One of the northernmost peaks on the Howe Sound Crest Trail, Mount Windsor it is both a short drive from my home in North Vancouver and also a relatively obscure objective as compared to Brunswick Mountain
, Mount Harvey
and West Lion
just to the south. A great outing in which to practice "social distancing" it turns out, never mind that it was still a good few months before most of us would first learn the term. Ah, those were the days!
I got the idea for this from The Glorious Mountains of Vancouver's North Shore guidebook which Agata recently gifted me. It describes an interesting bit of history regarding the peak's name. To quote, Windsor is "The adopted family name of the present royal family of Britain and Canada. The family's German name of Saxe-Coburg became less popular during the First World War, so they borrowed the name of their castle." In that context, some of the other names in the area-Brunswick, Hanover Lake, Coburg Peak and Gotha Peak-would seem sehr
appropriate. Ja sicher! Having driven past Deeks Creek and the Deeks Lake Trail on the Sea-to-Sky Highway so many times over the years, I was a bit curious what I would find up there. Either that, or I'm just a sucker for a good trail to a scenic lake with a bonus peak to bag nearby.
The trail initially parallels the highway on a gravel road, before turning east and following Deeks Creek. There are a few nice waterfalls along the way before reaching Deeks Lake. I contoured around the lake's north shore and picked up a climber's path which I followed to a small meadow between Deeks Peak and Mount Windsor. A small tag nailed to a tree at a junction shortly below the meadow indicates the way to Peak 5400 is at right and Windsor at left. At a saddle just beyond the meadow, I turned up and proceeded along the left edge of Windsor's Northwest Ridge. Upon reaching a small basin on Windsor's north side, I encountered firm snow which with increasing steepness became difficult to kick up in the light-duty trail shoes I was wearing. Went back to the right over the now more defined ridge crest to find mostly snow-free conditions. Up through some bits of brushy jank then over the final summit rocks and the peak was bagged.
Enjoyed great views in all directions and soaked in the weak late October sunshine. In the spirit of yet another last hurrah in the waning days of Indian summer
, 5541-ft Mount Windsor is a good choice. Prost!