Mt. Wilcox

Climbed: August, 1995
Elevation: 2884 m = 9,459'
Elev. gain: 900 m = 2,952'
Ascent time:3 hours
Difficulty: Moderate scrambling via SE ridge; exposure.
Location: Jasper NP
Trail head: Wilcox campground entrance
Topo map: 83 C/3 Columbia Icefield

Mt. Wilcox from pass
If you get one reasonably nice day while in the Columbia Icefields area, I would highlyrecommend this scramble. Outstanding views of the Icefields from Mt. Wilcox are wellworth the effort.

Follow the Wilcox pass trail for about 45 minutes when tree line is reached. At this point,pick a suitable line (you may not find any discernible trail from the pass) to the lower ridge,a mix of scree and vegetation. The way is obvious from here but the terrain switches from hiking tomoderate scrambling the closer you get to the summit ridge. The crux will be a rocky outcrop about10-15 min from the summit ridge. Good route finding skills are needed here. A few minutes from thesummit, you reach a narrow connecting ridge with exposure on the north side.

CK on summitThe summit area is small but provides enough room to relax for lunch, sign the summitregister and perhaps watch the snowcoaches make their way on the Athabasca glacier below.

Nigel PeakEarlier in the day as you reached tree line on the Wilcox pass trail, you probablynoticed Nigel Peak (3211m/10,532'), a moderate scramble, to your right. The normalascent route follows the north ridge beside the minor glacier. There have beenascents up the NW bowl (hard to see in the photo) but damp rocks and precariousledges steer most to traverse left to gain the north ridge.

Mt. AthabascaMt. Athabasca, 3491m / 11,450'. If you want to climb it, check out this climber's report of a successful August 1997 ascent. Total trip time was 7 hours.

Mt. AndromedaMt. Andromeda, a view from the summit of Mt. Wilcox.

Athabasca GlacierAthabasca glacier, a view from the summit of Mt. Wilcox.

Snow DomeSnow Dome, a view from the summit of Mt. Wilcox.

Mountain sheepAs I approached Wilcox pass on the descent, a herd of about two dozen mountain sheepseparated me from the trail. A simple detour alleviated this "problem".


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©1995 All images by Craig Knelsen. All rights reserved.

Created: Jan 26, 2000. Revised: Nov 12, 2002.