1st summit of 2017. Was looking for something quick due to low temps and short amount of daylight. Trip is described in excellent "Snowshoeing in the Canadian Rockies" by Andrew Nugara, but seeing stable snow cover I left snowshoes in the car and booted up the whole thing. Ascent poses no difficulties, but it is not entirely straightforward. Main obstacle is large boulder field in the lower part; I've seen online reports suggesting most parties decide to clamber up, but it is far easier to ascend ridge to climber right. This ridge is easy scrambling at most & has 1 mildly exposed spot, but otherwise provides much better footing. Followed single tracks in upper part, but they stopped at treeline (why?) so I made my own path up final talus slope. This slope could potentially slide under right snow conditions, but for me it was just a thin cover that made things fairly awkward from stability viewpoint. Ankle roll or worse was distinct possibility, so I took my sweet time on descent and came down unscratched. Fabulous views throughout, and wind-free so despite cold temps it was very comfortable trip. Hiking time 4.5 hrs + ~20 min for photo taking.
[Fabulous views North while ascending the ridge above the boulder field; about 1hr from Spencer creek. Big Sister center right]
[Upper part of the ascent; Climb ridgeline curling to the left, then ascend forested slopes. Summit is upper center left; Mt. Lougheed to the right]
[Fantastic views of Mt. Sparrowhawk to the right; all that was needed was avalanche release down that huge cliff for something really special from visual perspective]
[Views north from the summit. Big Sister and Rimwall - both Kane scrambles - center right; West Wind Pass far right]
[Imposing Lougheed Towers from the summit]
[Fabulous colors on descent as sun sets behind Mt. Nestor]
Full trip details, including many more high-res photos, map and downloadable GPS track here