I took advantage of the gorgeous weather on Canada Day for a quick trip up Windtower. I had forgotten much since I last hiked it in 2001. The trail to West Wind Pass was braided in several spots, but the main trail seemed evident enough. At the pass, I noted four trails leading to Windtower; presumably they all converge. Indeed, coming down it would be easy to inadvertently take a different route back to the pass, if it matters.
After the pass, the route swings right to avoid climbing major cliff bands. Instead, it goes up several short bands. After the last cliff band, the trail meanders up a scree slope all the way to the top of Windtower.
On the summit I caught up with a hiker who had passed me earlier. After exchanging names we quickly learned we had a connection. Kevin's partner, Allison, was a cyclist I knew decades ago when I rode with the Elbow Valley Cycling Club. Being in good company, I spent a little longer than I had intended. After a half-hour summit stay, I hastened back down. I particularly enjoyed running down the scree trail that I slogged up minutes ago. On my way down I passed several groups going up, smiling faces everywhere. The trail to West Wind Pass is popular, so start early if you want to avoid the crowds!
Well into the trip I get a glimpse of Windtower (centre)
Approaching West Wind Pass
This is one of four trails I saw that run from the pass to Windtower
Looking northeast across the pass towards Wind Ridge and Grotto Mountain (mouse over)
From where I ended up on the pass I headed to the nearest trail
Looking down at the pass
One of several low cliff bands along the way
The route keeps right and runs through trees
Coming to the last cliff band
After the last cliff band one can look forward to a mindless trudge to the summit
The views behind are much more interesting! (click for a larger image)
The summit is still far off
Heading to the summit from the col, Mounts Lougheed and Sparrowhawk behind
Kevin took a picture of me on the summit
Kevin poses by the summit cairn
Panorama from Windtower
82 J/14 Spray Lakes Reservoir
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