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Commonwealth Peak
Kananaskis, Alberta
July 17, 2005
Distance: 13.5 km
Cumulative Elevation Gain: 860 m

We put off climbing Commonwealth Peak because of the marsh crossing and bushwhacking, but as it turns out, neither of these were an issue. Actually I would have preferred more of either and less scree slogging!

The hike up Burstall Pass trail was easy, although the elevation gain is negligible. After reaching the bike racks ("No biking permitted beyond this point"), we hiked up the trail for 100 m where the trail reaches the flats.

Exchanging boots for runners, we sloshed 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, we followed animal trails that made bushwhacking almost nonexistent. A short time later, we were plodding up scree to the col.

At the col, we followed a trail that turned left into the gully where – surprise! – there was more scree. The gully ends at the base of a 15 m scramble. We climbed up 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.

KML and GPX Tracks

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

Elephantheads abounded in the marsh

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

We followed the scree to the shoulder on the right where we found a a short trail wending left

Impressive cliffs on our left

Looking back at the col

French and Robertson Glaciers

Mount Smuts in the background

The grade is steep throughout

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

Coming up to the crux

Looking down the 15 m scramble

On the summit

Going back across the wetlands

82 J/14 Spray Lakes Reservoir

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