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Windtower (West Wind Pass)

Summit Elevation (m): 2688
Elevation Gain (m): 960
Round Trip Time (hr): 3.5
Total Trip Distance (km): 10
Quick ‘n Easy Rating: Class 1/2 – You fall you sprain your ego or your big toe
Difficulty Notes: Easy hiking on a good trail.
GPS Track DownloadDownload GPX File
Technical Rating: TL3; YDS (Hiking)
MapGoogle Maps 


After almost 2 months without a summit and a long family vacation which saw me drive over 5000 kilometers in 2.5 weeks, I was more than ready to get out to the solitude of the Rocky Mountains again! Since I had just driven 10 hours the day before, coming back from visiting family in the Vancouver area, I decided that I would do something fairly low key on Thursday, July 19. I have wanted to hike Windtower for a long time already and this seemed like the perfect day to do just that, so I did.

Windtower / West Wind Pass Route Map

There is nothing dramatic or tricky about this hike / easy scramble. Simply follow the guidebook’s descriptions to West Wind Pass and from there follow an obvious trail traversing climber’s right under the summit slopes before cutting back around the west slopes of easy scree to the summit. 

The trail to West Wind Pass is pleasant. You shouldn’t stray too far to climber’s left though – there are sheep and scrambling trails going up to The Rimwall from the West Wind Pass trail. I was looking out for this and still managed to get too high on climber’s left and had to descend to the right to the correct trail again.
A good trail winds up Windtower from West Wind Pass.

You may be tempted to follow a more direct line but this will involve more risk than necessary – certainly elevating this to more than a hike. There is a good climber’s route up the ridge as well.

Summit views east to Lougheed I, Collembolla, Pigeon and the town of Exshaw. (R to L)
Lougheed I at left and the Spray Lakes corridor at center and right.
Summit view into the Bow Valley includes peaks such as Rimwall, Big Sister, Middle Sister and Little Sister at left.

The summit views into Bow Valley are amazing, with Lougheed I’s spectacular cliffs to the south and The Rimwall to the north. The green valleys of Bow Valley Wildland to the east are delightful. 

Gorgeous views east from West Wind Pass towards Exshaw in the far distance.

I thoroughly enjoyed this short day out on my own – highly recommended.

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