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Citadel Peak

Looking past the eastern cliffs of Citadel towards Golden Mountain (L) and an outlier of Nub Peak at distant right.

Summit Elevation (m): 2610
Trip Date: Friday, June 29, 2018
Elevation Gain (m): 1550
Round Trip Time (hr): 11
Total Trip Distance (km): 33
Quick ‘n Dirty Rating: Class 2 – you fall, you sprain your wrist
Difficulty Notes: While the summer ascent is fairly short and easy from Citadel Pass, the winter ascent includes serious avalanche risks. Learn how to manage these risks and perform avalanche burial rescues before attempting this trip. 
Technical Rating: SC5; YDS (Hiking)
GPS Track: Download
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I repeated Citadel Peak again on a much less wintry, but also much cloudier day on June 29, 2018 as part of a three peak extravaganza with Phil Richards that included Fatigue, Citadel and Golden Mountain. After a cloudy but pleasant ascent of Fatigue Mountain, Phil Richards and I found ourselves with plenty of daylight left (days are long in June) and enough energy and decent weather to tackle the much smaller Citadel Peak. We knew from Fatigue that we’d likely get a good dose of cloudy views from the summit, but we were currently experiencing some rare sunshine and didn’t want to squander the opportunity! Considering the fact that any peak today was a bonus with the weather conditions, we were quickly converting a “meh” day into a very successful one. From Citadel Pass the route is obvious. Just head up to breaks in the obvious cliffs on the east face of Citadel and scramble through them to the summit. On ascent we did a very short moderate scramble while on descent we went a bit further south and it was no more than steep, off trail hiking.

Looking past the eastern cliffs of Citadel towards Golden Mountain (L) and an outlier of Nub Peak at distant right.
Looking past the eastern cliffs of Citadel towards Golden Mountain (L) and an outlier of Nub Peak at distant right.
Phil breaks through the easy cliffs - note that if you aren't on the easiest line, there are difficult options through here.
Phil breaks through the easy cliffs – note that if you aren’t on the easiest line, there are difficult options through here.

Above the cliff band there was still about 100m vertical to the summit on very steep vegetated slopes. This slope, although easy enough, would be very slick with rain and presents an obvious avalanche hazard with snow. Views from the surprisingly rounded and spacious summit were some of the best we’d get all weekend thanks to the diminutive stature of the peak and our lucky timing. Just as we made the top, the clouds cleared and gave us some beautiful views in all directions. About 10 minutes later we spotted a storm heading directly at us and started to bolt back down the east face!

Golden Mountain at far left and Nestor Peak left of Simpson Ridge. Mount Shanks at right of center distance with Quartz Hill and Little Fatigue at right.
Golden Mountain at far left and Nestor Peak left of Simpson Ridge. Mount Shanks at right of center distance with Quartz Hill and Little Fatigue at right.
Fantastic views down the south ridge of Citadel, deep into the Simpson River Valley at right with Policeman's Meadows brilliant green at center.
Fantastic views down the south ridge of Citadel, deep into the Simpson River Valley at right with Policeman’s Meadows brilliant green at center.
Citadel Lake sneaks into view as I walk towards the north end of the summit block. There's also a fast moving storm approaching at left here - time to bail!
Citadel Lake sneaks into view as I walk towards the north end of the summit block. There’s also a fast moving storm approaching at left here – time to bail!

As the weather chased us down the east face of Citadel, I noticed an attractive looking break in the cliffs a bit further south from our ascent line. We plunge stepped quickly and easily down this steep break on a mix of scree and dirt which was delightful.

Golden Mountain and Mount Nasswald loom over an unnamed tarn at the head of Citadel Pass. Considering how prominently these peaks area and how accessible, it's amazing how rarely they're ascended.
Golden Mountain and Mount Nasswald loom over an unnamed tarn at the head of Citadel Pass. Considering how prominently these peaks area and how accessible, it’s amazing how rarely they’re ascended.
Citadel Peak seen from near Fatigue Mountain.
Citadel Peak seen from near Fatigue Mountain.

From the bottom of the break we side-hilled back to our heavy packs near Citadel Pass and continued on towards our planned bivy site somewhere near Fatigue Pass.

Citadel Peak (Hike)
Staring up at the east face of Citadel. We ended up traversing left to an obvious break in the cliffs.
Staring up at the east face of Citadel. We ended up traversing left to an obvious break in the cliffs.
Phil ascends steep grassy slopes with the summit of Fatigue Mountain still in the clouds behind him.
Phil ascends steep grassy slopes with the summit of Fatigue Mountain still in the clouds behind him.
Our ascent line is obvious above.
Our ascent line is obvious above.
Looking past the eastern cliffs of Citadel towards Golden Mountain (L) and an outlier of Nub Peak at distant right.
Looking past the eastern cliffs of Citadel towards Golden Mountain (L) and an outlier of Nub Peak at distant right.
The slope gets quite steep - hikers probably won't appreciate it.
The slope gets quite steep - hikers probably won't appreciate it.
Looking back at Fatigue and Golden (R).
Looking back at Fatigue and Golden (R).
Phil breaks through the easy cliffs - note that if you aren't on the easiest line, there are difficult options through here.
Phil breaks through the easy cliffs - note that if you aren't on the easiest line, there are difficult options through here.
Very steep vegetated slopes to the summit above the cliff band.
Very steep vegetated slopes to the summit above the cliff band.
Gorgeous views over the Simpson River Valley towards Simpson Ridge (C). Golden Mountain at far left and Nestor Peak left of Simpson Ridge.
Gorgeous views over the Simpson River Valley towards Simpson Ridge (C). Golden Mountain at far left and Nestor Peak left of Simpson Ridge.
Simpson Ridge is very difficult to access - especially after the Verdant Creek wildfires of 2017 which are pretty obvious here.
Simpson Ridge is very difficult to access - especially after the Verdant Creek wildfires of 2017 which are pretty obvious here.
Looking across the recent burn area towards The Monarch which is buried in clouds.
Looking across the recent burn area towards The Monarch which is buried in clouds.
Looking north over Quartz Hill towards the Egypt Lakes with Pharaoh Peak visible and Mount Ball in clouds beyond.
Looking north over Quartz Hill towards the Egypt Lakes with Pharaoh Peak visible and Mount Ball in clouds beyond.
Summit views towards Pharaoh Peaks.
Summit views towards Pharaoh Peaks.
Telephoto over the Sunshine Meadows towards Wawa Ridge.
Telephoto over the Sunshine Meadows towards Wawa Ridge.
Looking north towards Mount Howard Douglas.
Looking north towards Mount Howard Douglas.
Fantastic views down the south ridge of Citadel, deep into the Simpson River Valley at right with Policeman's Meadows brilliant green at center.
Fantastic views down the south ridge of Citadel, deep into the Simpson River Valley at right with Policeman's Meadows brilliant green at center.
Citadel Lake sneaks into view as I walk towards the north end of the summit block. There's also a fast moving storm approaching at left here - time to bail!
Citadel Lake sneaks into view as I walk towards the north end of the summit block. There's also a fast moving storm approaching at left here - time to bail!
Looking towards Black Brett.
Looking towards Black Brett.
Looking over Fatigue Pass to Golden Mountain.
Looking over Fatigue Pass to Golden Mountain.
Golden Mountain and Mount Nasswald loom over an unnamed tarn at the head of Citadel Pass.
Golden Mountain and Mount Nasswald loom over an unnamed tarn at the head of Citadel Pass.
Nestor Peak looms above Policeman's Meadow to the south.
Nestor Peak looms above Policeman's Meadow to the south.
A telephoto into the Policeman's Meadow shows the rustic hunter's cabin on it's western edge.
A telephoto into the Policeman's Meadow shows the rustic hunter's cabin on it's western edge.
"Little" Fatigue's summit comes into view as we descend.
"Little" Fatigue's summit comes into view as we descend.
Steep vegetated slopes from the summit with "Little" Fatigue in the background.
Steep vegetated slopes from the summit with "Little" Fatigue in the background.
Fatigue Pass at left, Golden at right.
Fatigue Pass at left, Golden at right.
Looking back up steep grassy slopes.
Looking back up steep grassy slopes.
Looking towards Mount Cautley and The Towers (R).
Looking towards Mount Cautley and The Towers (R).
Looking back at Citadel Peak.
Looking back at Citadel Peak.
Mount Shanks.
Mount Shanks.
Moody weather towards Shanks, The Monarch and Quartz Ridge.
Moody weather towards Shanks, The Monarch and Quartz Ridge.

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