Diadem Peak

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Woolley-Diadem Bivy Site
  • Location: Jasper National Park
  • Activity: Backpacking
  • Height: 2,267 m (7,438 ft)
  • Elevation Gain: 740 m (2,428 ft)
  • Distance: 6.8 km / One Way (4.2 mi)
  • Avg Steepness: 6.2°
  • Estimated Time: 3-5 hrs
  • Technicality: Novice
  • Fitness Level: Moderate
Stats from bivy site to Diadem Peak is on page 8.

Joined CSMC to attempt Mount Woolly and Diadem Peak.

To Bivy Site (Day 1):
We parked our car at an unsigned parking slot at GR775945. The crux of the day was right at the start, fording a big creek. Fortunately the creek was low at the time; it was only bit higher than knee deep. When we came back on the 3rd day after a rainy day, the creek wasn’t much deeper but current was for sure faster. It was little intense fording. In fact we had one casualty.

After this we find a trail all the way up to the bivy site. The trail can be found left (south) of Woolley Creek most of the time. It became hard to follow the trail once we arrived at moraines, but there were cairns in every 30 to 50 m to help us. However on the way up, we lost the trail. Wasn’t paying enough attention… (;^_^ hehehe.

To Diadem Peak (Day 2):
We left the camp around 3:00 am. At the camp it was disappointingly 10 ° and little worried about condition. Our plan was take Woolley-Diadem col route. SE face route which is more direct route to the summit of Diadem described in 11,000ers book wasn’t feasible since there were still big cornices hanging at the summit ridge. We made a mistake about the col route however. I memorized the col route wrong and I guess everyone else too. I have Alzheimer at age of 24. We weren’t supposed to take the second couloir (near the glacier), instead we were supposed to follow the first couloir just like direct route then traverse to the second couloir at some point. The reason for that is because if you take the second couloir from the start of the couloir, you will be right beside seracs where small or big pieces of ice blocks fall every once in a while (see page 8). Judging by new and old debris near the seracs, I could see ice fall doesn’t happen too frequently, but then in evening after we came back to the bivy site, we saw big break off. If we were there at that time, we all could have been killed with that kind of violent force.

Anyhow, in dark we headed out. Lower section of glacier was more of ice with rocks on top. We could easily walk without crampons. Now I know why Calgary city dumps rocks on road in winter time. I thought they are doing this to help out auto business!

Once we reached snow part, we roped up. We stayed close to rockwall on Diadem side pretty much. There were several crevasses on this section.

The second couloir (the wrong route). It was bit steep. Mostly around 35 to 50 degrees but some short sections it was about 60 degrees, and one section it was closer to vertical (page 14, 15, 21). On the way back we had to downclimb the same way. Déjà vu of Lefory. Despite temperature was colder and there was no sun, at higher altitude snow was defiantly got softer as we went up.

At waypoint Cairn 10, we got out of the couloir and walked more gentle terrain to the col (page 17). However at this point, snow was very slushy.

From the col, NW side of mountain was dry and it was nothing but easy scramble. Only the difficulty we had to the summit was once snow was reintroduced, we couldn’t see and tell where we were. It was total whiteout.

To Mount Woolley (Day 2):
REJECTED!! We run out of time and condition was against us anyway. (>_<、) Nooooooooooo!!

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Pretty flowers along creek. Disappointingly no one took bath fording the creek.

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Going up to bivy site.

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In to moraine. Bivy site is just over the hill.

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Nice view!

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Mount Woolley (left) and Diadem Peak (right). Quite impressive glacier.

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Not bad place to set a camp.

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Diadem Peak
  • Location: Jasper National Park
  • Activity: Mountaineering
  • Height: 3,371 m (11,060 ft)
  • Elevation Gain: 1,170 m (3,839 ft)
  • Distance: 8.7 km / Round Trip (5.4 mi)
  • Avg Steepness: 15.1°
  • Estimated Time: 8-10 hrs (from bivy site)
  • Technicality: Expert.II
  • Fitness Level: Hard
Our route was red line, old route shown in older edition of 11,000ers book. Blue is SE Face, direct route to the summit but it wasn't feasible for us due to cornice at the summit. Green is rough line of Woolly-Diadem col route. Purple line is a route we found out at the information centre (if I remember accurately) also in "Selected Alpine Climbs" book.

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Up at 2 am, and started at 3 am.

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Roping up for glacier travel.

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Something terrific is about to happen.

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Yes it did! What a beautiful color yet I made a crucial mistake… It's out of focus! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!! (However this shrank picture it doesn't appears to be blurry.)

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The most beautiful sunrise scenery I have ever seen. The color was absolutory out of world!

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Going up a couloir.

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The steepest section on this couloir.

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As the time went by the weather forecast became right. Overcast and isolated showers.

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Out of the couloir and heading to Woolley-Diadem col.

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The second party also reaching the col.

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We could see nothing. It was hard to navigate where the summit was in total whiteout, the curse of Neptune! Eric and Paul belaying me in case I am too close to the edge of cornice at the summit… lol.

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CSMC group pic. From left, Paul, Jenn, Aislinn, Tom, and Ninja Eric.

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Descending the same way. Impressive seracs.

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One more look of seracs.

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Next morning. Mount Woolley, Diadem Peak, and Mushroom Stew.

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We had such a beautiful days.

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Since we couldn't do Woolley, I have to come back here again which is actually good thing knowing how beautiful this area is! Exciting!

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It rained whole afternoon the day before, the creek wasn't as high as I expected but the current was so much faster than 2 days ago.


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