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Caudron Peak

Summit Elevation (m): 2393
Trip Date: November 05, 2016
Elevation Gain (m): 1600
Round Trip Time (hr): 8.5
Total Trip Distance (km): 18
Quick ‘n Dirty Rating: Class 3 – you fall, you break something
Difficulty Notes: Access from the west involves getting permission from landowners. Some slabs and routefinding but mostly hiking and easy scrambling. Note: We did both Centre and Caudron Peaks in one trip combining for the stats listed above.
Technical Rating: SC6; YDS (3rd)
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As part of my long-planned trip up Centre Peak – the highest peak in the Livingstone Range – I always wanted to tag Caudron, it’s southerly neighbor, in the same trip. It just seemed to make sense. Given how much work went into planning the route and getting permission from various landowners to drive and hike on their land, it made even more sense. 

Our Routes up Centre and Caudron Peaks.

After a great ascent of Centre Peak, we turned our full attention to the west ridge of Caudron. We both had commented more than once over the approach and scramble of Centre that Caudron looked more involved than we were expecting. The west ridge looked easy enough, but just under the summit block, the slope steepened somewhat alarmingly and we wondered how easily we could scramble it. Lingering snow and ice were also visible, making us feel like our approach shoes might be too light. But there was nothing to do but get our noses in it at this point – so up we went! You might wonder why we didn’t just traverse the ridge between Centre and Caudron, but we assumed based on Rick Collier’s report that this was suicide. Upon reading of such a traverse in Caudron’s summit register, we now wonder if Rick didn’t look closely enough.

Once we got over a few humps and bumps on the west ridge of Caudron, we were faced with the imposing sight of the narrowing and steepening ridge to the summit. We could see a route that deviated slightly climber’s left near the summit block before likely going back right to the apex. As usual, the terrain wasn’t as severe as it looked once we got our shoes into it and soon we were traversing climber’s left to an obvious chimney next to a rock pinnacle just under the summit block. As Phil ascended the chimney, I noticed that he had excellent holds and ledges to work with and soon made short work of the moderate crux. I followed him up and then led up some slabby terrain to the summit itself. It was strangely windless on Caudron Peak – very odd considering how windy Centre Peak was! There was a glass jar standing in as a summit register, with only one entry from July. Cornelius scrambled the ridge directly from Centre to Caudron – only offering that it was very difficult. Kudos to him!

Looking east over the prairies towards the Oldman Reservoir.
A great view over the west ridge of Caudron (L) and Centre Peak (R).

After taking in the views and enjoying the surprising lack of winds at the summit of Caudron, it was time to start down. We descended the west ridge until it forked left leading down to Caudron Creek. We were very happy to follow the easy ridge through light forest all the way to the ATV track we’d noticed on approach. We continued following the old ATV track as it crossed Caudron Creek at which point we followed the same trail we’d been on earlier in the day. We followed this very pleasant track along the north side of the creek until it became obvious that we were deviating too far from the road. At this point I simply crashed right through the creek and up the steep embankment to the road. Phil reluctantly followed. The cold water felt pretty good on the tired feet.

Phil on the west ridge of Caudron with Tecumseh (L) and Crowsnest in the background.
Sometimes the best views are on the way home! We enjoyed this lenticular cloud at sunset along hwy 22 north.

Both Phil and I enjoyed Caudron Peak much more than we thought we would. Originally it was a matter of bagging the named summit since we were in the area anyway and it made sense on an energy level. After the moderate scrambling on the upper mountain and easy descent ridge, we both agreed that we enjoyed it more than Centre Peak. The views and lack of wind at the summit didn’t hurt. If you have the energy and you’ve done all the work of getting permission to drive and hike into Centre Peak from the west, I’d highly recommend tacking Caudron onto your day. It’s worth it.

Caudron Peak
32 photos
Looking up at a narrow, cliffy area of the slope.
Looking up at a narrow, cliffy area of the slope.
I managed to find a pretty easy route down the cliffs by contouring back east a bit.
I managed to find a pretty easy route down the cliffs by contouring back east a bit.
Looking down Caudron Creek at lower left, across the slabby terrain you might encounter depending where exactly you leave the creek.
Looking down Caudron Creek at lower left, across the slabby terrain you might encounter depending where exactly you leave the creek.
Looking up at the west ridge from near Caudron Creek.
Looking up at the west ridge from near Caudron Creek.
Looking up the west ridge to the summit.
Looking up the west ridge to the summit.
Phil and the imposing summit of Caudron - reminding me of Mount Weed a bit.
Phil and the imposing summit of Caudron - reminding me of Mount Weed a bit.
Phil comes up the broad lower west ridge of Caudron with Crowsnest Mountain at left and the Ward / Window / Allison group at right in the background.
Phil comes up the broad lower west ridge of Caudron with Crowsnest Mountain at left and the Ward / Window / Allison group at right in the background.
A very impressive view of Centre Peak at left and Caudron at upper right.
A very impressive view of Centre Peak at left and Caudron at upper right.
Great views back along the west ridge of Caudron as we get higher. Caudron Creek at lower left.
Great views back along the west ridge of Caudron as we get higher. Caudron Creek at lower left.
The final 150 vertical meters to the summit.
The final 150 vertical meters to the summit.
We had to descend this easy rise on the ridge.
We had to descend this easy rise on the ridge.
The ridge gets steep and loose.
The ridge gets steep and loose.
Phil starts working his way up towards the pinnacle and chimney at upper left.
Phil starts working his way up towards the pinnacle and chimney at upper left.
Great views north (L), east (C) and south (R) off the summit. Centre Peak at far left.
Great views north (L), east (C) and south (R) off the summit. Centre Peak at far left.
Looking south towards the Castle / Crown Wilderness.
Looking south towards the Castle / Crown Wilderness.
Looking east over the prairies towards the Oldman Reservoir.
Looking east over the prairies towards the Oldman Reservoir.
A great view over the west ridge of Caudron (L) and Centre Peak (R).
A great view over the west ridge of Caudron (L) and Centre Peak (R).
A great panorama of the High Rock Range from Crowsnest Mountain at left to Tornado at right.
A great panorama of the High Rock Range from Crowsnest Mountain at left to Tornado at right.
A great shot of Centre Peak to the north of Caudron.
A great shot of Centre Peak to the north of Caudron.
A closer shot of the upper reaches of Caudron Creek show why it's a good thing we didn't just follow it all the way up.
A closer shot of the upper reaches of Caudron Creek show why it's a good thing we didn't just follow it all the way up.
Phil descends the crux on good ledges.
Phil descends the crux on good ledges.
Looking back up at the crux which looks a lot harder than it is.
Looking back up at the crux which looks a lot harder than it is.
Caudron really is a gorgeous peak although one has to wonder why this particular bump along the Livingstone Range gets a name when others don't?
Caudron really is a gorgeous peak although one has to wonder why this particular bump along the Livingstone Range gets a name when others don't?
Phil on the west ridge of Caudron with Tecumseh (L) and Crowsnest in the background.
Phil on the west ridge of Caudron with Tecumseh (L) and Crowsnest in the background.
The rugged southern end of the Livingstone Range.
The rugged southern end of the Livingstone Range.
Looking down a very pleasant ridge towards the Caudron Creek drainage and our escape route through the gap.
Looking down a very pleasant ridge towards the Caudron Creek drainage and our escape route through the gap.
Back at Caudron Creek, looking back at the ATV track rising in the trees in the distance. This track doesn't look used anymore.
Back at Caudron Creek, looking back at the ATV track rising in the trees in the distance. This track doesn't look used anymore.
Following the ATV track out along Caudron Creek which is to our left here.
Following the ATV track out along Caudron Creek which is to our left here.
Great views back to Centre and Caudron peaks.
Great views back to Centre and Caudron peaks.
Driving back - good thing the gate is unlocked for us!
Driving back - good thing the gate is unlocked for us!
Sometimes the best views are on the way home! We enjoyed this lenticular cloud at sunset along hwy 22 north.
Sometimes the best views are on the way home! We enjoyed this lenticular cloud at sunset along hwy 22 north.

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