Windy Point Ridge, The Buckle, and Talus Peak
This beautiful scramble to Windy Ridge with an extension to Talus Peak and the Buckle can be called a gem found off the beaten track. It’s not very popular and we don’t really know why. The views are breathtaking (Abraham Lake especially), making the Windy Point Ridge, the Buckle and Talus Peak Scramble our favourite along the David Thompson Highway!
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Route Description for Windy Point Ridge, The Buckle, and Talus Peak
This trail has everything – even parts, scrambly parts, some exposure and very rewarding views! To get that reward safely, make sure you are prepared. Wear proper footwear that covers your ankles with a good grip and we strongly advise wearing gloves, as some rocks on this path might hurt your palms. Although dogs (leashed only) are allowed here, we suggest leaving them at home, as we think that the terrain of Windy Point Trail might be too challenging for pets.
However, we love this scramble! Numerous beautiful lookouts and the Abraham Lake view really took our breath away. It’s quite off the beaten track and not many hikers know about this trail, so people who love solitude will really enjoy this route.
From the parking lot, find the trailhead right across the highway where you took the turn to the parking lot. It’s on the eastern side of the base of the ridge. Don’t look for the signs of the trailhead, as there are none!
Soon the path will turn right and will get a little scrambly – nothing too strenuous, mainly scree and grippy slab with short stretches of even trail.
Shortly, you will pass the rather annoying path of rubble and then bit by bit, the scramble will get a little steeper with mild exposure, but the rocks here are grippy.
Note that the trail here is not marked at all and you will notice it disappearing and reappearing again. Keep on pushing up!
Scramblers who are afraid of heights will find the next part quite scary – an exposed scrambly path around a cliff. The trail here doesn’t look too pleasant, as you can’t see around the corner how long the exposure is going to last and how bad it will get, but once you start scrambling, you will realize it’s less scary than it seems. The exposure ends right after the corner and this first stretch in front of you has the worst perception of exposure. The grip here is great and people with experience in scrambling shouldn’t find this part challenging.
Afterwards, the path will split into multiple route choices, pick your favourite one, as they all will merge into the same trail soon anyways. Scrambling here is easier and unexposed.
After reaching the top of Windy Point Ridge, admire the beautiful panorama and get ready for the next part – approaching The Buckle.
Take the path along the ridge. It’s quite easy to follow and will include some bushwalking and light scrambling. There’re no steep or exposed paths.
Soon you will pass the steep cliffs of The Buckle. There’s a path to the summit of The Buckle if you head around its northern side. We find this path to be quite unpleasant, as it involves climbing on loose rubble, sidehilling and uncomfortable traversing. You can skip this part as the views from Talus Summit are very similar.
Continue along the ridge towards Talus Peak. Get ready for some annoying rubble! The route here is quite hard to find, as it’s not marked, so pick the path that looks easier for you. It’s possible to traverse to a northeast-facing slope depending on the season (due to possible snow).
You will see the ascent to the summit from afar and it looks quite hard, but don’t let it deter you, as we found this part easier than it looks.
Return the same way you came.
Insider Hints for Windy Point Ridge, The Buckle, and Talus Peak
- We strongly suggest using GPS for finding parking at the trailhead, as there are no signs along the route.
- Windy Point Ridge lives up to its name – this scramble is quite windy, and you must be alert of strong wind gusts on exposed parts
- Mountain goats are common in surrounding areas, so keep your eyes open!
Getting to the Windy Point Ridge, The Buckle, and Talus Peak Trailhead
From Red Deer side: take 11th Hwy (David Thompson Hwy) and drive for around 231.0 km until you see parking on your left near the lake.
Windy Point Ridge, The Buckle, and Talus Peak Elevation Graph
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Windy Point Ridge, The Buckle, and Talus Peak Reviews
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