James Walker, Mount GR:255294

elevation: 3,035 m. height gain: 1,200 m.
area: Smith-Dorrien/Spray Area,AB map 82 J/14

Ref: Drew and Mark in the Canadian Rockies
look for the gate

From the trail sign, look for a big black gate (arrow). Past the gate, go left at the immediate junction.
Scramble: RT 9.75; 4.75 up. Fab and I loved this trip. A well-worn trail along James Walker Creek takes you beyond a little lake and above the headwall at the foot of the objective. From there, above treeline, the trail dissipates. There are two different ways up this summit; we decided to do a loop up the south ridge and down the snow filled gully on the south-east face. The conditions were perfect, even the weather... well almost. The ridge was free of snow and the gully offered a great glissade and quick descent. The landscape and scenery along this loop is outstanding. Gaining the south ridge is a grunt but the rubble is not as loose as we anticipated. Once at the crest, we were surprised by how close the "rock step" was. It is apparently circumventable but we went ahead and scrambled it for fun. The enjoyable ridge walk gets narrow in one section, we steadied ourselves continuing carefully. The drop on the sheer west side is impressive but not worrisome as we didn't have to walk on the ridge crest. We reached the summit under sunny sky. After signing the register and taking pictures, we left the snowy summit for the south end of the peak to take a lunch break. We sat comfortably sheltered from the breeze and enjoyed this great viewpoint for nearly two hours. The descent was fast and amusing. The basin is a beautiful place, we are glad to have seen it at this time of the year. With minimal effort we found the trail and continued our way down.
james walker junction

Near James Walker Creek, 233247, we take the right fork.

almost at the lake

The old road turns into a well-worn trail that leads to a small lake and beyond.

south ridge ahead

James Walker's south ridge ahead. We hugged the right lakeshore to the inlet.

circumventing the headwall

Almost at the top of the headwall.

above the headwall

Above the headwall, we are close to the talus slope.

top of the talus slope

Looking down the approach drainage.

rock step ahead

On the ridge with the "rock step" ahead.

pleasant hiking

Pleasant hiking and awesome scenery.

up the rock step

The "rock step", nothing too tricky on either side.

beyond the outcrop

Interesting ridge following the outcrop.

summit in sight

The summit is in sight.

moderate exposure

Posing on a moderately exposed section.

last stretch

Last stretch to the top (right of center).

beautiful ridge

The summit ridge is aesthetically pleasing.

at the top

Right on, right on!!!

fast ticket down

South-east slopes, our fast ticket down.

eastern view

Eastern view.

lots of kane scrambles around

The Tower, Mount Galatea, Gusty Peak and The Fortress all visible.

leaving the top

Reluctantly leaving the top.

maximizing our glissades

Fab traversing to execute a better glissade.

lovely basin

Coming to the lovely basin below.

cool ice

If the water wasn't so cold...

further down

Further down.

looking back again

Another look back.

beautiful indeed

Beautiful area indeed!

heading towards the trail

Heading towards the trail.

last peek

Last peek at the ascent slope.

back at the gate

Back at the gate and parking lot.
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