Crown Peak (Willingdon Center)

August 31, 2013

3361m

Eastern Banff Park – Clearwater Pass, AB

Crown Peak is one of the two sub-summits of Mount Willingdon. I have seen some confusion as which (Crown or Tower) is Willingdon South. I guess it doesn’t matter as they are essentially unofficial names. I’ll refer Crown as Willingdon Center and Tower as Willingdon South. The official height of Crown is 3337m, but our GPS’s all agree that it’s about 3360m, which is more than 11,000 feet.. A week later my friend Mike Mitchell went up there and confirmed with his GPS that the height should be 3361m. Well, that’s good enough for me. Most climbers don’t bother with these two sub-peaks but after finishing them I’d say they deserve more attention. But of course, Mount Willingdon was the primary objective of our trip, so I write the approach and return in Willingdon’s trip report. In this report I only focus the part between Willingdon/Crown col and the summit of Crown Peak.

In dry condition it’s no more than a moderate scramble from the col, but due to some fresh snow there were a few slightly more awkward spots, but nothing problematic. Basically we kept following the connecting ridge until an obvious rock band forced us to traverse right. Near the top we aimed towards a gully and followed it to the ridge crest, and then the summit was gained in a couple minutes. The view looking back towards Mount Willingdon was gorgeous. Clouds also lifted up by now and we could see thousands of peaks all around. We also found an old copper summit register. After struggling for quite a while, Vern managed to get it open so we could sign our names on it. We didn’t linger any longer and immediately focused on our next objective, South Tower.

A lovely alpine tarn at Willingdon/Crown col

A lovely alpine tarn at Willingdon/Crown col

The classic shot of Devon Lakes

The classic shot of Devon Lakes

Recondite Peak

Recondite Peak

There were still some clouds remaining

There were still some clouds remaining

Looking back at the main summit of Willingdon

Looking back at the main summit of Willingdon

Vern ascending loose terrain

Vern ascending loose terrain

Ben traversing a corner. Note the ice

Ben traversing a corner. Note the ice

A lot of fresh snow on the mountains thank to the storms

A lot of fresh snow on the mountains thank to the storms

Traversing

Traversing

This is the crux step on that gully

This is the crux step on that gully

A somehow exposed move before topping on summit ridge

A somehow exposed move before topping on summit ridge

On the summit ridge

On the summit ridge

The last dip

The last dip

Summit Panorama. Click to view large size.

Summit Panorama. Click to view large size.

The lower, but larger Devon Lake

The lower, but larger Devon Lake

The upper Devon Lakes. I like how glacier changes the colour

The upper Devon Lakes. I like how glacier changes the colour

Hector, Victoria, Goodsirs

Hector, Victoria, Goodsirs

Balfour

Balfour

Forbes

Forbes

Willingdon

Willingdon

Panorama of Lake Louise Group

Panorama of Lake Louise Group

The Wapta area

The Wapta area

Clearwater, Willingdon, and the unnamed icefield between them

Clearwater, Willingdon, and the unnamed icefield between them

Recondite and some unnamed peaks to the east

Recondite and some unnamed peaks to the east

Mount Harris

Mount Harris

I love these low clouds

I love these low clouds

Panorama looking southwest

Panorama looking southwest

Clearwater Pass

Clearwater Pass

The glacier between Willingdon and Harris is crevassed

The glacier between Willingdon and Harris is crevassed

Another photo showing the low clouds

Another photo showing the low clouds

Panorama of Clearwater Valley side

Panorama of Clearwater Valley side

Panorama of the East side

Panorama of the East side

Me on the summit of Crown

Me on the summit of Crown

The old copper register

The old copper register

The register

The register

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