May to September
Calgary, AB, is 4.5 hours away from Columbia Icefields
Beginner to advanced
Experience the thrill of climbing an 11,000 footer giant!
Jasper National Park is the biggest park in Canada with over 11,000 square kilometers and a myriad of ascents that are just waiting to be climbed! Visit this stunning area full of spectacular wildlife, and join your guide on this two-day alpine climbing adventure. Learn more about the skills and techniques that every alpine enthusiast should master while summiting the breathtaking Mt. Athabasca — one of the most famous mountains in the Canadian Rockies!
Book This Adventure
Alpine Climbing Weekend on Mt. Athabasca
Spend two days in Jasper National Park and broaden your alpine climbing skills. With the help of an expert guide, you will spend two days climbing glaciated terrain and steep snow/ice. You will learn some basics of crevasse rescue and steep snow/ice climbing. These fundamentals of mountaineering will be used as you summit Mt. Athabasca, one of the most accessible and enjoyable big peaks in the Canadian Rockies. Enjoy the ascent, take in the views from the top, and make the most of your weekend!
Day One: Meet your guides and practice alpine skills
Meet your guides in the morning hours at the Icefields campground in Jasper National Park. Your group will be car camping at that location for the evening. Spend your first day practicing different crucial alpine skills which may include climbing a smaller peak. Some of the skills you will practice with your guide will include: ice climbing, glacier travel, crevasse rescue, rappelling and ice screw anchors.
Day Two: On your way to Mt. Athabasca
On your second day, you and your group will attempt to summit Mt. Athabasca (3491m) under the watchful eye of your experienced guide. It will be an early start — after a quick breakfast, you will be leaving camp around 4 a.m., so take the time to condition yourself the week before. If Athabasca is unattainable for whatever reason, one of the many other lower peaks will be attempted, such as A2 (a sub-peak of Athabasca), Boundary Peak (another sub-peak), or nearby Mt. Wilcox. Practice your newly acquired skills in the field and discover the beauty of Jasper!
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Things you need to know
Covid measures in Jasper National Park
57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.
We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re travelling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Jasper National Park, AB, please refer to the official Alberta webpage.
Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!
What you get in this adventure:
- An experienced, local mountain guide with extensive knowledge of the area
- Two days of alpine rock climbing
- All group technical gear
What’s not included:
- Camping fees
- Meals and snacks
How fit do I need to be?
Minimum experience is strong hiking and or scrambling experience. This course suits all levels of climbers from beginner to advanced and a great way to further your skills. You will need a good level of fitness as you will be moving for a minimum of three hours on the rocks plus some additional hiking. Even though rock climbing is all about using good movement technique rather than muscling up a cliff using brute strength, a weekend in the alpine environment will test you. Be prepared for two full days of strenuous climbing in cold temperatures and changeable weather conditions.
What if I’ve never alpine climbed before?
If you’ve never alpine climbed before, we recommend taking an introduction to climbing course or spending a day with a guide learning the basics prior to booking this adventure. Alpine climbing is not for first-time rock climbers, but if you have some experience in scrambling and hiking, there are routes that you can successfully complete with the help of a guide. This course is meant to develop existing skills that will take your climbing to the next level. You will spend time on rock, snow and ice terrain to round out the skill set with guides that have years and years of mountain experience to share with you.
What do I need to bring?
Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:
- Fleece or wool hat
- Neck gaiter
- Face mask
- Lightweight and midweight gloves
- Hardshell jacket with hood (Gore-Tex or equivalent)
- Lightweight wind shell
- Down or synthetic jacket with hood
- Long-sleeved base layer
- Long base layer pants (tights work well in the summer)
- Hardshell pants
- Softshell pants (wind-proof or wind-resistant)
- Leg gaiters (ankle to mid calf height works best in summer)
- Liner socks and wool socks
- Mountaineering boots that work with crampons (can be rented)
- Rock shoes (can be rented)
- Daypack large enough to carry all the items listed (around 40-55L)
- Sunglasses or a visor hat
- Pillow, light and small
- Sleeping bag (3 season, -9 oC min)
- Car camping gear
- Ice axe (can be rented)
- Crampons (can be rented)
- Trekking poles
- Water bottle or hydration pack
- Food you can eat on-the-go
- Bowl, mug, and spork
- Pocket knife
- Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, blister kit, toilet paper, etc.)
- Pee bottle — optional
- Camera — optional
Technical gear list
All technical climbing equipment will be provided by your guiding service. However, if you have your own gear, feel free to bring it. You’ll need:
- Harness with a locking carabiner, belay device and chalk bag
- Climbing hardware (quickdraws, cam devices, stoppers, etc.)
- 3 locking carabiners, 2 non-locking carabiners
- 2x5m 6mm prusik cord
Can I rent equipment?
All mandatory gear can be rented if you don’t have your own. You can rent:
- Ice axe, crampons, helmet and harness package from your guides for $25;
- Mountaineering boots and rock shoes from Gear Up.
All rentals can be found in Canmore. If you need to rent gear, let us know and we can help make arrangements.
Why should I book with 57hours?
With us, it’s all play and no work for you! 57hours is an open platform that connects you with trained and certified outdoor adventure professionals all over the world. Using our tech-savvy, we make it super easy to find and book adventures worth tackling, with guides worth booking, all gathered from the first-hand experiences of the locals who adventure in these amazing locations.
What about group sizes and pricing?
For this adventure, the standard client to guide ratio is 3:1. All pricing is per person.
A 20% deposit to secure your place is due upon booking. The balance of payment is due one month prior to the departure date.
Climbing days can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.
What is the minimum age requirement?
What about bad weather?
As the saying goes, “there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad preparation.” You can expect your guides to be fully prepared for anything. Inclement weather can always get in the way of climbing, but your guide will know the best spots to move to if the weather takes a turn.
On the rare occasion of truly bad weather, your guide will present you with suitable alternatives. The most common practice is to move to a nearby location if it exists, or to reschedule your climbing to a more favorable day.
If climbing is not possible on your scheduled day and no options presented are viable, you will be issued a full refund.
Do I need an insurance policy?
We highly recommended that you cover all your bases with both emergency medical and travel insurance. With medical insurance, if you have an accident or medical emergency on or off the mountain, you’ll avoid paying out of pocket for costly expenses. This covers everything from hospital treatments to emergency air transportation and more.
As we’ve recently seen, travel plans can be abruptly halted, so it’s a good idea to purchase travel insurance that covers cancelled flights, natural disasters and other scenarios that may interrupt your travel plans. For peace of mind, we suggest you consider both options of insurance.
If you need assistance selecting the right insurance for your group, let us know and we will be happy to help!
With 57hours, you benefit from both our own cancellation policy as well as that of the individual guiding service that delivers your adventure. All policies regarding cancellation will be clearly laid out by your guide after booking your adventure, but rest assured that our own cancellation policy will work on top of what is provided by your guide.
For this adventure, 57hours offers a Moderate Cancellation Policy, which states:
If Client cancels the Booking anytime prior to thirty (30) calendar days in advance of the trip contemplated by the booking, Client is entitled to a full refund. For cancellations fourteen (14) to twenty nine (29) calendar days in advance, Client is entitled to a refund in the amount of fifty percent (50%) of the total amount paid when Booking. For cancellations zero (0) to thirteen (13) days in advance, the Client is not entitled to any refund.
For more information on terms and conditions, please visit our Terms of Service page.
Getting there and meeting location
To get to Jasper National Park, most people fly into Calgary International Airport. Once you get to Calgary, you can rent a car or take a shuttle service. It takes about 4.5 hours to reach Jasper, and just over 4 hours to reach Columbia Icefields.
Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the exact place to meet. The course typically begins at 8.30 on Saturday at the Icefields campground in Jasper National Park. From there you will head to your tour. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ability of the group.