Cougar Canyon (Creek) Rock Climbing
Since the flood (2013) the canyon is basically a p...
Cougar Canyon is a great area for the summer and fall months. As it is fed by snow run off, getting to the crag in the spring would be OK if there was more of a trail or a bank, but unfortunately the water may be too high. However, if there is still ice and a sunny day, you may be able to get deep into the canyon to climb at one of the sunny cliffs.
During the scorching summer months, there are some high quality climbs on Made in the Shade, Planet X or Casino. Planet X has some of the best quality hard climbs in the Bow Valley and is known for being very cold, even in the summer. Sending temps are only limited to how cold you want to go.
The only guidebook that is in print that has this area completely documented is Derek Galloway's Bow Valley Sport
which is highly recommended as it is essential for the sport climbing in the valley. Beautiful pages and good descriptions make it a real work of dedication to the valley from one of Canada's hardest climbers. There are also older versions of Sport climbs in the Canadian Rockies
which has cougar documented (and supports J. Martin, one of the prime developers of the area).
When you're done, pick up a beer across the street at Cougar Liquor or some snacks at Red Rock Pizza. If you want some breakfast, Summit Cafe has a great coffee, pastries and eggs galore. As of 2015, all routes have been added that are known and published in multiple versions of the literature. As some don't get climbed often, do not take all of this as being 100% correct and be careful out there
Where to park
There is a small parking lot (2015) that has been built on the north side of Elk Run Blvd. right after turning off benchlands. The GPS coordinates are here: 51.086372, -115.327146
The most you need here is a 80m rope and 24 quickdraws. However, most routes (90%) will only need a 60m rope and 12 draws, but save yourself the raps and get a 70m if you can. General sport climbing stuff too and you want some rain boots during the early season.
Don't bring in your trad gear unless you plan to do the ESE of lady macdonald (the route that goes up the east south east ridge) or want to haul a huge amount of gear for nothing. Sport climbing is king here.
Getting to the cliffs
Getting to the cliffs is pretty easy, all you have to do is walk on into the canyon. After the monster fence which you bypass on the right, you will start to see cliff line. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled. here are all the climbing venues in order, per side:
Right Side (Shady side)
Left Side (sunny side)
----- Huge (20 min) gap in climbing ------
Bow Valley Sport
As low as $10 (online version) for all the sport climbing you will need all season! Covers Cougar in full color
Sport Climbing in the Canadian Rockies
Another guidebook that is out of print (maybe?) and so is rarer but very worth. Also supports the men who bolted the canyon. Who can say no?
Climbing Season For the Bow Valley area.
Weather station 14.0 miles from here
255 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',25],['3 Stars',62],['2 Stars',152],['1 Star',10],['Bomb',0]
Featured Route For Cougar Canyon (Creek)
BETA PHOTO: First cliffs at the front, approximate location (n...
BETA PHOTO: The dam that you must cross before entering the ca...
BETA PHOTO: Approximate location of Cougar canyon.