On Sunday, June 17, I joined Neil and Andrea at Canmore on a 2-peak-day trip. Due to the forecasted thunderstorm in afternoon, we decided to meet at 7am, and start scrambling by 7:30. That way, we should be able to at least summit Windtower. The unsigned trailhead is just before reaching the Spurling Creek. There is a pull off on the right side of highway which can fit about 5 cars. Seeing how much snow left on the upper slope, we left ice axes in the car.
Neil is extremely fit and he set up a super fast pace on the initial West Wind Pass trail. I felt a bit short of energy due to the 1800m elevation gain on Saturday, and I had to push myself hard to catch up his speed. Apart from stopping at several viewpoints to take pictures of Spray Lake, we reached West Wind Pass in no time. The wind speed was about 30-40kph, and we continued a bit further towards the pass to take in the view of the other side. The most eye-catching feature is the green Wind Ridge.
There are several ways to get to Windtower. The hardcore route will be directly approaching from the Pass, which involves overcoming cliff bands. So, Shuan, and Dan did this in winter and the route looks sketchy. In June, the trail is clearly visible, and we decided to do the normal way, which initially contours around treeline for about 1km, while overcoming several 1m rock bands. After the last band, the trail turns sharply left and the rest is just a numbing slog up scree slope.
The weather was still cloudy as we got to the summit. We could see the impressive east face of Rimwall and the north face of Mount Lougheed. We discussed about Lougheed and none of us has done it. I will do it when the snow melts. Spray Lake and Goat Range fill in the view towards southwest. This is my first time seeing the melted Spray Lake, which is quite different from winter.
We didn't stay too long and soon started the descent. The scree was generally comfortable to descent and we soon got back to West Wind Pass. On the way down, we studied the route up Rimwall.