Elevation: 4,478 ft
GPS: 51.086, -115.327 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 123,661 total · 1,164/month
Shared By: Jordan Ramey on Aug 22, 2012
Admins: Dave Rone, Tom Gnyra
Access Issue: CONSTRUCTION JULY 2020 TO 2022 Details

Description

***PLEASE SEE ACCESS NOTES ABOUT 2020-2022 DAM ACCESS AND CONSTRUCTION. ***

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;f=10+50001+50250 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;ie=UTF8&qid=1440729965&sr=1-2&keywords=john+martin+sport 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

Gear Required

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 ------

The forks

Guidebooks

Bow Valley Sport

BVS

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

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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?

269 Total Climbs

Route Finder - Best Climbs for YOU!

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Classic Climbing Routes at Cougar Canyon (Creek) - CONSTRUCTION IN PROGRESS

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a R
 3
East South East Ridge
Trad, Alpine
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 7
Aqualung
Sport 2 pitches
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 9
Shadow of Turning
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 22
King of Clubs
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 6
Cat's Paw
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 6
Byzantium
Sport
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 12
Pin-toe Flakes
Sport
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 6
Talamasca
Sport
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 10
Critical Mass
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 13
Ace of Spades
Sport
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 7
Lucky For Some
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 8
Meconium
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 3
Tickle My Fritter
Sport
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
 9
Shooting Star
Sport
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
 3
Timber
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
East South East Ridge Lady Macdonald
 3
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a R Trad, Alpine
Aqualung House of Cards
 7
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport 2 pitches
Shadow of Turning Made in the shade (Ri…
 9
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport
King of Clubs Casino Wall
 22
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Cat's Paw Cat's Eye Wall
 6
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Byzantium House of Cards
 6
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Pin-toe Flakes Made in the shade (Ri…
 12
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Talamasca House of Cards
 6
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Critical Mass Crowbar Wall
 10
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Ace of Spades Casino Wall
 13
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Lucky For Some Casino Wall
 7
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Meconium Planet X
 8
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Tickle My Fritter Planet X
 3
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Shooting Star Planet X
 9
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b Sport
Timber Planet X
 3
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c Sport
More Classic Climbs in Cougar Canyon (Creek) - CONSTRUCTION IN PROGRESS »

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