Mount Aylmer
From the Trans Canada Highway near Banff, Alberta, Mount Aylmer is barely visible above the Palliser Range and is easy to miss.  Because it's the highest peak (3161 metres) in the vicinity though, I decided to scramble up it on 19 July 2003.  For the long approach, I chose to ride my mountain bike along the Lake Minnewanka Trail to Aylmer Pass Junction which is where the real ascent begins.  The bike ride itself was no cakewalk, and not having done any serious mountain biking in years, I was cursing the rough and rocky trail on several occasions.  After reaching Aylmer Pass Junction in about an hour, I ditched my bike and stowed all my biking gear.  Mosquitoes were a major nuisance on this hot day, and I must have looked comical doing a freaky chicken-dance while changing into my hiking shorts.

For the ascent, I hiked up the ridge running north from the Aylmer Lookout site.  While this approach is slightly longer than the one that heads directly for Aylmer Pass, it is much more scenic and gains elevation more moderately.  Halfway up this ridge, the heat finally got to me, and I felt quite lethargic.  I was most likely dehydrated (similar to what happened to me on  Mount Inglismaldie two years ago).  I had brought along 1.5 litres of water plus half a litre of juice, but I was drinking it far too quickly.  I had to fight my thirst and conserve my fluid intake, or else I would never make it to the summit.  I moved slower now, but I kept climbing.  A nice cool breeze above treeline was a godsend.  Further up, I traversed under some rock bands before toiling up the final requisite scree slope to the summit.  After about an hour on the summit (mostly sleeping), I descended quickly to the Aylmer Pass Trail and marched back down to Aylmer Pass Junction.  From there, I changed into my biking shorts (chicken-dance part two), picked up my bike and rock-and-rolled my way back to the trailhead.  My round-trip time was about 11.5 hours.
Nice, eh?
The Aylmer Lookout site grants a fine perspective of Lake Minnewanka.
Mount Aylmer
This is Mount Aylmer as seen from the Aylmer Lookout site.
Are we there yet?
The ridge north of the lookout site is long but worthwhile.
This is the traverse below the rock bands.
Is it ever gonna end?
The summit is in sight, but it is actually farther away than it looks.
Sonny rejoices upon reaching the summit of Mount Aylmer.