Window Mountain, Allison Peak, and GR701122 – July 5, 2006

Mountain Height:
Window:          2529 m           
Allison:             2645 m
GR701122:      2546 m

Elevation gain:
            Window:          720 m
Allison:             approx. 150 m
GR701122:      approx. 100 m

Roundtrip time:             7:50

Scrambling with Linda.

Determined to spend her birthday on the summit of a mountain, Linda invited me to complete the job we left unfinished two years ago – the trio of Mount Ward, Allison Peak, and Window Mountain. Of course, we had done Ward already and so Allison and Window were the main objectives for the day.

We hit a snag right away, when the rough road was a little too much for my car. I didn’t want to risk any damage, so we drove back down the Allison Creek Road, with the intention of attempting Window Mountain first and then traversing over to Alison. The first part of the route followed ATV easily to the start of the ascent. After that, a labourious, and less than aesthetic rubble ascent took us to the window of Window Mountain.

The crux of the trip was definitely getting from the window to the summit. The terrain was steep, exposed, and loose and I was certainly glad we were upclimbing the route as opposed to downclimbing it, as others before us had done. After a brief summit stay, we continued on towards the highest of the trio - Allison Peak.

With a great route picture, nicely red-lined by Vern, the route up to Allison Peak appeared to be straightforward – that is until we arrived at the crux rock step. Here, the route was barred by snow. We dare not traverse the steep snow slope, in fear of slipping. There was a weakness in the rockband before the snow, however, we knew it would be too difficult to downclimb on return. The only other option was to traverse left on steep slopes by circumvent the entire ridge. This turned out to be a straightforward and easy route, however, once again, was also a tedious rubble slog. Soon we were on the connecting ridge and found the much smaller, but equally interesting window on the ridge. The summit of Allison was easily achieved shortly after, where we enjoyed a beautiful summit panorama in perfect weather conditions.   

There were numerous options for descent, however, the most logical (and interesting) appeared to be a visit to a southeast outlier of Allison (GR701122), then a traverse of the ridge to the south, and finally an easy descent to meadows and the trail. This option was lengthy, but would definitely give us the most “bang for our buck”, which is what we all deserve on our birthday!

Gaining GR701122 was very easy, but the ridge to the south was fraught with problems that we couldn’t see until we were at the summit. We made an effort to traverse the ridge, but it quickly became apparent that this option would require even more time and effort than predicted. The back-up plan was to descend the east facing slopes of Allison Peak . Thankfully, this turned out to not only be a relatively easy route, but was also very scenic, as we descended alongside a beautiful drainage. The south view of Window Mountain was also quite a treat. Despite the endless rubble, a most enjoyable and interesting trip – Happy Birthday, Linda!   

Window Mountain (left) and Mount Ward (right)


Linda on the approach trail; the route goes right in between the two mountains


Flowers and the southeast side of Mount Ward


Same as above


More colourful scenery

A little detour along the east side Mount Ward; Window in the centre


The east side of Mount Ward


The north side Window Mountain


Linda slogs up rubble slopes to the window; Mount Ward behind


Looking through the window at The Seven Sisters (left ) and Crowsnest Mountain (right)


Linda gains the ridge for the narrow ridgewalk to the summit of Window 


Linda ascends the crux step right before the summit of Window


Allison Peak and the connecting ridge


The Seven Sisters (left ) and Crowsnest Mountain (right) again


Looking through the second window on the ridge


Linda approaches the summit of Allison Peak


The view to the north


The birthday girl holds the summit register, placed there in 1993 by Alan Kane


On our way to GR701122 (foreground)


At the summit of GR701122; the descent we wanted to take would have taken us to the col at the far right


Linda descends the east slopes of Allison Peak


Snow chokes the drainage of Allison and GR701122


More of the scenic drainage


A close-up of the window of Window Mountain, seen from the south side of the mountain


Linda on the lower slopes, with Window behind


A last look at Window Mountain