Television Peak
On 5 November 2005, Linda Breton, Dave Stephens and I made a valiant attempt to climb up Television Peak (unofficial name) in Banff National Park via Alan Kane's described alternate descent route.  Starting from Protection Mountain campground, we basically hiked into the snow-covered bush and thrashed our way up through the forest.  After nearly four hours of bushwhacking, we finally emerged from the trees and settled into a slippery slog up loose rubble.  We were eventually stymied by a formidable-looking cliff band not far from the summit.  While Linda and Dave were content to watch me from below, I made one nerve-wracking attempt on the cliff band but backed off about halfway up.  Our descent was problematic with all the snow, but we managed to get down the mountain in one piece.  Not getting the summit was disappointing given the amount of effort we all put forth, but I found some consolation in sharing a fun day out in the mountains with Linda and Dave.
Lots of fun, eh? Linda and Dave bushwhack up the snow-covered slope.
There was something humourous here, but I forget what it was. Dave and Linda are surprisingly still in good spirits after almost four hours of bushwhacking.
Slogging in vain. Dave and Linda continue up the snow-covered rocks.
TV Peak sucks. Dave's body language pretty much sums up the day.
Not exactly a great day to be out scrambling. Dave passes a small plateau just before the crux section.  Stuart Knob is barely visible in the distance at far left.
I tried going up just right of centre.  I probably should have gone up further to the left. This is the crux wall that would stymie the group's summit attempt.
More misery to come... Linda and Dave retreat down the mountain.
Even as we bushwhacked our way down that miserable forest, I was already formulating a new plan of attack for Television Peak.  Fellow scramblers, Bob Spirko and Dinah Kruze, had earlier climbed Television Peak via Protection Mountain Trail.  Although this approach is longer than Kane's alternate descent route, the fact that there is an excellent trail all the way from road to tree line (i.e. no bushwhacking) was overwhelmingly appealing to me.

On 15 July 2006, I returned to ascend Television Peak via Protection Mountain Trail.  The trail was in excellent shape, but admittedly I was not.  About an hour or so into the hike, I began feeling rather tired and struggled the rest of the way to the old mining camp above tree line.  I stopped for a snack and some juice at the obvious mine entrance above the camp, and this seemed to revitalize me a bit.  Above the mine entrance, I found some good ledges that led me easily up to the summit ridge of Protection Mountain.  Following this ridge southward, I dropped slightly to a col before climbing up to gain the northwest ridge of Television Peak.   Other than one short but awkward down-climb at a notch just before the summit, I encountered no serious difficulties along this ridge.  Still, my progress was generally slow, and I was somewhat surprised that it had taken me six hours to reach the summit.  As I sat inside the TV repeater station signing the summit register, I was tempted to fall asleep and just spend the night there.  Luckily, I came to my senses and began my long descent.  After returning to the aforementioned col, I decided to drop down below the west-facing cliffs instead of climbing back up the summit ridge of Protection Mountain.  This was a bit of a mistake as I had to side-hill bash for quite a long distance and over some challenging terrain to get back to the mining camp.  The sun was already long gone by the time I started down Protection Mountain Trail, and much of the uneventful return hike was done by headlamp.  My round-trip time was a little over 10 hours.
It might be longer, but it sure beats bushwhacking. Sonny hikes up the well-graded Protection Mountain Trail.
I ascended some good ledges at upper left in the photo. The slopes above the mine shaft provide easy access to the summit ridge of Protection Mountain.
Kryptonite? The green colour of this rock is very striking.
That summit is still awfully far away. This is looking toward Television Peak (far right) from the crest of Protection Mountain's summit ridge.
Easy but tedious hiking. Sonny picks his way through a seemingly endless sea of rubble.  At left is the summit ridge of Protection Mountain (the true summit is not visible here).
Doesn't look too bad from here. This is Television Peak and its northwest ridge.
This looks like fun! The northwest ridge offers some great hands-on scrambling.
Best scrambling of the day right here! Sonny looks for a weakness below these rock bands which likely constitute the crux of the northwest ridge.
I nearly had my right foot crushed by a loose rock on the final rubble slope. The summit is now very close.  There is one tricky down-climb at a notch just before the final rubble slope.
Mon dieu.  It's gonna be a long walk back... This is looking back along the northwest ridge from the final rubble slope.  The aforementioned tricky down-climb is just left of centre at the bottom of the photo.
What a grunt! Sonny stands on the 2970-metre summit of Television Peak.
If it had a window, it might not be a bad place to spend a night... Here is the TV repeater station near the summit.
Ugh.  That trudge from Stuart Knob looks even longer and more tiring... The view to the southeast includes (L to R) Helena Ridge, Stuart Knob, and Castle Mountain.
Dave Stephens recently climbed Eisenhower Tower.  I bet that was more fun that slogging up TV Peak. Here is a closer look at (L to R) Stuart Knob, Eisenhower Tower, and the south summit of Castle Mountain.
This basin is probably seldom visited. This is the basin to the north of Television Peak.  The striking peak just right of centre on the horizon is Mount St. Bride.
It's 9:32 PM, and I'm still high up.  It's gonna be another late one... The late day sun illuminates the tops of some distant peaks including Storm Mountain (far left) and Stanley Peak (far right).
I hope an ascent of Mount Assiniboine will be much more memorable than that of Copper Mountain or TV Peak. Copper Mountain (left) and Mount Assiniboine seem oddly juxtaposed in this view from the slopes of Protection Mountain.