OverviewWarden Peak is the odd thumb-like peak jutting up off the northeast side of the Victoria Peak massif. It is wholly overshadowed by Victoria Peak yet its unusual profile, steep, challenging terrain and status as an ACC-VI 'Island Qualifier' make it a much sought-after summit. Geologists will admire the textbook example of a volcanic vent that formed Warden Peak and the hard basalt makes for superb climbing.
The Victoria-Warden massif is an isolated complex at the head of the White and Gold rivers. It is outside of any Provincial Park and the forests on its flanks have been heavily logged and are criss-crossed with logging roads and the accompanying clear-cuts. Being outside of a park, already heavily impacted from the industrial-scale logging, relatively good access and excellent rock these peaks make good candidates for developing fixed protection climbs on although to date there aren't any.
Access to Warden peak is best via logging roads in the White River. Logging road branch WR381 is among the best options to reach the west knoll camp but logging roads are constantly changing and being built so it's a good idea to watch the terrain, follow a map with a GPS and simply use the closest spur road to the mountain currently open.
The standard route up Warden Peak is a classic mountaineering route that winds around the upper tower first from the southwest across easy, exposed snow or scree ledges to the base of a chimney/gully to the left (west) of the upper tower. Climb up the gully (4th class) through a chockstone onto a small exposed shoulder on the west ridge. Make a very exposed traverse around the north side of the tower continuing a clockwise spiral around the peak. Gain an open gully and scramble up it (4th class). Toward the top trend left onto the summit. Descend by down climbing and rappels as required.
There are no restrictions for camping on Crown Land. The best base camp locations for an ascent of Warden Peak are either on the west knoll at the base of Victoria Peak's west ridge or lower down at the lake below the Victoria Glacier (but there isn't much of a view here).
Guidebooks & Other Links
Local guidebook Island Alpine Select