Commonwealth Peak
Kananaskis, Alberta
July 17, 2005

We've been putting off doing this trip because of the marsh crossing and bushwhacking but as it turns out neither of these were a problem. Actually I would have preferred more of either and less scree slogging!

The hike up Burstall Pass Trail was easy. Unfortunately, the elevation gain is negligible. After reaching the bike racks ("No biking permitted beyond this point") we continued down the trail for about a 100 m where the trail comes out on the flats.

Exchanging boots for runners, we trekked across the marshland. The water was mostly a couple of inches deep, but streams were as much as calf deep. After emerging from the marsh, we headed into the trees keeping well left of the drainage where animal trails made bushwhacking almost nonexistent. A short time later, we were plodding up scree to the col.

After leaving the col, we reached a trail that turned left into the gully where – surprise! – there was more scree. The gully ends at the base of the 15 m scramble. We climbed up this to a ridge that led to the summit a short distance away.

This minor peak sports impressive views. Several peaks in the scrambles book can be viewed from the top. We quickly forgot about the brutal scree slog as we took in the mountain scenery.

MOVIE (posted on YouTube)
KML Track


Crossing the wetlands. Commonwealth Peak on the right.
(Mouse over to see the spotted sandpiper that squawked at us.)


Elephantheads abounded in the marsh (mouse over for a close-up)


After leaving the marsh we soon found an animal trail.
Pig's Tail in the background.


Heading for the col


Commonwealth Peak is on the right


View from the col. Follow the scree to the shoulder on the right where a short trail winds left.


Impressive cliffs on our left


Looking back at the col


French and Robertson Glaciers


Mount Smuts in the background


Scrambling up the gully. Too much scree to be enjoyable.


Coming up to the crux


Looking down the 15 m scramble


On the summit


82 J/14 Spray Lakes Reservoir

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