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The Back of The Lake

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The Back of The Lake Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 5,000'
Location: 51.4078, -116.2405 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 19,436
Administrators: Dave Rone, Tom Gnyra, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Euan Cameron on Jul 31, 2011

68° | 30°

66° | 34°

69° | 35°

71° | 37°

71° | 37°

63° | 41°
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Rainbow after a storm,


The gem of the area. From a distance the quartzite buttresses tend to get lost within the grandure of the surroundings, however don't let that fool you. Take the time to wander the trail along the shores of Lake Louise and you will be met with exceptionally good climbing, and more often than not friendly locals willing to show you some of the classics.

The climbs are generally vertical to gently overhanging and there is a good mixture of sport and trad routes so all comers should be happy.

Many of the routes are climbable in the summer even when there is a light rain, however, depending on the amount of chalk some do feel a little slimy.

Getting There 

Park up in the parking lot just before the Chateau (make sure you have a National Park Pass). From there follow everyone else as they head around the lake trail.

At the far end of the lake the buttresses come in to full view. Pick your buttress and start to climb.

Climbing Season

For the Banff National Park area.

Weather station 2.2 miles from here

37 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',7],['3 Stars',21],['2 Stars',8],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in The Back of The Lake

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for The Back of The Lake:
Pub Night   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 68'   Outhouse Wall
School of Rock   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 50'   Outhouse Wall
Public Enemy   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 80'   Outhouse Wall
Turtle Mountain   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 80'   Outhouse Wall
Wicked Gravity   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 88'   Outhouse Wall
Mardi Gras   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch   Outhouse Wall
Purple People Eater   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch   Outhouse Wall
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in The Back of The Lake

Featured Route For The Back of The Lake
Rock Climbing Photo: Flashing Chocolate Bunnies from Hell

Chocolate Bunnies from Hell 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c  North America : Canada : ... : Outhouse Wall
Climb through sequence after sequence of thought-provoking and fun moves all the way up the arete. A little bit balancey and three-dimensional....[more]   Browse More Classics in International

Photos of The Back of The Lake Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Great quartzite climbing in a spectaular, albeit t...
Great quartzite climbing in a spectaular, albeit t...
Rock Climbing Photo: Sitting on Rocks at Lake Louise
Sitting on Rocks at Lake Louise
Rock Climbing Photo: Lake Louise
Lake Louise
Rock Climbing Photo: View from on the climbing wall at the far end of t...
View from on the climbing wall at the far end of t...
Rock Climbing Photo: Atop a single pitch climb at the back of the lake.
Atop a single pitch climb at the back of the lake.
Rock Climbing Photo: DEW Line
DEW Line
Rock Climbing Photo: Heh - too cold for a solo?
Heh - too cold for a solo?
Rock Climbing Photo: Crag as seen on the way up to the Teahouse. What a...
Crag as seen on the way up to the Teahouse. What a...
Rock Climbing Photo: a 2 pitch 5.10 trad, one of the routes close to la...
a 2 pitch 5.10 trad, one of the routes close to la...

Comments on The Back of The Lake Add Comment
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By Charles Konopa
Aug 20, 2007
We climbed here on a weekend in July 2007. Easy access, easy to find the main climbing walls. There were plenty of friendly climbers to chat with about which routes to do. We mostly did sport routes, but did do one trad route and two 2-pitch sport routes. We had a 60m rope, but some routes could use a 70m or 80m rope, but usually had a mid rap station somewhere on the wall.

This is a very scenic place to climb. There are easy routes to warm up on, and challenging routes that take some figuring out. We climbed here two days before heading to Canmore.
By Peter Spindloe
From: North Vancouver, BC
Feb 8, 2008
Check out Sonnie Trotter climbing The Path
By Alex A
Jul 9, 2010
So, whats up, is Mountain Project not popular in Canada, there's one route and it was posted 4yrs ago, for a fantastic climbing area, one most scenic areas to climb, the local climbers are friendly.
By Chris Owen
From: Big Bear Lake
Jun 22, 2012
This has to be one of the most scenic sport crags in North America - would love to see some locals post lots of routes for this area.
By B-Mkll Mackall
From: Bozeman, MT
Jul 15, 2014
There's truly a ton of routes here in a concentrated area, from beginner 5.6-5.9 clip ups and learners cracks to ambitious multipitch endeavors into the 5.12 range. If you're in the area check out a copy of Bow Valley Sport to get the full picture, don't let the paltry (so far) entries here dissuade you.
By cjdrover
From: Watertown, MA
Jun 22, 2015
To echo the above, this a fantastic crag with many excellent routes on amazing rock. The MP database is probably only 10% complete with 18 routes shown. Another guidebook that covers the area is "Banff Rock".

We only had an afternoon and morning to climb but were very impressed with the rock and route quality on everything we did. There is some really good 5.10 trad climbing with movement and rock reminiscent of the Gunks. Very friendly locals and amazing location!

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