Crown Peak (Willingdon Center)
August 31, 2013
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.