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Diadem - Approach and Climb
Timestamp Free: 2020.03.31 - 15:21:22
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / Canadian Rockies / Continental Ranges / Park Ranges / Winston Churchill Range
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Banff/Jasper Highway at GR 774945 on 83 C/6 (Sunwapta Peak) Mt. Diadem (11,060'/3371m):

Diadem and Woolley are two eleven-thousand foot peaks that are easily accessible as a pair and offer a fine introduction to mid-range mountaineering strategies and techniques. They are not, however, without their difficulties and perils.

Diadem was first climbed in August, 1898, by the redoubtable J.N. Collie, H.E.M. Stutfield, and H. Woolley (after whom the peak is named) via the SE ridge. The standard route is now that listed as #2 (N ridge) in the Guidebook for Mt. Wooley, except that at the Woolley/Diadem col one turns right and heads off NE up 0.6 km of undulating snow hills to the highest hummock -- less than an hour in good conditions. According to Boles, et al., in "Place Names of the Canadian Alps", "the summit was named by Collie because of a fringe of snow adorning its crest."

These peaks are often done as a weekend outing in themselves, perhaps combined for more fit parties with an ascent of neighbouring Mushroom Peak (10,500'/3210). However, they also frequently serve as a 'conditioner' for Mt. Alberta, or as recreational climbs while a party waits out a period of poor weather. This was the case for Bob Saunders and me when we sat out a couple of marginal days in early August of 1989 on our way in over Woolley shoulder to do Alberta. We climbed Mushroom on August 4 and Wooley and Diadem the next day.

Although parties do occasional bash in, climb Woolley and Diadem, and come out in a single day -- their speed being facilitated by light packs -- most groups will want to soak up the splendour of the area and spend at least one night at the foot of this pair. In either case, what will be required on the approach are two moderately serious tactical moves. The...

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