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Scrambling is a fairly non technical way of climbing Canada's mountains. The ground that you cover while scrambling is generally in the 3rd/4th grading, made up of rockbands, snow slopes, ridges and plenty of scree.

"Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies" by Alan Kane is the book that got me into the mountains. After doing a few day hikes in the mountains, I heard about a guidebook that explained how and where you could summit big Canadian peaks with little equipment and major mountain experiance. After buying it and spending a winter reading and dreaming about these Rockies routes, I was hooked...

Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies

Canmore and Bow Valley

The Trans Canada Highway is built along the Bow Valley which leads to Canmore. This is an excellent place to scramble in the early and later summer months, or on short lazy days. The peaks in this areas are generalized by lower elevation and higher treeline.

Aug. 13, 00Ha Ling Peak2408m(7,900Ft.)Very Easy
May 26, 01Big Sister2936m(9,632Ft.)Moderate
June 2, 01Mt. Lady Macdonald2605m(8,546Ft.Difficult
June 22, 01East End of Rundle2590m(8,497Ft.)Easy
June 24, 02Heart Mountain2135m(7,004Ft.)Easy
Nov. 11, 02Mt. Baldy2192m(7,912Ft.)Easy
March 14, 04Grotto Mountain2706m(8,878Ft.)Moderate
April 5, 04Mount Lawrence Grassi2685m(8,809Ft.)Moderate
April 12, 04Squaw's Tit2,500m(8,200 Ft.)Moderate
July, 05Mt. Yamnuska2240m(7,349Ft.)Easy

Smith-Dorrien Area

The Smith-Dorrien area of Kananaskis is an unbeatable place for scrambling. It's accessed by an unpaved road which decreases most of the tourist flow. Most of the peaks are close to the road. The scrambling is generalized by higher elevations, and really great views. Nearby glaciers and green alpine valleys wrapped in with the seclusion of this area, makes this my favorite place to scramble.

July 8, 00Mt. Chester3054m(10,019Ft.)Easy/Moderate
Aug. 16, 00The Fortress3000m(9,862Ft.)Easy/Moderate
June 23, 01Mt. Engadine2970m(9,744Ft.)Difficult
July 09, 02The Tower3117m(10,226Ft.)Moderate
Aug. 13, 02Gusty Peak3000m(9,842Ft.)Easy
July 5, 04Mount Burstall2760m(9,055Ft.)Difficult
March 5, 05The Fist2630m(8,628Ft.)Difficult

Elbow/Kananaskis Valley

The Kananaskis Valley is close to Calgary and has a scrambling season that starts as early as May. The scrambling is generalized with longer approaches, scree, and early season snow slopes. Less crowded than Banff/Canmore, it's also a good place to find solitude. Be sure to hit up the hot tub at Mt. Kidd campground after a long day of scree kicking.

June 24, 01The Wedge2665m(8,743Ft.)Moderate/Difficult
May 25, 02Opal Ridge2575m(8,448Ft.)Moderate
Aug. 15, 02Grizzly Peak2500m(8,202Ft.)Easy
June 26, 03Mt. Lawson2795m(9,170Ft.)Moderate
April 25, 05Mt. Kidd2958m(9,705Ft.)Moderate
July 9, 05Gap Mountain2675mModerate

Kananaskis Lakes

The Kananaskis Lakes area offers great scrambling in a quiet area. The region offers numerous scrambles from a base camp at Aster Lake. The scrambling is characterized by late snow, ridges ranging from easy to really difficult, and really good views. A con on this area is that it is pretty far from Banff/Canmore so after a hard day of scrambling theres not much to do.

Aug. 11, 00Mt. Indefatigable2670m(8,760Ft.)Easy
July 23, 01Mt. Sarrail3174m(10,413Ft.)Easy
July 17, 02Warrior Mountain2973m(9,754Ft.)Easy
July 17, 02Mt. Cordonnier3021m(9,911Ft.)Easy

Highwood Area

This is the southern most region of Kananaskis and has an excellent choice for scrambles. The trailhead for most of these climbs is about 2200m, about the same elevation as the summit of Mt. Yamnuska. The scrambling is generalized with short elevation gains, good rock quality, and green alpine valleys. The approaches are all fairly short.

July 20, 01Mt. Rae3218m(10,558Ft.)Moderate
July 21, 01Mt. Tyrwhitt2874m(9,425Ft.)Moderate
July 21, 01Mt. Pocaterra2934(9,626Ft.)Moderate
July 19, 02Storm Mountain3092(10,144Ft.)Moderate

Banff Area

The Banff area has many popular scrambles. From Banff to Lake louise there is alot of variety as far as types of scrambles. A select few are tourist routes, but most of them do not see everyday action. The season usually starts around late June.

July 11, 00Mt. Rundle2949m(9,675Ft.)Easy
August 18, 01Castle Mountain2766m(9,075Ft.)Easy
June 25, 02Storm Mountain3161m(10,371Ft.)Moderate
May 30, 04Mount Cory2802m(9,212Ft.)Moderate
May 22, 05Vermilion Peak2622m(8,602Ft.)Moderate

Lake Louise Area

This is probably one of the most unique part of the rockies, but also one of the most crowded. Good views attract tourists, so my advise is to go up where there is less of them. This area has great scrambling and occasionally sunny weather.

July 5, 01Mt. Fairview2744m(9,002Ft.)Easy
August 25, 01Mt. Temple3543m(11,624Ft.)Moderate
August 17, 01Mt. Niblock2976m(9,764Ft.)Moderate
August 17, 01Mt. Whyte2983m(7,787Ft.)Difficult
Sept 12, 02Mt. St. Piran2649m(8,691Ft.)Easy
July 31, 04Tower Of Babel2360m(7,743Ft.)Easy

Field and Little Yoho

Field is located 20 mins west of Lake Louise, in B.C. If your looking for a place to party after climbing, head to Lake Louise or Banff. Field is a smaller town with few services. Alot of the scrambling here has long approaches and/or high elevation gains, but excellent views and fewer tourists.

June 19, 04Narao Peak2974m(9,757Ft.)Moderate
Aug 3, 04Paget Peak2560m(8,399Ft.)Easy
Aug 12, 04Mount Daly3152m(10,341Ft.)Difficult

Icefields Parkway

Climbing everywhere. This is the best area to find great climbing. Home to most of Alberta's prestigious 11,000 footers. The scrambling season starts in early July for the easier routes, although some will not come into season until mid August.

August 16, 01Observation Peak3174m(10,413Ft.)Easy/Moderate
August 6, 03Nigel Peak3211m(10,535Ft.)Moderate
Aug 17, 04Dolomite Peak2998mDifficult
Aug 19, 05Mount Wilcox2884mModerate


Jasper National Park is located in the northern rockies. This quiet laid-back town is far different from Banff and is backdropped by giants like Edith Cavell and Robson to the west.

June 11, 05Roche Miette2316mModerate