After enjoying a very pleasant approach and summit on Lougheed II we were ready to tackle the scree bash up Lougheed III. We found the excellent bivy location at the II / III col (this is where the climber's traverse spends the first night) and continued up faint trails to the summit of Lougheed III. The best option here is to stay climber's left on the larger chunks of scree with the odd slab making things a bit easier.
[Easy descent to the II / III col.]
[Mount Allan's distinctive brown shale summit.]
[Ascending Lougheed III, looking down at lush green Wind Creek Valley to the east.]
[Looking back at Lougheed II - the highest peak of the Lougheed massif.]
[My favorite views all day were into the Wind Creek Valley to the NE. Pigeon and McGillivray in the distance.]
[It's a long way down the face!]
As we topped out on Lougheed III's summit I was surprised at how good the view was! I found it better than Lougheed II's views, although the views of Spray Lakes weren't quite as good. From Lougheed III, the descent slope on II looked very hard (while in reality it was rather easy) and Wind Mountain's north ridge alpine route looked much harder than its 5.5 rating! Looking at slopes head-on is the worst way to assess how hard they are - you have to get your nose in them in order to really know. If you're truly hardcore you can solo the entire Lougheed traverse without a rope - but you'd better know what you're doing if you attempt this!!
We enjoyed another break (this one was longer thanks to no wind) before working our way down between Lougheed III and Wind Mountain. We didn't bother going right to the col, but rather worked our way down some loose and slabby terrain before reaching the col. This was the hardest scrambling of the day - moderate at most though.
[Looking towards Pigeon Mountain down the Wind Creek Valley - Mount Allan and the Centennial Trail on the right. ++]
[Kev takes in the great views. ++]
[Wind on the left, Sparrowhawk at center. ++]
[Mighty Mount Assiniboine and tiny Lunette to the left.]
[Looking over Leval towards Whiteman Mountain with Talon on the left.]
[Loder, Door Jamb and Yamnuska look like little bumps from up here.]
[Old Goat Mountain.]
[Can get enough of this valley!]
We paused near some plane crash wreckage for a few moments before heading down the valley, utilizing snow patches wherever we could to make the descent more pleasant on our knees. Once again, we were mesmerized by the beauty of this pristine valley. It's a mystery that this scramble / hike has not made it into any guidebooks yet - but maybe it's better to leave it for people willing to do a bit more work and keep it cleaner.
[Heading down between Wind and Lougheed III.]
[The bowl looks innocent enough but there is some moderate slabby / loose rock sections to watch out for.]
[Careful steps on loose slabby terrain.]
[Airplane wreckage from a tragic chain of events in 1986 that left a total of 13 people dead in three separate crashes in the same area.]
[The view down valley from near the wreckage.]
[We used snow patches to speed up parts of the descent]
[Fascinating greenery around seepage in the Spencer Creek origins.]
[Water provides life!]
[Wietse is tiny next to Sparrowhawk's cliff face.]
[The hike out of Spencer Creek Valley is gorgeous.]
The hike back down Spencer was fast and warm. Surprisingly the mosquitos were nonexistent but finding the start of the trail from the high meadows was a bit of an adventure. I highly recommend this scramble and this two peak combo, it's one of the best on this range of mountains IMHO.
[L to R, Lougheed II, III and Wind Mountain.]
[Sublime alpine meadows.]
[A look back from the meadows.]
[Back in Spencer Creek.]
[Another glance back from the excellent approach trail.]
[Cool walking in the shade on a hot summer afternoon.]