Type: Trad, 2000 ft (606 m), 10 pitches
FA: Paul Stoliker, Dave Clay and Keith Cover. August 28, 1982
Page Views: 36,897 total · 237/month
Shared By: Jordan Ramey on Jun 23, 2011 · Updates
Admins: Dave Rone, Tom Jones, Richard Rose

You & This Route

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Description Suggest change

Approach: 45 minutes
Climb: 4 - 8 hours
Descent: 1 - 2 hours
Car-to-Car: 7 - 12 hours (simuling makes everything quicker)
Sun: late morning through afternoon

Joy follows the incredibly striking right facing dihedral up the Mt. Indefatigable slab for nearly 2000 feet (600m)of climbing! The rock is generally very solid with excellent friction. The numerous small ledges do tend to accumulate rocks, so be wary, especially in early season. There are many very nice belays to choose from on almost every pitch. Some take a 70m rope to reach (or just a bit of simul on easy ground with a 60m). Basically, climb until you hit the end of the rope on every pitch then build a belay at the best spot. A topo is completely unnecessary for this climb, as it's impossible to get lost.

The route difficulty can vary widely from 5.4 to 5.8 depending on the line chosen. The rule of thumb is, if it's hard head horizontally from where you are. The new guidebook Canadian Rock: Select Climbs of the West calls the route 5.8. I'd say that's only true if you stay in the dihedral the entire time and purposefully avoid the slab.

The route is all gear anchors with VERY minimal fixed gear (3 pins seen in total pitches in summer 2022).

Driving Directions, Approach, & Descent Suggest change

From Calgary:

Take Kananaskis Trail/AB-40 S for 50.0 km

Turn right onto Smith Dorrien Trail/Hwy 742 for 2.2 km

Slight left onto Kananaskis Lakes Trail for 7.6 km

Turn right to stay on Kananaskis Lakes Trail for 3.6 km

Slight left to stay on Kananaskis Lakes Trail

Park at the Interlakes Parking Area

or Google "Kananaskis Interlakes Campground" and it'll pull up right near the lake parking area. 


Hike across the dam and follow the main hikers trail that parallels the lake. Do not go up past the bear closure sign on the decommissioned summit trail. The approach trail is pretty flat all the way to the scree slope when the route becomes very apparent. Don't follow any smaller offshoot trails that head downhill to the lakeshore, just follow the signs with hiker symbols on them. It's pretty straightforward. 25 minutes to scree slope from car. Head up the scree to the base of the route.

Climb the small right facing dihedral (note the beta photo). If the rock is good, it's the right dihedral. First few hundred feet can be easily walked up / solo'd


From the topout of Joy, belay up your second, climb about 5 more meters up and drop over to the 4th class on the right side (east). Drop onto that faint trail and follow it up on the east side of the ridge. There is one last short section (a notch) of easy 4th class climbing that looks harder from far away, but is easy and can take a bit of gear if you like as it's above a BIG drop if you kludged it. Once on top of this notch, you're almost immediately on a lush alpine meadow ridge.

Option 1 (BEST): Switchback down the hill and follow a trail that curves around the first gully. Follow the faint trails and count the gullies. You'll wander through some thick trees on a good trail to reach the 3rd gully, which is wide and all scree. Scree ski all the way back down to the main hikers trail. 

Option 2: Same as above, but go down the second gully. This involves occasional downclimbing, tons of loose and sharp rocks, and generally stinks compared to the easy 3rd gully. Try not to end up in this one, but at least it doesn't cliff out anywhere if you do by accident.

Protection Suggest change

Double set of cams from tiny to #1 red camalot (2"), single #2 yellow camalot (2.5"), a couple nuts, and a couple extra finger sized cams are nice depending on comfort level (0.3-0.75 camalots being the most useful). Slings.

Basically the route eats #0.3 - #0.75 cams and the rest is necessary here and there.