Windy Point Ridge (Talus, Buckle)

Summit Elevation (m): 2302
Trip Date: Friday, September 18 2020
Elevation Gain (m): 1100
Round Trip Time (hr): 5
Total Trip Distance (km): 9
Quick ‘n Dirty Rating: Class 2/3 – you fall, you sprain something
Difficulty Notes: A pretty easy scramble for the most part. There are options to make things much harder. One moderate step to Talus Peak, otherwise easy scrambling and hiking.
Technical Rating: SC6
MapGoogle Maps

After hiking Allstones Ridge in the morning, I decided it was time to pad the summit stats with a trip up Windy Point Ridge (The Lookout), Talus Peak and The Buckle. Of course, none of these are even official summits but who cares right? As long as the Internet says they are – they are. No? The smoke was thick in the air and it was very warm as I parked the truck at the Windy Point parking area on Hwy 11 and prepped for my 2nd hike of the day. I know a lot of folks wouldn’t even bother hiking in these conditions and while I understand that attitude, I do not share it. The way I look at it, we hike in clouds, in rain and in blizzards, so why not in smoky conditions? Sure! There’s the health argument against exercising in smoke but honestly, there’s always health reasons not to do things. If smoke becomes a very regular thing in our lives (and it might) I will likely be forced to give up a lot of my outdoor activities. I think a few hikes in smoke isn’t going to be any worse for me than a half dozen other bad habits of mine.

The Lookout, Talus Peak and The Buckle Route Map

As with the Allstones Ridge hike, please see other trip reports for what you probably want your views to be on this scramble. I have to admit that I had some regrets about choosing such a hazy, smoky day for this one, but c’est la vie. I’ve had many good views this year and I’ll have many more. I have not been lacking in the views department in 2020! The scrambling on this trip was actually quite fun for the most part. I kept things easy since I was solo and not really looking to stress out. I met one couple coming down as I was heading up but other than that I was all alone for the rest of the afternoon – much less busy than Allstones Lake!

Smoky views back down the SE ridge over Windy Point and my truck. I didn’t park in the parking lot for some reason.
There are many different routes up the SE ridge. I chose slabs on ascent and scree where possible on descent.
There is some exposure off the SE ridge. You can easily get lost in the open terrain too.

The trail to The Lookout is steep with some slabby bits and pebbles on slab. I wouldn’t recommend this easy scramble for families due to some of the exposure and the relentless angle – UP. From The Lookout I was surprised how far Talus Peak looked and decided I’d head over to it first, before tackling The Buckle. This worked well.

Summit views to Abraham (L), Talus (C) and The Buckle (R). I will do Talus Peak next and then come back to ascend The Buckle.

I enjoyed the few sections of moderate scrambling to Talus Peak which contained a summit register. I spent a few minutes napping in the dead-calm air (a rarity for this area) before starting back down towards The Buckle.

Talus Peak is a moderate scramble along the ridge and using scree benches were possible -such as at left here.
Summit views from Talus Peak include The Buckle and The Lookout. Mount Michener is barely visible across Abraham Lake.

I think there are much harder routes than the one I took up The Buckle, going left and then up the NW side. Even where I went there was plenty of loose rock and boulders ready to roll around and injure – caution was required. I took another short nap at the summit of The Buckle before heading back down.

Summit views over The Lookout (R) and Abraham Lake from The Buckle.
Descending a handy scree ledge along The Buckle towards The Lookout.

I found myself liking this short outing more than I thought I would and will be back sometime when conditions are much clearer for the wonderful views of Abraham Lake that I missed thanks to some idiots’ gender reveal party somewhere in California

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