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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.
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)
Summit view into the Bow Valley includes peaks such as Rimwall, Big Sister, Middle Sister and Little Sister at left.
Lougheed I at left and the Spray Lakes corridor at center and right.

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.

Windtower & West Wind Pass
Looking back from the pleasant approach trail to West Wind Pass.
Looking back from the pleasant approach trail to West Wind Pass.
The trail to West Wind Pass is pleasant. You shouldn't stray too far to climber's left though
The trail to West Wind Pass is pleasant. You shouldn't stray too far to climber's left though
The trail to West Wind Pass
The trail to West Wind Pass
The trail to West Wind Pass
The trail to West Wind Pass
The trail to West Wind Pass
The trail to West Wind Pass
As I neared the pass, I took the obvious trail to climber's right, cutting back west underneath the summit of Windtower - seen on the left of this photo.
As I neared the pass, I took the obvious trail to climber's right, cutting back west underneath the summit of Windtower - seen on the left of this photo.
Looking over West Wind Pass.
Looking over West Wind Pass.
Looking at Spray Lakes from West Wind Pass.
Looking at Spray Lakes from West Wind Pass.
Rimwall and West Wind Pass.
Rimwall and West Wind Pass.
Rimwall and West Wind Pass.
Rimwall and West Wind Pass.
Rimwall and West Wind Pass.
Rimwall and West Wind Pass.
Ascending easy scree on Windtower.
Ascending easy scree on Windtower.
Rimwall and West Wind Pass.
Rimwall and West Wind Pass.
Ascending easy scree on Windtower.
Ascending easy scree on Windtower.
Views back along the Spray Lakes.
Views back along the Spray Lakes.
Views back along the Spray Lakes.
Views back along the Spray Lakes.
Ascending easy scree on Windtower.
Ascending easy scree on Windtower.
Lougheed I looms over the ascent route for Windtower.
Lougheed I looms over the ascent route for Windtower.
Lougheed I looms over the ascent route for Windtower. Some people have used Windtower's approach for the approach to Lougheed I.
Lougheed I looms over the ascent route for Windtower. Some people have used Windtower's approach for the approach to Lougheed I.
Summit view into the Bow Valley includes peaks such as Rimwall, Big Sister, Middle Sister and Little Sister at left.
Summit view into the Bow Valley includes peaks such as Rimwall, Big Sister, Middle Sister and Little Sister at left.
I couldn't believe how pretty the meadows of Bow Valley Wildland are from the summit of Windtower! The three sisters are visible behind The Rimwall.
I couldn't believe how pretty the meadows of Bow Valley Wildland are from the summit of Windtower! The three sisters are visible behind The Rimwall.
Summit views east to Lougheed I, Collembolla, Pigeon and the town of Exshaw. (R to L)
Summit views east to Lougheed I, Collembolla, Pigeon and the town of Exshaw. (R to L)
Clouds are pouring in from the east over Mount Fable.
Clouds are pouring in from the east over Mount Fable.
Little Sister.
Little Sister.
Lougheed I and the Spray Lakes corridor.
Lougheed I and the Spray Lakes corridor.
Looking towards Mount Shark and Commonwealth with even King George showing up at far left in the distance.
Looking towards Mount Shark and Commonwealth with even King George showing up at far left in the distance.
Mount Nestor.
Mount Nestor.
Mount Nestor and Old Goat.
Mount Nestor and Old Goat.
Mount Allan.
Mount Allan.
Looking west over the town of Canmore towards peaks such as ST, Buffalo Point, Girouard, Aylmer.
Looking west over the town of Canmore towards peaks such as ST, Buffalo Point, Girouard, Aylmer.
Little Sister.
Little Sister.
One more pano of the gorgeous Bow Valley Wildlands.
One more pano of the gorgeous Bow Valley Wildlands.
Lougheed I.
Lougheed I.
Some color on the drab landscape under Lougheed I.
Some color on the drab landscape under Lougheed I.
Hiking back down to West Wind Pass.
Hiking back down to West Wind Pass.
Hiking back down to West Wind Pass.
Hiking back down to West Wind Pass.
Hiking back down to West Wind Pass.
Hiking back down to West Wind Pass.
Gorgeous panorama looking east from West Winds Pass.
Gorgeous panorama looking east from West Winds Pass.
View of Windtower from West Wind Pass.
View of Windtower from West Wind Pass.
Asters and Butterflies.
Asters and Butterflies.

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