Driving time from Calgary
Routes to keep you busy
Consult the guidebook
Derek Galloway’s Bow Valley Sport is your ticket to ride. This 300-page modern guidebook highlights the best of Canada’s premiere summer sport climbing venue. Stuffed with awesome action shots, super detailed maps and first-hand route descriptions, it is the ultimate guidebook to Rockies’ sport climbing. With this in hand you’ll be on route faster than you can yell “take.”
Mix it up
To get to the trailhead, park in the Lake Louise parking lot (don’t forget your National Park Pass), head west for the lake, and make your way to the right around the lake trail. With powerful, technical and pumpy routes, the highly photogenic orange and purple quartzite walls aren’t just for sport climbers. In fact, the cliff was first developed with a traditional ethic, and many stellar cracks abound. Be sure to check out Ash Wednesday (5.10a), Scared Peaches (5.12a), and if you’re up for a world-class challenge, Sonnie Trotter’s brilliant masterpiece The Path (5.14a R). So, to ensure a well-rounded dose of Lake Louise stone, be sure to pack your rack.
Paddle a canoe
One of the most Canadian things one can do is paddle a canoe in Banff National Park, so why not combine that with your climbing trip? Unless you bring your own, rentals are available at the boathouse on the west shore of the lake. The invigoratingly cold water of Lake Louise, with its alluring aquamarine hue, serves as a poignant reminder that this is silt-infused glacial melt-water from nearby peaks such as Mount Victoria, The Twins, Eiffel Peak and Snow Dome.
Tick the classics
With just a few weeks of idyllic weather each year, it’s best to tackle the classics. These world-famous cliffs feature holds of all shapes and sizes from tiny micro-crimpers to fist-swallowing jugs. Whatever your fancy, be sure to visit the Air Voyage Wall for Wicked Gravity (5.11a), Chocolate Bunnies from Hell (5.11b), DEW Line (5.11c), Jason Lives (5.13a) and Bloodsport (5.11b); as well as perennial favorites such as Mister Rogers (5.11b), Duck of Death (5.11b) and Liquid Sky (5.11c).