Little Hector And Mount Andromache
Taking advantage of the excellent weather in Banff National Park on 29 May 2005, I headed up the Icefields Parkway to scramble up Little Hector (unofficially named northwest outlier of Mount Hector) and then traverse Mount Andromache (also unofficially named).  Following a good trail beside Hector Creek, I made good progress into the upper valley leading to Hector Pass.  I nearly sank to my waist upon stepping through one of the first snow patches I encountered in this valley.  That was not a good portent of things to come as I looked up at all the snow still clinging to the upper reaches of Little Hector.  Except for a short slabby section which provided the most enjoyable scrambling of the day, I spent most of my time and energy struggling up either knee-deep snow or treadmill rubble.  More than four hours after leaving my car, I finally tagged the cairn on top of Little Hector.  This would have been the perfect day to while away a few hours ogling the myriad of peaks in all directions, but as soon as I was done snapping my requisite photos, my attention quickly turned to Mount Andromache.  Despite my growing exhaustion, I had a nagging feeling that the bulk of the day's work was still ahead of me.
Cool and refreshing. This is the first waterfall encountered on the trail up Hector Creek.
Hector Pass in itself would make a fine day hike. Sonny tries to avoid the snow in the upper valley.  Bow Peak dominates the background.
Baby Trojan This is Little Hector.  Sonny would eventually ascend the rubble slope at far right before going up the right-hand skyline.
I actually sank to my hips when I tried to stand on the snow right beside the cairn. Sonny stands on top of Little Hector (3125 metres).
Possible future scramble? This is Mount Willingdon (3373 metres) with the left peak being the highest.
Though it's extrememly hard to make out, Mount Sir Donald is actually visible in this photo. Hector Lake and snowy Mount Balfour garner a lot of attention to the west.  It's worth noting how unusually deep blue the colour of Hector Lake is on this day (it's usually turquoise due to glacial suspensions).
More 11,000ers than you can shake a stick at! This view to the southwest includes such big peaks as Mounts Temple (left), Lefroy (centre), Victoria (right), and the Goodsir Towers (far right).
A rare glimpse of Mount Forbes. In this view to the northwest, the striking peak on the horizon at left is Mount Forbes (3612 metres).
Ice Ice Baby! Mount Hector and the Hector Glacier
Although descending Little Hector was straightforward, I had some difficulty getting across Hector Pass because of the abundance of deep snow.  My pace slowed considerably as I hiked up more loose rubble on the other side of the valley.  Higher up, I avoided the big snow patches as much as possible, and after what seemed like an eternity, I finally topped out on the unnamed peak southeast of Mount Andromache.  What I saw was a little troubling.  A veritable carpet of snow covered much of the intervening ridge between the two summits, but I was more alarmed by the amount of snow plastering Mount Andromache's northwest ridge--my exit route.  The day was already getting late, and the option of returning the long way via Hector Pass was becoming more unsavoury by the minute.  I decided to press on with the hopes that the descent down my snowy exit route would not be too problematic.  As I traversed the intervening ridge between the unnamed peak and Mount Andromache, I was able to stick to bare rocks for much of the way, but the last stretch of snow before the summit was unavoidable.  Mercifully, the snow here had not softened up that much yet, and I easily tramped up the last few metres to the top.  Incredibly, it had taken me almost five hours to go from the top of Little Hector to Mount Andromache's summit.

As it turned out, the snow along the northwest ridge was not as bad as I had anticipated, and I had less problems descending that than some of the ankle-breaking rubble slopes further down.  After a long and tiring stumble down the mountain, I regained the Icefields Parkway and savoured every step on dry, flat pavement back to my car.  My round-trip time was a fat 12.5 hours.
Another long haul ahead... Mount Andromache (left) and Unnamed
I actually ended up ascending the crack on the left instead. Tired of all the snow and rubble, Sonny looks for something more solid to climb on.
Smell something burning? A strange, reddish cloud appears in the distance behind Little Hector.
I avoided the snow and detoured left. Sonny approaches the top of the unnamed peak.
There's no turning back now! From the top of the unnamed peak, this is the view of the intervening ridge to Mount Andromache.
Mind the cornices! The final summit block looks a little intimidating with all the snow.
Click here to see a real "Kane Trooper"! Sonny holds up the register canister on the summit of Mount Andromache (2996 metres).
Best view of the day in my opinion. Mount Hector (3394 metres) and Little Hector dominate the view to the south.
May God bless this snow or else grant me the ability to levitate! This is looking down the northwest ridge from the summit.
Great place for tobogganing! This is the unnamed peak as seen from Mount Andromache's northwest ridge.
A truly golden day! The late day sun adds colour to these cliff bands on the lower mountain.