"Crown Peak" is probably the most questionable summit that Wietse and I claimed on our fantastic Porcupine Loop ridge scramble on May 19, 2018. I got the name off the Gaia base map I used to plan our trip, which actually had two summits under the "crown" moniker, both a "West" and an "East" - which I definitely think is pushing the limits of random summit naming and claiming! The reason we claimed it is simple. It's a LONG way from the road, it's higher than anything we stood on up to that point and it's distinct enough from its neighboring peaks to justify its own page. Again, YMMV. It's the Internet - we all get an opinion!
After enjoying a nice break on the summit of Porcupine Tower, we continued on towards the twin peaks of Crown. The weather was unbelievable. There was no wind, the sun was warm and the views were very unexpected. We commented many times that this loop scramble was vastly better than either of us expected it to be. Both of us almost canceled the trip the evening before, since we felt so unmotivated by it beforehand. Well, we were certainly enjoying ourselves now as we walked high above the greening valleys below. The best part of doing the traverse in a counter-clockwise loop from Porcupine Tower to Midnight Peak, is that every summit along the way gets higher and higher until Boundary Peak and then the scrambling gets more interesting to Midnight Peak. Descending Porcupine Ridge must be a bit demoralizing going the other way, since parts of it are even light bushwhacking. Another advantage of doing the loop counter-clockwise is you up climb the crux on Midday Peak, but now I'm getting ahead of myself.
[A tricky little downclimb off Porcupine Tower.]
[A view back towards Porcupine Tower from the ridge. The best part of the loop is that each subsequent peak gets higher - even though you do have to lose height in between them. ++]
[What a day! The rest of our traverse towards Crown is visible here. The highest summit is actually the one left of center not the one directly ahead ("Crown West").]
[Our route up "Crown West" looks pretty straightforward. This is the lower of the two "Crown" summits.]
[Looking back at our last 4 hours of hiking and scrambling with the two branches of Porcupine Creek at left and right. It's a bit intimidating to realize that we're still working our way further up valley and have to traverse all the way to the summits at distant right here - Midday and Midnight! ++]
[Wietse comes up to the summit of "Crown West" with the higher "Crown East" at center right. Tiara Peak at right and Porcupine Ridge stretching out at left. ++]
[Midnight (L) and Midday (R) peaks look pretty nice from here - but they're hours and hours away at this point. The moderate terrain on Midday is obvious at right.]
[Looking back over the ridge, we are now much higher - even higher than Mary Barclay's now.]
[Great view of Tiara Peak's west face. We will ascend the ridge rising in the foreground here to Boundary Ridge running off to the left above.]
As we approached Crown, we wondered if we'd have to traverse to a higher point off the west summit, but actually the east summit is the highest one and we quickly traversed over to it. Again, great views kept us entertained and the fact that each subsequent summit was higher than the previous one, added some motivation to keep going. Tiara Peak looked really nice from Crown, as did a surprising number of other visible summits.
[Wietse approaches the summit of Crown Peak (East).]
[Views from Crown towards the next chunk of our traverse include Tiara (R) and Boundary (C). ++]
[Looking west over Porcupine Ridge and the north fork of Porcupine Creek at center. We still have a LONG way to go, traversing the ridge at right before dropping left, back into Porcupine Creek. ++]
[Mount Fable is distinctive at left with Townsend and Stenton rising beyond.]
[Charles Stewart and Cougar Peak.]
The views towards the rest of our traverse looked a bit tiring from the summit of Crown Peak, if I'm honest. At this point we were only 4 hours into our day, but we weren't dawdling and it was obvious that the most work was still ahead of us. Boundary Peak was looming quite a bit higher and we had more height to lose (!!) before trudging up the snowy slopes under Tiara's west and north aspects.