Mount Tonsa - Peak 4, 3,054 metres is just to the left of Mount Bowlen, 3,072 metres (peak 3) as viewed from the doorway of the Alpine Club of Canada's, Neil Colgan Hut.
Mount Tonsa is situated in the valley called "The Valley of the Ten Peaks" which explains the name. While most of the others have names this one does not, at least according to Sean Dougherty's "Selected Climbs in the Canadian Rockies"
The others in the area are:
Mount Fay (Peak 1)
Mount Little (Peak 2)
Mount Bowlen (Peak 3)
Mount Tonsa (Peak 4)
Mount Perren (Peak 5)
Mount Allen (Peak 6)
Mount Turzo (Peak 7)
Mount Deltaform (Peak 8)
I am unsure of the other two but I will assume Mount Bable and Mount Quadra fill in the other two spaces on the list.
Peak 4 is one of the scrambles in the area of the ten peaks once you have reached the hut. Its route description is very similar to Mount Bowlen as well. The guide book mentions this as very straightforward with no technical difficulties. Heading across the glacier to the left of the hut and straight up the face. It is approximately 2-3 hours round trip from this point. This can be done in a morning allowing you plenty of time to do another peak or descend to Moraine lake and out. The difficulty here is the approach to the Neil Colgan hut. There are two recommended approaches The Perren Route
and the Schiesser Ledges. Bank on 5-6 hours to get to the Hut from Moraine Lake.
You will have to get yourself to Lake Louise. From Calgary take the Trans Canada (1) west through Canmore, Banff, then Drive to Lake Louise along the #1. After driving by the Samson Mall area continue along the road up towards the Chateau. Take the signed left turn towards Moraine Lake.
Park in the lot and follow the trail right along Moraine lake. You will pass the trail up to the Larch valley for those headed to Mount Temple
and or Eiffel Peak
. Continue all the way along till you get to the end of the lake. Here you will have to cross the inlet stream twice. There is a cable to hang onto and logs and stones to walk on. They can be slippery so be careful unless you want wet feet. Once you cross these you follow the trail winding through some small trees till you reach the rock and rubble. At this point you bear left more for the Perren Route and more to the right for the Schiesser Ledges.
A parks pass is needed. This can be purchaed at the East Gate, in Banff and in Lake Louise.
Trails can be closed due to bear activity but this rarely involved the trail/routes to the Neil Colgan hut. No parking restrictions but the space can fill up with day tripper and busses so an early start is recommended if you are overnighting.
A reservation is needed to stay at the Neil Colgan hut. Contact the Alpine Club of Canada
Staying at the Hut is 18$ for members. The guidebook mentions it has room for 24 comfortably but we counted only 16 mats albeit large ones.
Two good working propaine stoves. Lamps as well. New ventilation helps with the rooms tendency to steam up. Comfortable place when there are just three of you. Would be interesting to see full. Please leave the place cleaner than when you arrived.
When To Climb
Niel Colgan Hut
The summer months are the most popular June through September.
of JB Alpine Services
Excellent guide recommended for here, Mount Logan, Mt. Robson as well as other peaks in the region.
Telephone: (403) 678-2576
Yamnuska Mountain Guides
comes well recommended as well. Robson Trips among others.
Suite 200 Summit Centre
50 Lincoln Park
Canmore, Alberta Canada
toll free: 1 866 678 4164
tel.: +1 403 678 4164
Fax: +1 403 678 4450
CIRRUS Alpine guides
CIRRUS Alpine Guides
Canmore, Alberta, Canada
Tel: (403) 678 8567 Fax: (403) 609 6667
Joining a club such as The Alpine Club of Canada is recommended when climbing in Canada. While it is not obligatory, useful information can be had at any of their main Clubhouse in Canmore, or at their website which is open to everyone. A reservation is needed to stay at the hut. Contact the Alpine Club of Canada
Staying at the Hut is 18$ for members.
www.weatheroffice.com or (403) 762-2088 for weather conditions.
Banff Warden Office (403) 762-4506 for route info.
Lake Louise Warden Office (403) 522-3866