Scrambles Around The Park

Melting snow in the mountains near Banff
Man above beautiful lake near Banff
Mountain view near Banff Alberta Canada
Rock climbing near Banff Alberta
Rock climbing near Banff Alberta
Beautiful Lake near Banff Alberta
  • Cascade Mountain is a great scramble. Drive up to Mt Norquay ski hill and hike to the last ski lift. Find the trail which goes to the river, go over the bridge and hike up to the natural amphitheatre. From here go to the end of the wood to your right and start climbing on the ridge. Follow the ridge and go around the 3rd summit and the false summit to the real summit from which you will have a fantastic view into the valley and lake Minnewanka.
  • Mt Cory is a steep beautiful scramble where some route finding is involved as you will have to take the correct “rib” on this mountain, easy on the way up but difficult to find on your way down. Selecting the wrong one may be fatal. As I got lost 3 times the first time I climbed up I built a couple of cairns at strategic places. The trailhead is on the 1A in a small parking area to the right side of the road coming from the Fireside area.
  • Mt Edith trailhead is at the Fireside parking, from here walk South for a couple of hundred metres until you hit the trail to the Cory and Edith Pass to your left. Mt Edith are 3 summits which offer great scrambles in chimneys and one tunnel.
  • Mt Rundle trailhead is at the golf course after crossing the Spray river. Once in the woods look for a trail to your left going straight up. The second summit is the highest one and as the slope gets steeper look for a drainage to your right which can be followed to the top.
  • Eiffel Peak is an easy scramble from Larch Valley. While hiking in Larch Valley look for the easiest way to go up the ridge on your left. At the most logical place there is a trail crossing a small stream before ascending the ridge. The trail is straightforward and easy to follow. There has been a fist canine ascent a couple of years ago but the view from the top is worthwhile the visit.
  • Mt St Piran From Lake Agnes Teahouse go towards the Little Beehive, just before the last ascent is a trail going North. Follow this trail.
  • Mt Chester is one of the most exciting scrambles in Kananaskis. The views from the top are just stunning. At Chester lake look back for the big avalanche corridor between the summit and a small hump. On top of this pass follow the ridge by avoiding steeper terrain by circumventing to your right.
  • Nigel Peak From Sherbrook lake the trail leads to the meadows and up a small hill North of this bowl. Follow the ridge looking for the pinnacle West of the mountain, from there it is just an easy walk to the summit. Exciting views on the Wapta and Waputik icefield.
  • Helena Ridge is an easy scramble on the inside of Castle Mountain. As the second highest peak it offers great views and easy way finding.
  • Cirque Peak is a great easy scramble with a fantastic view on Bow Lake and the Wapta Icefield. There is a popular parking lot before arriving to Bow Lake, follow the trail into extensive meadows. Walk from Helen Lake to the ridge and from there it is just an easy hike stepping on the face going straight up Cirque Peak. The last 15 metres are a scramble.
  • Observation Peak trailhead is just opposite Peyto lake parking lot, walk the small street until it turns and there will be a logical trail going into the forest, this trail follows the drainage for a while before leading to a rock band with a little bit of exposure. The rest of the trail is logical and the real summit is just behind the sub-summit.
  • Mt Carnarvon is one of the best scrambles in the Park. Walk to Hamilton lake an climb up the logical ridge to your left after crossing the drainage. From here the most exciting scramble is following the ridge line until around 100 metres from the summit cairns indicate a traverse to the left and straight up the mountain again.
  • Pilot Mountain is a nice exciting scramble. Follow the trail to Shadow lake until you reach a bridge after roughly 50 minutes. Follow the drainage to the rock band and traverse to the right on this ridge. Look for a big part of the mountain which separated from the main rock, the scramble is in between and once you run out of handholds look left for a small passage. Don’t forget this area as it is essential for your way back. The trail goes east and after traversing a potentially frozen snowfield (ice axe) and a couple of cliff bands summit.
  • Storm Mountain would be an exciting scramble if it were not for the long howl over burned logs and stumps. Park your car at the fireweeds parking lot an walk east for 700 metres, find a way through the adjacent forest until you can follow a drainage. The left side of the drainage is the better choice until you enter a valley and have to find your way through a big bolder field. Approach the summit from the left side.
  • Mt Whymper is a nice scramble starting at a big avalanche corridor North-East of the fireweeds parking lot. The scramble is straight forward and exciting.
  • Mt Norquay is a great scramble with an easy approach from Mt Norquay parking lot. Walk to the highest point and to the drainage. Locate the blue ribbon just underneath the top of the waterfall for later on. Head left and start scrambling. Continue on the ridge to the first summit and to the second summit. Circumvent to the right in case of dangerous spots. A fall from the way to the third summit might be fatal and should only be attempted in very good snow free conditions.
  • Grassi Mountain Park at the goat creek big parking lot to your right after the smaller lakes, cross the street and follow the reservoir for a while until a trail leads into the woods following a drainage. After going around the corner look for a cairn and a steep trail to your left. The rest of the trail is straightforward and easy.
  • Ha Ling Peak Park at the goat creek big parking lot to your right after the smaller lakes, cross the street and start going up this easy peak.
  • Squaw’s Tit Park at Harvie Heights and look for the drainage to the left of the mountain. Follow the ridge. The last bit is an exposed scramble the easiest approach is from the East.
  • Mt Temple, starting from Larch Valley and Sentinel Pass Mt Temple is an easy but long one. The crux is well marked and if there is snow and you have one or two ice axes and crampons you can go through the chimney or alternatively climb up the 4 metres of exciting rock with good hand and footholds. The rest of the trail is easy and as long as you stay close to the ridge where there is less scree really enjoyable.
  • Mt Niblock starts at the popular Lake Agnes Tea House. Walk around the house and go deep into the valley to climbers right. Climbing up along the waterfalls is really nice and the shoulder between Mt Whyte and Mt Niblock is easy reachable. The beautiful ridge to the real summit is very enjoyable. If the Weather is fine you can also access Mt Whyte from this saddle depending on your experience.
  • Mt Wilcox is a great summit just above the Information Centre on the Columbia Icefields with beautiful views on Mt Andromeda and the big glacier. We started at the nearby campground and reached Wilcox pass in no time at all.