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An Ascent of the Standard Route on Windtower
Timestamp Free: 2019.03.23 - 12:44:31
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / Canadian Rockies / Continental Ranges / Front Ranges
  (1 days)
Participants: Harry Spier, Len Potter, Reg Bonney, Rick Collier
Difficulty: 5: Up to 5.6 on final pitch; loose rock throughout.
An account of an ascent of the NE ridge of Wind Tower and descent to Spray Lake
Windtower (8850'/2997m) is an interesting and recommended rock climb; it can be done in a day and has an easy descent route from the summit. Its only drawback is the same drawback that afflicts most of the Rockies: a great deal of the rock is loose and therefore objective dangers can be high.

The standard rock-climbing route is the NE ridge, first ascended in July of 1965 by Miss B. Corbeau, Gordon Crocker, and H. Hahn. Before starting the climb, it is probably wise to position a vehicle on the Smith-Dorrien Road for pick up - this will take about an extra hour and half of driving to do so. The best point to park this vehicle is at the intersection of an unnamed drainage with Smith-Dorrien where it curves from SE to S (82 J/14 GR 178484).

The approach is from Dead Man's Flats and follows old access and logging roads up West Wind Creek to the meadows between Wind Tower and Wind Ridge (see 82 0/3) for about 6 km. Wind Tower is the prominent sculpted pillar with extensive N faces in front of and to the NW of Mt. Lougheed. Ascent up the NE ridge is fairly straightforward until the final 500-600'. One then must enter something of a 'bowling alley' - a prominent gully leading directly up to some formidably blank walls. Parties should stay on the right-hand side of the gully and climb very carefully since the rock here is quite loose; the climbing is, however, mostly scrambling, with the odd easy fifth class set of moves.

At the top end of this gully, things get more interesting: one must first move off right and up across a ledge and then a face on secure holds, but with airy stances, and then move back left and up along an arete. Here is where our party of four encountered some serious rockfall problems - the leader had not positioned his rope sufficiently out of...

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