Mount Yamnuska, Bighorn No. 8, AB, Canada
Driving time from Calgary
Elevation of Yamnuska
Pick your battles
Yamnuska attracts all kinds of climbers since it has lots of trad, sport, multi-pitch and bouldering options to choose from. There are many sections to Yamnuska, and each one has different climbing possibilities. Yamnuska’s West End is a great place to first experience multi-pitch climbing, while the Forbidden Corner route follows a very steep cliff over 300m long, which makes for a full day of trad climbing. Big Choss, named for its loose rock, is a great bouldering area at the base of Yamnuska.
Pick up Rock Climbs of Mount Yamnuska guidebook to help narrow down your choices and plan your day.
Get some trad climbing in
Yamnuska has been popular for traditional climbers for over four decades. In 1952, Leo Grillmair, Isabel Spreat and Hans Gmoser were the first to summit the face of Yamnuska with the ascent of Grillmair Chimney. These three climbers encouraged the exploration of other great climbs that are found today throughout the Rockies. There are trad climbs in multiple places along the Yamnuska face, and they range in difficulty.
Yamnuska offers sport climbing for all levels, and it’s a great place for sport climbers to learn about multi-pitch climbing. With a southern and completely exposed face, climbers at Yamnuska can stay warm and dry as they hit multiple pitches and gain in elevation.
Set up some crashpads
Bouldering at Yamnuska is accessible year-round, if you’re able to brave a little chill and are okay with your hands getting a bit chewed up on the cold rock. Occasionally, warm winter winds allow for winter climbing if snowfall is low.
Big Choss gives climbers an array of bouldering problems to tackle. The Warmup Boulder is a great place to get comfortable before you move on to tougher areas.