Nigel Peak
Given the hot weather forecast for 14 July 2007, I thought it would be a good time to ascend Nigel Peak near the Columbia Icefields in Jasper National Park.  Joining me on this trip were Wietse Bylsma, Sam Sandouga, and Kelly Smith.  Starting up the trail to Wilcox Pass, we missed Alan Kane's suggested turn-off and ended up hiking a bit further west along the trail than we should have, but once we cleared the trees, we simply made a beeline toward the lower scree slope of Nigel Peak.   We again got off-route near the top of the scree slope and had to scramble up some difficult cliff bands to reach the crest of the ridge above.  The rest of our ascent went pretty much without a hitch as we continued along the connecting ridge and traversed a big snow slope before scrambling up the final ridge to the summit.  We spent a pleasant hour at the top before making a trouble-free descent highlighted by a nice glissade down the big snow slope and a fast scree run back down to the meadows of Wilcox Pass.  Our round-trip time was a leisurely 8 hours, but it was time well-spent on a fine peak with some excellent company.

Be sure to check out Wietse's photos of this trip.
Thank goodness we brought bug repellent as the mosquitoes were bad early in the day. Kelly hikes up the grassy slopes near Wilcox Pass.  Sam is not far behind.
Sam was a climbing machine on this day! Sam ascends the lower scree slope.
Appears to be smaller everytime I see it. The morning sun shines on the Athabaska Glacier.
Wietse has been scrambling for only a little over a year, and he already has over 40 summits under his belt. Wietse takes a break on the way up.
Wonder what he's listening to? Kelly listens to his iPod as he climbs up the scree slope.
Fifth highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. Twins Tower (3627 metres) appears through a gap.
Much more enjoyable than the scree lower down. Wietse tackles some slabs higher up.
This is NOT Kane's route! Sam scrambles up some steep cliff bands.
We're already about 3 hours into the scramble at this point. Sam and Wietse hike toward the high point of the ridge.
The 20th highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. This is a close-up of Mount Athabaska (3491 metres).
Mount Andromeda is the 27th highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. Kelly trudges up more scree with Mounts Athabaska and Andromeda (3450 metres) dominating the view to the southwest.
This basin is probably seldom visited. This is looking northwest to Wilcox Lake from the high point of the ridge. 
Snow Dome and Mount Kitchener are, respectively, the 24th and 18th highest peaks in the Canadian Rockies. Kelly pauses on the high point of the ridge to admire the views of Athabaska Glacier, Snow Dome (3456 metres), Dome Glacier, and Mount Kitchener (3505 metres).
Still have a lot of climbing ahead of us! Kelly hikes along the connecting ridge to Nigel Peak.
If you look closely at upper right, you can see Sam scrambling up the cliff band. Wietse detours around a cliff band along the connecting ridge.
The snow was a bit too soft for climbing efficiently.  It was better to go up the scree. Wietse and Sam work their way up the slope.
Climbing up the snow slope was hard work. Kelly climbs directly up the snow slope.  Wilcox Lake and Tangle Ridge can be seen in the distance.
North Twin is the fourth highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. North Twin (3684 metres) and Twins Tower look impressive to the west.
Sam did a great job breaking trail through the snow. Wietse and Sam traverse across the snow slope.
Hard not to be distracted by the awesome scenery. Kelly is still working his way up the snow slope.
Kelly was also breaking in a new pair of boots on this day. Kelly is still all smiles.
This was the most enjoyable part of the ascent for me. Sam leads the way up the final ridge to the summit.
The area in front of the ridge is still part of Banff National Park. The ridge to the north has some rather interesting colour striations.
You can barely see Wietse just a bit further up the ridge. Kelly starts up the final ridge.
Fun scrambling here! Kelly approaches the steepest section of the final ridge.  Wietse is near the top of this section.
It was a pleasure scrambling with these guys! Kelly, Sonny, Sam, and Wietse gather around the cairn on the 3211-metre summit of Nigel Peak.
All we need now is a couple of beers! Wietse and Sam celebrate their summit success by smoking some cigarillos.
Mount Wooley and Diadem Peak are, respectively, the 35th and 43rd highest peaks in the Canadian Rockies. This is looking west to Mount Wooley (3405 metres) and Diadem Peak (3371 metres).
The valley beyond is part of the Brazeau Loop, a popular backpacking trip. This is an unnamed ridge to the northeast of Nigel Peak.  Interestingly, Nigel Pass is just to the right of the ridge.
An exceptionally beautiful day to be on this summit. A wealth of peaks stretches to the southeast horizon in this view from the summit.
Hard to leave the summit on such a gorgeous day. Wietse and Kelly begin their descent from the summit.  The pointy peak in the distance at centre is Sunwapta Peak.
The snow slope is actually part of the glacier clinging to Nigel Peak's north face. Wietse hikes down some rubble while Kelly slides down the adjoining snow slope.
Get ready for a great glissade! The group retraces their steps partway across the snow slope on the south side of Nigel Peak.
Sam was a bit banged up after this glissade. Sam glissades the snow slope.
Despite the heat, the snow was not bad for traversing. After the glissade, the group traverses across some more snow to regain the connecting ridge.
A pretty easy descent. The group works their way down the connecting ridge.
Wish we had weather like this on that summit. Here is a close-up of Sunwapta Peak.
Mount Alberta is the sixth highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. This view to the west includes, from front to back, unnamed, Mount Wilcox, Mount Cromwell (3330 metres) and Mount Engelhard (3270 metres), and Mount Alberta (3619 metres).
That snow slope below looks tantalizingly fun! Here is one last look at Wilcox Lake and the surrounding ridges including Tangle Ridge at left.
I think Sam is taking a leak at bottom right! Kelly pauses before the descent of the long scree slope.  The striking peak behind him is unnamed.
Watch out for rockfall on descent if you're in a big group. The group scree surfs down the slope.
An excellent day out! Kelly and Sam hike across subalpine meadows on their way back to the trail head.  Nigel Peak dominates the background.