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, 00||Ha Ling Peak||2408m(7,900Ft.)||Very Easy|
|May 26, 01||Big Sister||2936m(9,632Ft.)||Moderate|
|June 2, 01||Mt. Lady Macdonald||2605m(8,546Ft.||Difficult|
|June 22, 01||East End of Rundle||2590m(8,497Ft.)||Easy|
|June 24, 02||Heart Mountain||2135m(7,004Ft.)||Easy|
|Nov. 11, 02||Mt. Baldy||2192m(7,912Ft.)||Easy|
|March 14, 04||Grotto Mountain||2706m(8,878Ft.)||Moderate|
|April 5, 04||Mount Lawrence Grassi||2685m(8,809Ft.)||Moderate|
|April 12, 04||Squaw's Tit||2,500m(8,200 Ft.)||Moderate|
|July, 05||Mt. Yamnuska||2240m(7,349Ft.)||Easy|
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, 00||Mt. Chester||3054m(10,019Ft.)||Easy/Moderate|
|Aug. 16, 00||The Fortress||3000m(9,862Ft.)||Easy/Moderate|
|June 23, 01||Mt. Engadine||2970m(9,744Ft.)||Difficult|
|July 09, 02||The Tower||3117m(10,226Ft.)||Moderate|
|Aug. 13, 02||Gusty Peak||3000m(9,842Ft.)||Easy|
|July 5, 04||Mount Burstall||2760m(9,055Ft.)||Difficult|
|March 5, 05||The Fist||2630m(8,628Ft.)||Difficult|
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, 01||The Wedge||2665m(8,743Ft.)||Moderate/Difficult|
|May 25, 02||Opal Ridge||2575m(8,448Ft.)||Moderate|
|Aug. 15, 02||Grizzly Peak||2500m(8,202Ft.)||Easy|
|June 26, 03||Mt. Lawson||2795m(9,170Ft.)||Moderate|
|April 25, 05||Mt. Kidd||2958m(9,705Ft.)||Moderate|
|July 9, 05||Gap Mountain||2675m||Moderate|
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, 00||Mt. Indefatigable||2670m(8,760Ft.)||Easy|
|July 23, 01||Mt. Sarrail||3174m(10,413Ft.)||Easy|
|July 17, 02||Warrior Mountain||2973m(9,754Ft.)||Easy|
|July 17, 02||Mt. Cordonnier||3021m(9,911Ft.)||Easy|
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, 01||Mt. Rae||3218m(10,558Ft.)||Moderate|
|July 21, 01||Mt. Tyrwhitt||2874m(9,425Ft.)||Moderate|
|July 21, 01||Mt. Pocaterra||2934(9,626Ft.)||Moderate|
|July 19, 02||Storm Mountain||3092(10,144Ft.)||Moderate|
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, 00||Mt. Rundle||2949m(9,675Ft.)||Easy|
|August 18, 01||Castle Mountain||2766m(9,075Ft.)||Easy|
|June 25, 02||Storm Mountain||3161m(10,371Ft.)||Moderate|
|May 30, 04||Mount Cory||2802m(9,212Ft.)||Moderate|
|May 22, 05||Vermilion Peak||2622m(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, 01||Mt. Fairview||2744m(9,002Ft.)||Easy|
|August 25, 01||Mt. Temple||3543m(11,624Ft.)||Moderate|
|August 17, 01||Mt. Niblock||2976m(9,764Ft.)||Moderate|
|August 17, 01||Mt. Whyte||2983m(7,787Ft.)||Difficult|
|Sept 12, 02||Mt. St. Piran||2649m(8,691Ft.)||Easy|
|July 31, 04||Tower Of Babel||2360m(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, 04||Narao Peak||2974m(9,757Ft.)||Moderate|
|Aug 3, 04||Paget Peak||2560m(8,399Ft.)||Easy|
|Aug 12, 04||Mount Daly||3152m(10,341Ft.)||Difficult|
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, 01||Observation Peak||3174m(10,413Ft.)||Easy/Moderate|
|August 6, 03||Nigel Peak||3211m(10,535Ft.)||Moderate|
|Aug 17, 04||Dolomite Peak||2998m||Difficult|
|Aug 19, 05||Mount Wilcox||2884m||Moderate|
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.