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Submitted By: Peter Spindloe on Apr 15, 2007
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Alberta is the epicenter (or epicentre) of Canadian Alpine climbing with countless snow and ice covered peaks, glaciers and famous north faces. Alberta is also famous for some of the best ice climbing in the world.

Fortunately, Alberta is also well rounded and has sport and trad rock climbing a-plenty. The limestone and quartzite in the river canyons in the Canmore area probably have Canada's greatest concentrations of sport routes. Trad cragging is perhaps a little more limited than some other areas as the limestone of famous peaks like Yamnuska have great history and great routes but less solid rock; the climbing is more adventurous than a granite-trained tradster might be used to.

Getting There 

Calgary provides easy access to Canmore, Banff, Lake Louise and all of the surrounding areas. Edmonton provides access if your destinations are further north.

Guiding Services 

Yamnuksa Mountaineering

A long-established service employing well-known and highly reputed guides. A progression of courses, semester sessions, guides-for-hire, corporate events -- a well rounded offering.

Climbing Season

Weather station 9.4 miles from here

295 Total Routes

['4 Stars',56],['3 Stars',119],['2 Stars',63],['1 Star',15],['Bomb',1]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Alberta:
Nemesis   WI6     Ice, Alpine, 4 pitches, 525'   Banff National Park : Stanley Headwall
Moonlight   WI4     Ice, 2 pitches   Kananaskis : Evan Thomas Creek
Centre Ice Bulge Direct   WI3     Ice, Alpine, 5 pitches, 1000'   Valley of the Ten Peaks : Mount Fay
Curtain Call   WI6     Ice, 2 pitches, 410'   Icefields Parkway : Icefields Parkway - North
North Glacier   Mod. Snow     Trad, Snow, Alpine, 5000'   Icefields Parkway : Mount Athabasca
The Sorcerer   WI5     Trad, Ice, 4 pitches, 700'   North Ghost
Polar Circus   WI5     Ice, 9 pitches, 2300'   Icefields Parkway : Weeping Wall Area
Louise Falls   WI4-5     Ice, 3 pitches, 350'   Lake Louise : Lake Louise Ice
Lower Weeping Wall   WI4-5     Ice, 3 pitches, 550'   Icefields Parkway : Weeping Wall Area
The Professor Falls   WI4     Ice, 6 pitches, 900'   Mt. Rundle : Professor Falls Area
East Ridge   5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a Mod. Snow     Trad, Snow, Alpine, 5000'   Jasper National Park : Mt. Edith Cavell
Brewer Buttress   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, Alpine, 13 pitches   Banff National Park : Castle Mountain
Joy   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 10 pitches, 2000'   Kananaskis : Mount Indefatigable
Coire Dubh Integrale   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b WI3 Easy Snow     Trad, Ice, Snow, 6 pitches, 2000'   Kananaskis : Loder Peak
East Ridge   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Mod. Snow PG13     Snow, Alpine, 10 pitches, 5000'   Valley of the Ten Peaks : Mt. Temple
North Face - Chouinard/Beckey/Doody   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Mod. Snow     Trad, Snow, Alpine, 12 pitches, 5000'   Jasper National Park : Mt. Edith Cavell
Aftonroe   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 8 pitches   Mt. Cory : Guides Rock
South Face   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Alpine, 4 pitches, 350'   Sentinel Pass : Grand Sentinel
Kahl Wall   5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 9 pitches, 850'   Mt Yamnuska : Kahl Wall
Wicked Gravity   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 88'   The Back of The Lake : Outhouse Wall
Browse More Classics in Alberta

Featured Route For Alberta
The Sorcerer.  Photo:  Dave Rone

The Sorcerer WI5  North America : Canada : ... : North Ghost
A beautiful, remote route in an incredible setting! The Sorcerer pours down the back of a canyon surrounded by big walls on all sides. Pitch 1: Climb moderate ice to a short, steep pillar and then follow narrowing ice up and right to the first belay (bolts).Pitch 2: A short pitch of snow and easy ice leads to a comfortable belay ledge on the right, at the base of the main column.Pitch 3: Move left from the belay and climb excellent, steep ice to the large cave on the right (bolts)Pitch 4: T...[more]   Browse More Classics in International

Photos of Alberta Slideshow Add Photo
Above the morning fog.   <br /> <br />On the Athabasca Glacier.
Above the morning fog.

On the Athabasca Glacier...
Tonquin valley at sunset, Jasper NP.
Tonquin valley at sunset, Jasper NP.
North Face of Athabasca
North Face of Athabasca
Gavriel J. bouldering in Tonquin Valley. <br />Photographed by Chris Martin
Gavriel J. bouldering in Tonquin Valley.
The Remparts , Tanquin Valley.  <br />Wild flowers and the great walls of the Remparts <br /><a href='http://www.internationalphototours-blog.com' target='_blank' rel='nofollow' >internationalphototours-blog.c...</a>
The Remparts , Tanquin Valley.
Wild flowers and t...
North Face of Athabasca on the approach taking the right lateral moraine
BETA PHOTO: North Face of Athabasca on the approach taking the...
Looking up at the East Ridge of Mt. Temple, one of the Fifty Classics.  Please, somebody with a better picture/scan, post it so I can remove this one.
Looking up at the East Ridge of Mt. Temple, one of...
You got to love this place, even the routes that I have failed on I love more then the routes that I have finished.  And you can't beat the views from the tent!
You got to love this place, even the routes that I...
The south face of Mt. Temple showing the east ridge (right skyline) and the walk up route on the left sun-shade line.
BETA PHOTO: The south face of Mt. Temple showing the east ridg...
Standing on the Athabasca Glacier with Mt. Andromeda in the background, sometime in the fall of 2001.  The curving snow face is the very popular Skyladder route.
Standing on the Athabasca Glacier with Mt. Androme...
Athabasca North Face
Athabasca North Face
Bouldering in Tonquin Valley, Ramparts in the background.
Bouldering in Tonquin Valley, Ramparts in the back...
On thee Athabasca Glacier.
On thee Athabasca Glacier.

Comments on Alberta Add Comment
Show which comments
By Joseph Stover
From: Batesville, AR
Nov 9, 2007
What is the climbing like around Edmonton? I am a warm weather dude, so can I handle it? How is access from the city... drive times for day cragging? Is there a full range from steep sport to long well protected trad of all grades?

There wasn't an International forum, so i'll see if anyone catches this and has info.

By Peter Spindloe
From: North Vancouver, BC
Nov 12, 2007
This site has relatively few contributors from Alberta, especially from the Edmonton area. I wish I could help you, but perhaps the best thing will be to check out the local gyms and shops. It would be great if you could post what you find. The climbing I've done in Alberta has been great and it would be fantastic to see more contributed to this site.
By James Steinhoff
Aug 20, 2012
Just found out about this site. I don't think many Canadians know it exists. I'm moving back to Alberta in a few months and will spread the word about Mountain Project /contribute data about the Banff area routes.