Nigel Peak | 2011.08.28
Next day after Mount Athabasca, we decided to go for Nigel Peak.
This route is little different from Kane’s route. Instead starting from Wilcox Pass Trailhead, we started from our campground in Wilcox Campground. Use my descent route (red line) for better route.
You can find a trail from side of a storage near “→32-39 ↑40-46” campground sign (at waypoint “Trailhead”). This trail will lead to a drainage. Gain elevation using the drainage as much as you can then go left (west) before it becomes too difficult to get out of the drainage. Depending on where you are, probably you need to bushwhack little bit, but if you can find some kind of trail that will help. At this point you may not be able to see Kane’s trail but you should be able to see outlier of Nigel Peak (GR876872, page 2).
Going up to the outlier, our ascent slope was more of endless rubble slope and descent route (Kane’s) route was more of endless scree slope. Considering that we didn’t know that, we did pretty good job going up on rubble and coming down on scree. I have to say scree slope was really soft and awesome for scree run!!
From the outlier we followed Kane’s trail traversing west slope of the summit (page 6). Mostly it was dry so we didn’t have much problem, but if this is snow covered, traversing here could be slippery or worse, can be avalanche hazards.
This was crux for us. The terrain here became quite steep at the edge of ridge where it was dry, but rest of slope was covered with frozen snow (page 10, 11). So we had a choice of climbing up the dry but moderately difficult scramble or kick step frozen snow without crampons. If we started late, the snow could have been soft and fun to step in, but it wasn’t. So I suggest bringing appropriate gear for here.
* Grid References (GR) is based on WGS84 which can be considered as NAD83 (The difference is inciginificant)