Mount Bell
My original plan of traversing Panorama Ridge near Moraine Lake in Banff National Park on 14 October 2006 fell through when I found out that the access road had closed for the season.  Consequently, I changed my objective to nearby Mount Bell with an approach from Boom Lake.  Joining me on this trip were Calvin Damen, Vern Dewit and Jeff Wiersma.  After an uneventful hike to Boom Lake, we grinded up a steep gully to reach Mount Bell's open south-facing slopes.  Jeff pushed far ahead of us here, and by the time the rest of us reached the crest of the ridge above, he was already well on his way up an unnamed peak at GR638810.  Figuring that Jeff was so fast that he would quickly catch up to the rest of us, Calvin, Vern and I continued along the ridge toward Mount Bell.  We had climbed a bit too high on the ridge and had to drop down to a col before resuming our ascent.  Although Mount Bell's south ridge presents interesting scrambling and is generally straightforward with respect to route-finding, reaching the summit took much longer than we had anticipated.  Vern was quite sick but managed to leave the rest of us in the dust as he disappeared up the ridge.  I was still feeling the effects of some physical exercise from a couple of days before and climbed with less enthusiasm than usual.  In contrast, Calvin was full of beans, but he seemed content to stick with me most of the way up the ridge.  Meanwhile, Jeff, likely exhausted after bagging the unnamed peak, had a tough time catching up to us and ultimately turned around well short of the summit.  After topping out, Calvin, Vern and I backtracked down the south ridge before traversing across the south-facing slopes to the gully we came up.  Because of hard-packed dirt, this gully was much more miserable on descent, and we were quite relieved when we finally stumbled back down to the shores of Boom Lake.  We rejoined Jeff at the trailhead after a round-trip time of 9.5 hours.

Be sure to check out Vern's pictures.
This is my 4th visit to Boom Lake (3 times on foot and once on skis). The morning sun shines on Boom Lake.
Vern forgot his trekking poles today. Jeff, Vern and Calvin slog up the steep gully.
The weather was actually pleasant on this day. A stormy-looking sky hangs over Storm Mountain.
Did anyone tell Jeff that the real summit is THAT way?? Vern and Calvin take a break on the ridge crest.  The summit of Mount Bell is at upper right.
It took us about 20 minutes to drop down to the col. Calvin and Vern descend to the col.  At upper right is Chimney Peak.
The summit is still about another 2 hours away! Here is the view of Mount Bell from near the col.
The rubble just to the right of Vern is less exposed but not as much fun! Calvin watches Vern ascending a cliff band.
Another nice one for nub-lovers! This is an outlier to the north of the unnamed peak at GR638810.  Visible in the distance at far left is Television Peak.
Calvin is actually scrambling in his work boots! Calvin scrambles up the south ridge of Mount Bell.
I wonder how they keep their coats so white... A mountain goat casually walks along the steep east face of Mount Bell.
This scree was rather miserable to ascend. Calvin bypasses some pinnacles on the way up.
Jeff was below this knob and told Calvin that he was not continuing up. Calvin climbs up a knob to get some photos of Boom Lake (not visible here).
Looks almost like a volcano. A small cloud hovers over Mount Vaux to the west.
Still going strong despite being sick. Vern works his way along the summit ridge.
Kinda reminds me of Sheol Mountain... Vern (small dot) reaches the summit of Mount Bell.
Who has the most goofy-looking hat? Calvin, Sonny and Vern congregate around the cairn on the 2909-metre summit of Mount Bell.
What a shame we couldn't do Panorama Ridge on this day. The view north includes Mount Temple, Panorama Ridge and Mount Hector (distant right).
Anyone know which is the real summit of Protection Mountain? Mount Douglas and Mount St. Bride are readily visible to the northeast.  In the foreground is Protection Mountain.
Certainly not the most striking view of Castle Mountain! The full length of Castle Mountain can be seen to the east.
Calvin is obsessed with pointy peaks! Calvin pauses to admire the view along the south ridge.  At right is Mount Whymper.
Already seems like an eternity since I bagged those two peaks... Looking south, Mount Ball and Stanley Peak are hard to ignore.
I think Calvin is ready for more difficult scrambling! Calvin teeters on a crumbling pinnacle.
Almost like finding Mallory's body on Everest. Vern is either really sick or dead.
Not fun. Calvin carefully descends a slope of hard-packed dirt.
Some rare colour on this mostly drab day. This is Boom Lake as seen from the steep gully.