Rimwall Summit
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Rimwall Summit - Spray Lakes Canmore

Photo from the Spray Lakes Road

Parking on the Spray Lake side of the road

Start of the Wind Pass trail across from the parking spot

Just near tree line and close to Wind Pass an opening to your left

Climb through the opening from the trail and you see the rock benches and the downward traverse to your left. I went through the first high band to the upper right of the photo while my two friends found a way through lower down through the trees. They like more of a challenge than me.

Here is where I accessed the main slope, again my friends accessed it a bit higher but they like climbing more than me. I most always seek the easiest way.

Once on the main slope zigzag your way to the upper ridge, quite steep and you have to pick the best footing to avoid wasting a lot of energy on the ball bearing scree parts.

Some friends and a look at the steepness and condition of the slope

Looking back at the main slope to the upper ridge

Still a bit of a traverse to the summit block from the main ridge. We ascended the route on the right and descended the route on the left.

This mountain goat wanted to get by me on the upper ridge trail but I was too lazy and tired to move so he took the skyline trail about 10 feet away from me. There is a 3,000 + foot drop just inches to her left.

Upper ridge trail in yellow, easier scree descent trail in blue

Wind Tower and Lougheed from the upper ridge trail

Final few steps to a nice summit!

Allan A. enjoying the views and a thermos with an iced frappuccino!

View of the Three Sisters from the summit

Time to head down after spending about an hour and a half on top

The scree slope down, starts near the black dirt section on the upper ridge


Rimwall Summit

Scramble: Class 2 Steep Off-trail Hiking for most of it

Altitude: 2,680m (8,790 ft)

Elevation Gain: 1,020m (3,345 ft)

Ascent Time: 3 4 Hours

Best Season to Scramble: Mid-June to September


Great views offset a bit by ball bearing scree on slabs and route finding up and down, wear some gloves for the descent and go back off the main slope towards Wind Pass and access the Wind Pass trail higher up rather than bushwhacking down the drainage through the trees.

Getting There

From the Bow River bridge in Canmore its around 21+ km to the parking spot. The road from the Bow River bridge takes you past the Canmore Nordic Centre and onto the Spray Lakes road (packed gravel). When you see the signed "Driftwood Day Use Area" continue on for another 1.4 km to a lakeside grassy pulloff spot. If you pass the sign for Spurling Creek you have gone too far.

Route Description

From the parking spot you can see the upper slopes of Rimwall Summit to your left with Wind Tower on your right. Cross the road to the trailhead on the left bank of the creek which will take you to West Wind Pass which lies between Wind Tower and Rimwall. Stay left at the first fork in the trail and then stay right at the next fork. The trail takes you high above the creek and up to Wind Pass. Right around tree line and only 5-10 minutes from Wind Pass there is an opening to your left (about 45-60minutes to this point) which allows you to see the main slope of Rimwall. Climb into this clearing and you are greeted with a number of rock benches which you have to navigate through to access the main ascent slope. The best spot per the photos is by traversing down slope losing a bit of altitude to reach an easier spot to ascend onto the main slope. There are a couple of fairly high rock benches (10-20 feet high) that you have to scope out to climb through in the best spot. Route finding required here. Be careful to pick the easiest spot along the walls. Once you have accessed the main slope you must zigzag your way straight up looking for the best footing through the loose scree on slabs. Once you reach the top of the main slope the summit block comes into view to your left. Follow the high trail over to the summit block and choose the higher or lower line through the rock bands to access the short summit slope and voila you are on top.

As you cross to the summit block note the drainage below you. There is a good scree trail near the black patch of dirt which takes you easily and rapidly down moving back towards the main slope you came up on your far left. You will see at the bottom left of the drainage a fairly large cairn heading into the trees but I do not recommend continuing down into the trees. This is due to the long descent through the trees before you can even access the Wind Pass trail again, too many steep rock bands between you and the this trail. We followed the tree route down but almost paralleled the whole Wind Pass trail before we could descend down to it.

Instead I would recommend remembering or marking with a cairn the spot where you accessed the main ridge, descend here and traverse back upwards towards Wind Pass and gain the Wind Pass trail where you left it on your ascent. This might involve perhaps 150ft of elevation gain but it sure is more enjoyable to descend on a good trail back to the road than loose footing going through the trees almost the whole way.