Guidebook

Classic Canadian Rockies Alpine Climbs

Travel through the legendary peaks of British Columbia and Alberta, climbing a dozen of them en route!

Charlie Boscoe

Description

With high mountains, wild weather and plenty of loose rock, the Canadian Rockies are a tough place to learn the alpine climbing game. Even experienced climbers frequently get in to trouble on the famous peaks of BC and Alberta, so these mountains deserve to be treated with respect.

The good news for us mere mortals is that the Canadian Rockies are home to some superb and safe alpine climbs, suitable for those beginning and progressing their mountaineering careers.

To get started on the journey through Canada's technical terrain we've included a few trail running routes in here like the Owl - Tenquille Traverse. We should point out that the line is blurred between hiking, climbing and running on some of the routes in this guidebook and how you tackle each one will depend on your fitness and skill levels!

Staying close to the Owl - Tenquille Traverse are 2 great routes above Lake Lovely Water - Niobe North Ridge and the East Ridge of Alpha, and just to the north of Lake Lovely Water is Mt Ossa West Ridge, a 2 day journey which features some fabulous scrambling.

Out on its own in a rarely-visited part of BC is the utterly unique South East Face of Stonerabbit - a crazy journey up some huge grey granite slabs in a remote part of the country. It's a detour to reach but worth the effort!

Over in Alberta we've included 2 routes up the mythical Mt Athabasca, including Silverhorn - a classic scramble. Athabasca enjoys one of the best summit panoramas in the Canadian Rockies, but is relatively easy to access and both routes we've described on it can be climbed in a day.

A bit closer to civilisation are a trio of routes near Banff and Lake Louise - Cirque Peak, Mount Temple's Southwest Ridge and Mount Rundle's Normal Route. If you're looking to begin your Canadian Rockies climbing career, these routes are the perfect places to start; they're relatively close to civilisation, not overly technical and - because they all go up and down the same way - not committing. If you're in the Lake Louise area and want to up the ante somewhat, then the trip over Mounts Niblock and Whyte is a logical line to try after the 3 aforementioned routes. Not too far away - south of Canmore - is the long, serious but not too tricky journey up Mount Joffre.

Once you've ticked all those off, toast your success with a beer from one of the many breweries in the region, and get planning the next step in your alpine climbing career!

Owl - Tenquille Traverse
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Owl - Tenquille Traverse

30.8 km
1,876 m
1,918 m
A tour of excellent alpine lakes, high above Pemberton!
Difficult
Private
Hike to Lake Lovely Water
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Hike to Lake Lovely Water

Squamish
3 - 4 hrs
4.7 km
1,136 m
2 m
A steep grunt from sea-level to the Tantalus Hut at Lake Lovely Water!
Severe
Private
Mount Rundle Normal Route
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Mount Rundle Normal Route

Banff National Park
14.6 km
1,638 m
Beginner-friendly scramble to a summit just outside the town of Banff.
Easy
Private
Mt Joffre North Ridge
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Mt Joffre North Ridge

37.9 km
2,226 m
A short gulley climb with long approach
Moderate
Private
Mount Niblock and Mount Whyte
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Mount Niblock and Mount Whyte

Banff National Park
15.2 km
1,417 m
Double Summits above Lake Agnes
Moderate
Private
Mt Ossa West Ridge

Mt Ossa West Ridge

25.9 km
2,496 m
1-2 day trip to the final peak of the Tantalus Range
Easy
Private
Niobe North Rib
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Niobe North Rib

6.1 km
941 m
One of the most exciting and aesthetic moderate routes in the Tantalus.
Moderate
Private
East Ridge of Alpha
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

East Ridge of Alpha

5.0 km
1,112 m
A classic introductory alpine climbing route in the Tantalus Range.
Difficult
Private
South East Face of Stonerabbit
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

South East Face of Stonerabbit

13.0 km
1,362 m
A massive easy ramble up beautiful granite slabs!
Moderate
Private
Silverhorn
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Silverhorn

Jasper National Park
5.6 km
1,517 m
A classic route up Mt Athabasca
Moderate
Private
A-A Col Route
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

A-A Col Route

Jasper National Park
6.4 km
1,503 m
The easiest line up Mt Athabasca
Easy
Private
Cirque Peak
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Cirque Peak

Banff National Park
16.3 km
1,054 m
The popular hike to Helen Lake can be extended with this straightforward scramble to the peak overhead.
Easy
Private
Mount Temple: Southwest Ridge
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Mount Temple: Southwest Ridge

Banff National Park
15.3 km
1,666 m
The easiest route on Mount Temple, an 11,000er in Banff National Park.
Easy
Private