Maze Peak
Bob Spirko invited me to join him and Dinah Kruze for a trip up Maze Peak on Canada Day 2011.  Bob got the idea for this trip from the Rocky Mountain Ramblers (RMR) who, earlier in the year, had made an ascent of this unofficially named peak located about 55 kilometres west of Sundre, Alberta.  After a lengthy drive via Sundre and along a well-maintained gravel road, we started our ascent from a small pullout about 2.5 kilometres southwest of the peak.  The RMR's trip report is vague at best with respect to the route they had taken, and without knowing where they had started from, we simply picked a spot where we thought the bushwhacking would be minimal and headed off into the forest from the road.  We quickly gained elevation through the thinning trees, and in seemingly no time, we were groveling up an open scree slope to gain the crest of Maze Peak's southwest ridge.  Once on this ridge, we followed it up and over a few succeeding bumps to a minor high point which sits between Maze Peak and its western outlier.  After taking a short break here, we dropped down to a broad saddle and began climbing up Maze Peak's west ridge.  An obvious gendarme plus a few other minor obstacles on the ridge broke up the monotony of an otherwise easy plod to the top.  After a 35-minute stay at the summit, we descended back to the broad saddle and then skirted around the minor high point to get to Maze Peak's western outlier just as the RMR had done on their trip.  On the western outlier, we briefly contemplated an alternate route off the mountain, but since the southwest ridge was so straightforward for our ascent, we decided to return the same way.  We retraced our steps back to the minor high point and skirted around it to regain the southwest ridge.  From there, we enjoyed a hassle-free descent back to our starting point.

Be sure to check out Bob's and Dinah's photos here.
Know why it's called Labyrinth Mountain? 'Cause you'll get lost looking for the summit in those trees up there! Dinah heads up the steep slope opposite Labyrinth Mountain.
This scree is not bad on descent. Dinah almost reaches the crest of the ridge.
We would eventually scramble over that nipple of rock at far left. Here is the first clear view of Maze Peak from the ridge.  The route goes up and over the bump on the far left and eventually climbs up the left skyline ridge.
More good ol' scree bashing coming up! Bob and Dinah approach the base of the next steep section of the ridge.
The scree here was a bit unpleasant, but thankfully this section is short. Dinah climbs up the steep slope.
This was an odd part of the ridge which looked rather like a fault line. The rocky knob ahead can either be tackled head on or circumvented on the right.
This was actually pretty tricky to downclimb on the way back. Bob scrambles up the rocky knob.
Sim Galloway nicknamed this as Ya Ha Tinda peak. Here is a view of Maze Peak's western outlier.
Yay, I beat Dinah up here!! Bob and Dinah arrive at a minor high point (2194 metres) between Maze Peak and its western outlier.  The peak at left in the distance is unofficially named Mount Minos (obviously named because of its proximity to Labyrinth Mountain).
It's another 45 minutes to the top from here. Dinah and Bob cross a broad saddle separating the minor high point and Maze Peak.
Bob and I tackled it head on. Guess what Dinah did? This gendarme on the west ridge can also be tackled head on or circumvented on the right.
The west ridge is easy to moderate scrambling. Bob and Dinah continue climbing up Maze Peak's west ridge.
Are you sure that's not another false summit? There are a few minor obstacles just before the summit.
We can call it Bob's Arch! Bob discovers a small arch in the ridge.
Yayyyyy!!! Sonny, Dinah and Bob stand on the 2397-metre summit of Maze Peak.
Devils Head remains one of my favourite scrambles ever! Some of the peaks visible on the southern horizon include Black Rock Mountain (far left) and Devils Head (right).
How does a forested summit like Labyrinth Mountain get official status? Labyrinth Mountain sits to the southwest.  On the horizon at right is Barrier Mountain.
Not to be confused with Barrier Lake Lookout (Yates Mountain) which some people also call "Barrier Mountain". Here is a closer look at Barrier Mountain.
It's actually the tip of Barrier Mountain's northwest ridge. Warden Rock stands guard at the entrance to Banff National Park on the south side of the Red Deer River.
Looks rather green with algae. Polluted perhaps? Immediately north is James Lake.
Can you spot Bob and Dinah? This is looking west from the summit of Maze Peak.  The western outlier is at right.
At least Bob and I bagged this gendarme on the way up... On their way down, Bob and Dinah circumvent the gendarme on the west ridge.
Good hands-on stuff! Dinah scrambles up a rock band to get back on route.
Ya Ha Tinda, here we come-a! Bob and Dinah hike along a convenient game trail toward the western outlier.
Some more good hands-on stuff! Bob and Dinah climb up some short cliff bands.
Second peak of the day? Dinah and Bob are nearly at the top of the western outlier.
Most of the ridges to the north are officially unnamed. The western outlier grants a more comprehensive view of Eagle Lake and James Pass to the north.
Lots of places worth exploring here. This is the view to the northwest.
FUI of the Day: A 'dormer' is a structural protrusion from a sloping roof. The prominent peak to the southwest is Dormer Mountain.
The elevation here is probably about 2220 metres. Bob and Dinah admire the views from the top of the western outlier.
Looks impressive from this angle. This is the view of Maze Peak from its western outlier.
Token flower picture. These mountain avens were among the many wildflowers in bloom on this day.
An unexpected gem of a trip--thanks to Bob and the Rocky Mountain Ramblers!

Total Distance:  7.7 kilometres (estimated)
Round-Trip Time:  6 hours 4 minutes
Net Elevation Gain:  843 metres