Mount Windsor

GPS recording available here:

Elevation Gain: 1862m
Distance: 19.25km
Total Time: 7 hours 19 minutes
Date: May 15th, 2021

Mount Windsor is a 1689m peak that makes up part of the Howe Sound Crest Trail. It’s located just North East of Deeks Lake and has a well established path to the summit. Just west of Mount Windsor is Deeks peak and the two mountains are often combined in a single trip because of their close proximity. After an early start to reach Mount Marriott last weekend, I was feeling lazy and looking for something close to home and that’s why these two peaks became a natural choice. My friend Mike was interested in joining along and so we agreed to meet at the trail head for 9am on the Saturday.

On the day of I was running a bit behind and didn’t make it to the trail head until 9:20am, but thankfully Mike was running behind as well. About 10 minutes later we were heading down the trail. The first few km follows along a FSR up until a junction at around 3.3km mark. From there we turned East and started the ascent up to Deeks Lake. The trail was well maintained and quite dry this time of year and we just went into auto-pilot through this section. We hit our first patch of snow at around 1005m, just below the lake and then more consistent snow once we reached the lake itself.

Mike starting down the FSR
Nice scenery along the way
Heading up to Deeks Lake now off the FSR
Lots of powerful water coming down from the lake
At the lake now with Wettin peak on the right.

Mike and I paused at Deeks Lake for a snack and then carried on North towards Mount Windsor. As started climbing up from the Lake we hit another dry patch of trail, but it turned to snow again shortly after around 1200m. There was already a set of tracks in the snow and fairly frequent markers on the trees so no route finding necessary. We pushed on towards the Windsor/Deeks col through the firm snow and made it in decent time.

Mike pushing up past the lake now. There was a long dry section before we hit snow again.
On the snow again. The forest was a moderate incline the whole way and made for easy travel.
Reaching the col now

Once at the col, we opted for Mount Windsor first and started along the ridge line. There were a few steep rolls to climb before the summit block came into view. There we could see a neat set of tracks climbing straight up the steepest section of snow and 3 people nearing the crest of the steep pitch. To climber’s right was another set of tracks on more moderate terrain. The snow was soft and in good boot packing condition so Mike and I headed for the funner steep line to reach the summit. It was not a long or sustained pitch and we were up and over this section fairly quick. From there it’s another two small and less steep pitches and we reached the summit where the group of three had just settled in.

First view of Mount Windor’s summit
A few steep rolls before reaching the summit block
Mike coming up the first roll
A clearer look at the summit approach now.
Here’s the steeper line we chose to take
It gets decently steep, but not sustained for long. On the right you can see the more moderate ascent line
Just below the summit now
Looking back at Mike making his way up
Panorama from the summit. Capilano Mountain (L) and Appian Mountain (R) I believe
Mount Hanover, Mount Brunswick, Fat Ass Peak, Hat Mountain and Wettin Peak all visible here.
Panorama looking at Deeks Peak
Summit shot
Here’s part of the other group that made it to the summit before us

From the top there’s unobstructed views of all the mountains around Deeks Lake and further afield. We hung out here for lunch time for a long time, thanks to the perfect weather and warm temperatures. With Deeks Peak still on our list to do, we finally started our way down. Descending the few steep rolls below the summit was no problem, but when we reached the long steep pitch there was already a group coming up and they were only at the first 1/4. Rather than wait for them to come up, we descended further down the summit ridge line and rejoined with the tracks we had seen on the more moderate slope. Here it was hardly steep at all and we just ran down the slope and then linked up with the Deeks/Windsor Col.

Looking back at our descent tracks on climber’s right.
Panorama of Mount Windsor

Now it’s time to head over to Deeks Peak for the second summit of the day.

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