/ Lake Lousie Banff Info

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drew52 - on 06 Jan 2013
A group of friends and myself are planning on going to the lake louise/Banff area of the Rockies. Can anyone tell me what good mountain routes there are up to grade AD and where is good for cragging up to grade 5.8? We are planning on going in June.
gobs - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to drew52:

I've only ever been skiing in Banff but there're a few restaurants well worth a visit:

The Saltlik - http://saltlik.com/sl.html
Melissa's - http://www.melssteak.com/

Definitely visit the Hot Springs a short bus ride out of town towards the Rimrock Hotel...

Enjoy!
maria85 - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to drew52:
Mountain routes - plenty to go at. Snow/ice wise look at:
- Mt Victoria (north or south peaks)
- Mt Lefroy (from the same hut as Victoria south)
- Mt Aberdeen/Haddo Peak

Rock routes - note that June may still have a lot of snow on the higher peaks, good, up-to-date conditions reports are at acmg.ca
- Castle Mountains, including Eisenhower Tower (5.5ish) and Brewers Buttress (5.6)
- Mt Louis (5.7ish)
- Lots around Lake O'Hara, though still probably snowy

Scrambles/hikes:
- Mt Temple (one of the 11'000ers)
- Mt Edith
- Lots around Canmore area, eg. Lady McDonald, Grassi Mtn, Ha Ling, Yamnuska
- Mt Rundle (right out of Banff)

Cragging:
- Back of the Lake at Lake Louise, mix of sport and trad, will be cold though.
- Lots of sport climbing around Banff/Canmore - main easier areas are Tunnel Mtn, Grassi Lakes, Cougar Creek, Heart Creek. Not too much 5.8 or under, odd routes, but bolts may encourage you to push your grade a bit?
- Also multipitch sport and trad, eg. Kid Goat, Yamnuska, Mother's Day Buttress on Cascade, Gooseberry on Tunnel.

Guidebooks:
- Selected Alpine climbs in the Canadian Rockies
- 11'000ers of the Canadian Rockies
- Sport Climbing in the Canadian Rockies (actually only covers Banff/Canmore/L.Louise area)
- Canadian Rock: Select Climbs of the West (covers BC as well, eg. Squamish and Skaha).
- Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies (covers basically every summit that doesn't involve ropes or glaciers)
- Summitpost is fairly good for route descriptions.

PM me if you want further info :)
Minneconjou Sioux - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to drew52:

Lake Louise has some great trad climbing just at the end of the lake. Its about 1/2 to 3/4 of an hour West of Banff on Highway 1.

Some good crags around Banff but most are around Canmore (about 15mins apart). Most crags are bolted.

Get the "Bow Valley Sport" guidebook when you get here

Any number of big mountain routes to go at but I can't give you any info as I've not done any yet.
Minneconjou Sioux - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to maria85:

Hey Maria, did you know Matt?
drew52 - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to maria85: Thanks Maria, when you say that there will be a bit of snow around. Will we get away with taking ski touring kit?
marzi - on 07 Jan 2013
did mt mcarthur ( 3021m ) and the president (3138m) last summer,

both were walk ups over big dry glaciers, followed by a gentle scramble to the summits.

nothing major but interesting climbing in different conditions, President is a long day out 8-9 hours
Calski - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to drew52: It might be worth giving Yamnuska Mountain Guides a call or drop them an email - I've been out with Jesse once and they all sound like a good bunch that might be willing to share information.

Enjoy - I'm über jealous...my wife was offered a job out there when we visited on honeymoon but sadly it's too far away from family for her... :-(

Calski
George Ormerod - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to maria85:
> Guidebooks:
> - Selected Alpine climbs in the Canadian Rockies

Also known as the 'book of lies' due to some some, erm, inaccuracies.

Add to this the recently published Banff Rock guide book that attempts to cover all the trad and sports routes in the park. It's superb and there's tons in the grade range you refer to.

June is often the wettest and most unsettled month in the rockies and the snow can still be a problem.
pamph - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to George Ormerod:
> (In reply to maria85)
> [...]
>
> Also known as the 'book of lies' due to some some, erm, inaccuracies.
>
> Amen to that! I have first hand experience of the ,erm inaccuracies and I wouldn't wish to repeat them! Having said that I have had two summer trips to Canada (one to the Rockies and one to the Bugaboos) and they were both fabulous. Both however in September so I couldn't comment on potential conditions in June
nniff - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to drew52:
Point St Nicholas - summit of summits from a certain angle - compulsory photo opportunity! Sufficiently compact to take turns, but no-one's to know.
Mark Sweatmasn - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to drew52:

June is an interesting month.. you might be ski touring on the Wapta but it really does depend on how much snow falls and how warm the spring is. I've been skiing in May easily one year but I've also been sun bathing on Yamnuska another.

For definite Alpine routes I'd go a bit later; for really spring skiing I'd go a bit earlier.

Agree about the book of lies.
John Stainforth - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to George Ormerod:

The new Banff guide looks superb. I lived and climbed in this area for three years and my view is that the sport routes and trad routes are very different from one another, unlike California where trad routes with some bolts and "sport" routes with widely spaced bolts are common. The sport routes in the Banff area tend to be very highly bolted and user-friendly and close to the road, whereas the trad routes are the opposite. The rock is generally better than reputation (i.e., very strong limestone or dolomite) but the belay ledges on some of the trad routes are often mini-talus slopes, so when you are neck-level with the ledge you have to spend several minutes re-arranging stones and rocks so as to be able to step up, or mantle up without knocking anything down.
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maria85 - on 09 Jan 2013
In reply to drew52:
As others have said, June's a funny time - there may be enough snow to ski on the Wapta/Columbia Icefields (north of Lake Louise - I deliberately didn't refer to these areas in my previous post as you'd asked for the Banff/Louise area - there is lots lots more to go at up there though, and an incredibly beautiful area). I very much doubt you'd be able to ski around the Lake Louise area, unless it's a particularly snowy year. Going purely for alpine climbing, a little later in the year is often better.

If you're interested in photos, PM me and I can drag some out from June-ish time in previous years to give you an idea.

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