Windy Point Ridge - The Lookout

On 10 December 2017, Kevin Caron, Marta Wojnarowska, Zosia Zgolak and I scrambled up The Lookout which is the first high point along Windy Point Ridge in Alberta's David Thompson Country.  The route is described in The David Thompson Highway: A Hiking Guide by Dan Kyba and Jane Ross.  From our parking spot near the entrance to a pullout at Windy Point on the shores of Abraham Lake, we crossed the highway and gained a beaten path winding up to the top of the rock cut through which the highway runs.  From there, we simply grinded up the semi-open ridge following various beaten paths and even the occasional cairn.  Steeper slabs about halfway up the ridge required some hands-on scrambling and route-finding, but generally, the terrain was not too difficult to negotiate.  Upon reaching the summit cairn of The Lookout, we stayed long enough to capture some of the panoramic views before retreating back down the ridge.  Some of the steep slabs proved to be a bit challenging on descent, but we all managed to get down safely without incident.  After returning to my car and packing up our gear, we settled into a long drive home to wrap up a short but fantastic weekend in the Nordegg area.


A herd of sheep relax on the grass beside the highway not far from the trailhead.

Photo courtesy of Zosia Zgolak

Good opportunity to bag that island in the foreground right now! From Windy Point, Shunda Mountain (centre) and Coliseum Mountain (right) can be seen on the horizon to the northeast across Abraham Lake.
Prepare for a steep grind! Zosia crosses the highway to begin climbing up Windy Point Ridge.
Windy Point Ridge lives up to its name as well! Zosia, Kevin and Marta are getting a good workout as they climb up Windy Point Ridge.
Time to get your scrambling game face on! The ridge starts to get more challenging at this point.
Climbing shoes might be useful for this section. Sonny gets good traction going up this slabby section.

Photo courtesy of Zosia Zgolak

Route-finding is critical here. Marta follows Zosia up one of the steepest sections of the ridge.
Almost there! Zosia, Kevin and Marta approach the last cliffs before the top.
Actually, the scrambling was pretty easy at this point and hardly exposed. Marta and Kevin finish the ascent with some seemingly airy scrambling.

Photo courtesy of Zosia Zgolak

Where's Zosia's million-dollar smile?? Sonny, Zosia, Marta and Kevin gather around the cairn on the summit of The Lookout (2047 metres), the first high point along Windy Point Ridge.
Maybe I'll take a stab at Michener one of these days when the lake freezes over... The view to the south includes Abraham Lake, Mount Michener (left), Elliott Peak (centre) and Mount Cline (far right horizon).
Another long one that I may have to face someday... Abraham Mountain dominates the view to the west.
Looks rather intimidating for a scramble! To the north, the next bump along Windy Point Ridge is known as the Buckle.
Best view of the day. Marta, Kevin and Zosia begin their descent in this view to the east.  At far left is Kista Peak.
Kevin is quickly becoming a proficient scrambler! Kevin and Marta do the proverbial "bum slide" down a steep section.
Great choice of objective for today, Zosia! Zosia pauses to reflect on a wonderful day of scrambling on Windy Point Ridge.
A great scramble that is likely doable all year round! Total Distance:  5.0 kilometres
Round-Trip Time:  4 hours 32 minutes
Net Elevation Gain:  707 metres

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