Wilcox, Mount

Trip Details
Attained Summit?: 
Yes
Trip Date: 
Friday, September 14, 2007
Summit Elevation (m): 
2,884
Summit Elevation (ft): 
9,462
Trip Report

Trip Report

After scrambling up Nigel Peak we headed for Wilcox Peak...

The hike across the Wilcox Pass meadows was extremely pleasant with the fall colors in full force and the spectacular views towards the ice fields combined with a very warm, windless day. We spotted some massive mountain sheep along the way.

I had calculated that we had roughly another 600 meters of height gain to get back up Mount Wilcox after descending Nigel Peak all the way back to the meadows. Rod concluded quite quickly that 1800 meters of height gain the day before doing Mount Temple was probably not a good idea for him personally but that I should feel free to "go ahead"! So, leaving Rod to a nice snooze in the meadow I made my way slowly up towards Mount Wilcox.

I was surprised, and a wee bit disappointed, by the massive trail snaking its way to the top of Mount Wilcox. It did make my life a bit easier, as I was feeling my legs by the time I got near the summit but it also made it seem a bit 'touristy'. I did meet a couple people on the way up and down but not too many on this fabulous day (probably because it wasn't the weekend yet). If you follow the trail and the cairns you will end up traversing most of the mountain on climbers right, till you get to the summit ridge where you will go over a few exposed moves (only moderate terrain on the mountain) before finding yourself on the summit with another killer view. A nice switch from Nigel Peak was that I could clearly see Mount Bryce from this angle, where I couldn't see it from Nigel!

The funny part about Wilcox is that the views are actually a bit better from the lower, south summit area, and even from about half way up. Once you're actually on the summit, part of the mountain blocks your view towards the lower ice fields near the tongue of the Athabasca Glacier. Of course the views of North Twin, Twins Tower, Woolley, Diadem and Alberta are awesome from the summit!

On my way down the mountain I ran into Rod on his way up. He got bored and started hiking to meet me, lucky for him he was at one of the best view points (about half way up the ridge) when I met him so he didn't have to go any further (he didn't care too much about this summit). After some photos and a nice break we headed back down through the gorgeous Wilcox Pass meadows and back to the parking lot. Our round trip time including all breaks and both summits was around 9.5 hours. I would highly recommend saving yourself 6 hours of driving to bag a 'small' peak like Mount Wilcox and combine it with Nigel Peak, providing you are up to a day of 1800 meters in elevation gain and probably 12-15km of walking.


 
The mountain sheep were so big we though they were elk for a moment!

 
The meadows up to Wilcox Pass were gorgeous with their fall colors.
 
Rod heads for the pass with Wilcox Peak to his left.
 
Mount Wilcox.
 
Nigel Peak is on the left hand side of the photo.
 
Typical terrain on the upper ridge of Wilcox Peak.
 
A closer look at the snowy summit mass of Nigel Peak.
 
Vern on the summit of Wilcox Peak.
 
Looking north up the icefields parkway.
 
Looking south down the icefields parkway. Nigel Peak on left.
  
North Twin and Twins Tower are just as cool looking from here as from Nigel Peak.
 
Ahhhh. I couldn't see Bryce from Nigel...
 
Athabasca.
 
Mount Alberta in B+W.
 
Sunwapta Peak is a beauty from this angle.
 
Yet another close up of the upper slopes of Nigel Peak.
 
Tangle Ridge and Sunwapta showing their relative positions and size.
 
My favorite view off Wilcox Peak of the Athabasca glacier and surrounding peaks.
 
Rod takes in the views from half way down Wilcox.
 
The meadows were simple 'sublime'. That water tasted pretty good after a long day too!!
 
Rod is lost among the great colors and views off the Wilcox Pass trail.
 
One look back at the pass...
 
...and one last look at Nigel Peak before heading into the trees again.