Jimmy Simpson, Mount


Trip Details
Mountain Range: 
Mountain Subrange: 
Attained Summit?: 
Trip Date: 
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Summit Elevation (m): 
Summit Elevation (ft): 
Elevation Gain (m): 
Round Trip Time: 
Total Distance (km): 
Quick 'n Easy Rating: 
Class 3 : you fall, you break your leg
Difficulty Notes: 

Winter ascent includes serious avalanche risks. Learn how to manage these risks and perform avalanche burial rescues before attempting this trip.


Trip Report

I made it this time! After a previous attempt at the summit of Jimmy Simpson with Raff and Josh in January of 2007 I returned 3.5 years later and bagged it via the other side on a gorgeous fall day. Ironically there was probably more snow in October than we had on our first attempt in January.


!!Attention!! explor8ion.com is being updated and trip reports migrated to a new site while this one is still operational. The new version of this trip report can be found at https://verndewit.com/2010/10/16/jimmy-simpson-mount/ and contains more photos in a modern format. For more information on this move and possible future changes please click here.



Hi Vern,

First of all, I only found your site today, but I absolutely love it! I've already spent hours looking at the mountains Alberta has to offer and all of the summits you've logged. Thank you for taking the time to record all of your adventures for the benefit of others!

I've read your log of your summit of Mt. Jimmy Simpson in October and was wondering: what do you think the avalanche conditions on that route would be in early January? You mention that hiking in winter generally comes with serious avalanche risk, but you don't mention any particular instances of high avalanche danger in that log. My two friends and I will be in Banff this January and are looking for a fantastic hiking/snowshoeing route, and Mt. Jimmy Simpson certainly seems to fit that description based on your pictures! We are not afraid of a strenuous hike, and we have done many winter hikes, but we don't have much avalanche knowledge because we are from Northeast US where avalanches really aren't an issue (although we plan to learn everything we can about avalanche safety before we arrive in Banff). Any insight into this trail, or a recommendation for a different peak if you don't think we should attempt this one, would be very helpful!

Thank you!!

Hey Bryan,

I Hope you're having a wonderful holiday season and glad my site could be of some assistance to you in planning trips to the wonderful Canadian Rockies.
I have to say that the Rockies - especially on the Alberta side - are extremely tricky when it comes to avalanches and avalanche risks. There are many reasons for this but the main ones are cold temperatures, high winds and comparatively little amounts of snow.
For example, Windtower (http://www.explor8ion.com/scramble/windtower.html) is a very easy hike - even in winter, and some experienced mountaineers were just caught in an avalanche and swept 1000 feet downslope the other day! (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/wind-mountain-avalanche-scramblers-kananaskis-1.3906770)
I would have to strongly caution you against scrambling peaks with significant avalanche risk in January, that would include Jimmy Simpson. Spring time is much safer in the Rockies thanks to more snow, warmer temperatures and better bonding of the snowpack as a result.
There are definitely some great snowshoeing trips you could do, with excellent views and very little avalanche risk, but please be aware that if you're on any slope with snow, there is always some risk. Here's some other trips that are much safer and will still wow you with their views;
My friend, Andrew Nugara also wrote a couple of good guidebooks on snowshoeing the Rockies. Whatever else you do, please check the avalanche warnings and conditions at http://www.avalanche.ca including;
I would strongly advise against any trips on snow slopes when the warning levels are above "Low" or "Moderate". I've done many trips in winter and to this day I will not tempt fate when ratings are at "Considerable" or higher. I simply stay home or go xcountry skiing or resort skiing on those days.
I hope I didn't come across as preachy, but too many folks die in avalanches around here every year and I would hate for you to join them! Take care and have a blast out there!

Hey there,
My fiancé and I are really i terest in this hike but we'll be ataying in Japaer. It says it is 190ish kms away and that it will take 5+hrs to get there. Any insights/verification on this?
Additionally, I doublechecked the diatance from the Athabasca Glacier )90km away) and it said 4ish hours from there PLUS private roads that may be inaccessible. Wondering your thoughts.

Hi Brandon,

It should only be about 2.5 hours from Jasper and there are no private roads. Make sure you go early in the day to avoid headache traffic on Hwy 93. The parking lot is the Bow Lake parking lot - no idea why it says it's "private" but the hiking trail starts at the Num-Ti-Ja lodge so maybe that's why.

I would absolutely love to do this hike. I'm planning a trip in late June through July 4th I'll be staying at the lake louise alpine center on village road. Just wondering if you could give me any additional information on this hike. I see you park at Bow lake parking lot and the trail starts at the num ti ja lodge is the trailhead clearly marked and is there any trail app or map to follow? how long is the hike from start to finish on average? appreciate it.

Hey Erik, I see this mountain bears your name. Any relation to Jimmy? :) If you look at the top of the trip report there is a map along with a GPS track. You can download this track and use it on many different devices, including your smart phone. I use ViewRanger on my iPhone (see http://www.explor8ion.com/smart-phone-navigation.html for details). If you simply Google the scramble, it's become very popular over the years and you should have no issues figuring a route out. Beware that this is Canada and much less tourist-friendly than you might be used to. This trail starts out "official" (Bow Falls) but quickly becomes "unofficial". There are no signs and more than one way to the top. If you aren't careful you can easily get into dangerous terrain. Use your head and look for flagging or rock cairns. Don't go up anything you're not willing to come back down and wear a helmet.

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