodding back a lonely patch of ice with Mt. Unwin/Mt. Charlton behind

Plodding back up the north ridge of Mt. Warren, initially on scree

Maligne Lake again

A short bit of ice climbing on the upper north ridge of Mt. Warren