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Alberta Rock Climbing 

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Location: 50.9307, -114.873 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Dave Rone, Tom Gnyra, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Peter Spindloe on Apr 15, 2007

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You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
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Above the morning fog. On the Athabasca Glacier...


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.

Cloud 9 Guides

Cloud Nine Guides is a Mountain School & Internationally (IFMGA) Certified Guide Service located in Canmore, Alberta, in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. We offer guiding and instruction in ice climbing, rock climbing, mountaineering, backcountry skiing / split boarding and (AST) avalanche education courses.

Peak Stratagem

We teach the skills, decision making, and confidence needed to safely and comfortably explore. We have developed unique and extensive curriculum for technical skills, trip planning, partner communication, risk management, and other important topics. We partner with ACMG guides and experienced athletes who are experts in their outdoor pursuits, to provide you the best guiding and learning experiences.

Other Relevant Websites 

Consult this list of great websites for the valley:

The tabvar site is your organization for bolting, safety, partnership and rock climbing culture. They are the ones who pay for the bolts you clip. Yes, they pay for them. Send them some love, donate or be kind.

Rockies Obscure

A project by Greg Cornell which is documenting lots of cool lines in the rockies. Keep it up Greg!

Banff Rock old guidebook

Chris Perry's personal website hosts his old guidebook and lots of beautiful routes that you may consider doing (lots of unrepeated and alpine ones too)

Grav sports ice

Will Gadd's personal forum. read the rules and find what you want to climb this weekend. Great sharing site.

Avalanche Conditions

Check this to make sure you don't get destroyed by an avy this weekend as you are often under huge bowls of snow (think: cascade falls, for example)


Generally a good place to get more beta/info on climbs due to the fact that Dow W. is very active on this website and has climb most of the classic routes in the Valley

Kumpfy Shoes

Karel is the man in Canmore if you want to get your shoes resoled. Does 3.5mm vibram, 5mm vibram and 4mm stealth rubber for you 5.10 lovers. Don't toss your shoes! resole them!!

Climbing Season

Weather station 9.4 miles from here

878 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',152],['3 Stars',320],['2 Stars',313],['1 Star',37],['Bomb',2]

Classic Climbing Routes in Alberta

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Alberta:
The Professor Falls   WI4     Ice, 6 pitches, 900'   Mt. Rundle : Professor Falls Area
Nemesis   WI6     Ice, Alpine, 4 pitches, 525'   Banff National Park : Stanley Headwall
Lower Weeping Wall   WI4-5     Ice, 3 pitches, 550'   Icefields Parkway : Weeping Wall Area
Louise Falls   WI4-5     Ice, 3 pitches, 350'   Lake Louise : Lake Louise Ice
Moonlight   WI4     Ice, 2 pitches   Kananaskis : Evan Thomas Creek
Polar Circus   WI5     Ice, 9 pitches, 2300'   Icefields Parkway : Weeping Wall Area
The Sorcerer   WI5     Trad, Ice, 4 pitches, 700'   North Ghost
East Ridge   5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a     Trad, Alpine, 5000'   Jasper National Park : Mt. Edith Cavell
Joy   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 10 pitches, 2000'   Kananaskis : Mount Indefatigable
NE Buttress   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b PG13     Trad, 11 pitches, 1500'   Bow Valley : Ha Ling (formerly Chinaman'...
Brewer Buttress   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, Alpine, 13 pitches   Banff National Park : Castle Mountain
South East Face of Eisenhower Tower   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, Alpine   Banff National Park : Castle Mountain
Aftonroe   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 8 pitches   Mt. Cory : Take it for Granite
East Ridge   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13     Alpine, 10 pitches, 5000'   Valley of the Ten Peaks : Mt. Temple
North Face - Chouinard/Beckey/Doody   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, Alpine, 12 pitches, 5000'   Jasper National Park : Mt. Edith Cavell
Coire Dubh Integrale   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b WI3     Trad, Ice, 6 pitches, 2000'   Bow Valley : Loder Peak
South Face   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Alpine, 4 pitches, 350'   Sentinel Pass : Grand Sentinel
Cardiac Arete   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, Alpine, 4 pitches, 330'   Sentinel Pass : Grand Sentinel
Sisyphus Summits    5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 21 pitches, 1700'   Bow Valley : Ha Ling (formerly Chinaman'...
Wicked Gravity   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 88'   The Back of The Lake : Outhouse Wall
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Alberta

Featured Route For Alberta
Rock Climbing Photo: The North Face in profile from the descent (compos...

North Face - Chouinard/Beckey/Doody 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b  North America : Canada : ... : Mt. Edith Cavell
This face looks scary from the parking lot so don't linger looking at it. Doing the climb in a day is a long day but I'd recommend this. If you take bivy gear it will slow you down and it is best to spend as little time as possible on the lower part of this face as it is very exposed to rockfall.Getting to the Angel Glacier is non-trivial and we checked it out the day before. From the parking lot, cross the stream and head up an obvious moraine that heads toward the cliff right of (and below) th...[more]   Browse More Classics in International

Photos of Alberta Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: North Face of Athabasca
North Face of Athabasca
Rock Climbing Photo: Tonquin valley at sunset, Jasper NP.
Tonquin valley at sunset, Jasper NP.
Rock Climbing Photo: Athabasca North Face
Athabasca North Face
Rock Climbing Photo: On thee Athabasca Glacier.
On thee Athabasca Glacier.
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up at the East Ridge of Mt. Temple, one of...
Looking up at the East Ridge of Mt. Temple, one of...
Rock Climbing Photo:
Rock Climbing Photo: The south face of Mt. Temple showing the east ridg...
BETA PHOTO: The south face of Mt. Temple showing the east ridg...
Rock Climbing Photo: Gavriel J. bouldering in Tonquin Valley. Photograp...
Gavriel J. bouldering in Tonquin Valley. Photograp...
Rock Climbing Photo: Calgary airport
Calgary airport
Rock Climbing Photo: Bouldering in Tonquin Valley, Ramparts in the back...
Bouldering in Tonquin Valley, Ramparts in the back...
Rock Climbing Photo: The Remparts , Tanquin Valley.  Wild flowers and t...
The Remparts , Tanquin Valley. Wild flowers and t...
Rock Climbing Photo: North Face of Athabasca on the approach taking the...
BETA PHOTO: North Face of Athabasca on the approach taking the...
Rock Climbing Photo: You got to love this place, even the routes that I...
You got to love this place, even the routes that I...
Rock Climbing Photo: Standing on the Athabasca Glacier with Mt. Androme...
Standing on the Athabasca Glacier with Mt. Androme...

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.
By Johnny Kipp
From: St Albert Alberta
Sep 16, 2016
I'm an Alberta Boy. Born and raised near Edmonton, just got into climbing and while there isn't a ton of climbing very near Edmonton, about three hours west there is a lot.
This website has a link to every route out west of Edmonton. Single pitch sport, multi pitch trad, ice, and bouldering.
Francois Laplante has climbed everything out there and took it upon himself to write this incredible guide book. There is no more complete guide to northern Alberta climbing than this book.
Anytime in July-August you will get beautiful weather. Unless you want ice, then come back in December-Feb.