Alpine Climbing Weekend on Mt. Athabasca

Mt. Athabasca | Alberta
Trip Highlights

Top three reasons to climb Mt. Athabasca

  • Trip Highlight

    Experience the thrill of climbing an 11,000 footer giant

  • Trip Highlight

    Spectacular summit views from the edge of the Columbia Icefields

  • Trip Highlight

    Several climbing routes provide options for different goals and skill levels

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 a two-day alpine climbing adventure. Located in the Columbia Icefield, the heart of Jasper National Park, Mt. Athabasca provides excellent big mountain terrain, as well as multi-pitch snow and ice routes of all grades and styles. There are several climbing routes, but the most famous one is Silverhorn, named after one of the most prominent features, the horned-shaped tip near the top. 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!

Season

May to September

Nearest city

Calgary, AB, is 4.5 hours away from Columbia Icefields

Duration

2 days

Skill level

Beginner to advanced

Itineraries

Book this adventure

Alpine Climbing Weekend on Mt. Athabasca

2 days

Spend two days in Jasper National Park and expand your alpine climbing skill set with the help of an expert guide. Spend two days climbing glaciated terrain and steep snow/ice and learn the basics of crevasse rescue. Put your newly acquired skills to the test 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!

Trip Highlights

Itinerary

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 to know

Things 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 traveling 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’s included?

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:

  • Accommodation
  • Camping fees
  • Transportation
  • Meals and snacks
  • Alpine kit, crampons, harness, ice axe, and helmet (can be rented for $25.00 per day)

How fit do I need to be?

This course suits all levels of climbers from beginner to advanced and is 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 climbing is all about using good movement techniques, a weekend in the alpine environment will test you. Minimum experience includes strong hiking and/or scrambling experience. 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 about required equipment?

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
  • Ropes
  • Climbing hardware (quickdraws, cam devices, stoppers, etc.)
  • 3 locking carabiners, 2 non-locking carabiners
  • 2x5m 6mm prusik cord
  • Alpine kit, crampons, harness, axe, and helmet (can be rented for $25.00 per day)

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
  • Underwear
  • 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
  • Headlamp
  • 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

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.

Group sizes and age requirements

Group sizes:

  • For this adventure, the standard client-to-guide ratio is 3:1. All pricing is per person.
  • A minimum of 3 participants is required for the tour to run. If you’re interested in a solo or private tour, contact us to make arrangements.
  • 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.

Age requirements:

  • Everybody over the age of 18 is welcome to book this climbing adventure.

If your group has climbers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

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.

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