Only minutes from Banff and close to Canmore, Cascade Mountain has a number of classic ice climbs on its eastern, lower tier of Palliser limestone.

The obvious flow is called Cascade Falls, WI3, 300 m. The majority of the route is a low angled ramble up WI2. The final two pitches steepen out to quintessential WI3, exited through a slot in the upper-canyon. The views of the Bow Valley combined with the short approach makes this route a popular first for ice climbers. The route is under large avalanche bowls, check conditions with the Canadian Avalanche Association before heading out.

The left-most route is Rogan’s Gully, WI2+, 300 m. Another spectacular, aesthetic route, the difficult sections are short, but can be tricky early season. The first pitch is followed by a long meandering canyon, to a steeper, short pitch and finally an upper flow. Again, this route is threatened by large avalanche bowls, check conditions before heading out.

The farthest route to the right is Urs Hule, WI2+, 300 m. This route is dangerous later in  the season because of the avalanche threat, but is a great climb before the snows accumulate. One of the coolest features is the ancient glacier ice which hangs above the route creating a dark tunnel. An optional WI5-pitch at the top of the route is the hardest pitch close to Banff.

article continues after advertisement

If you are new to ice climbing, contact a local guiding company.

Cascade Falls is the obvious flow, Rogan's Gully is tucked to the left and Urs Hole out of the photo to the right

Cascade Falls is the obvious flow, Rogan’s Gully is tucked to the left and Urs Hole out of the photo to the right

Rogan's Gully and Cascade Falls  Photo Canadian Alpine Guides

Rogan’s Gully and Cascade Falls Photo Canadian Alpine Guides

Climbing the first WI3-pitch on Cascade Falls Photo Altus Mountain Guides

Climbing the first WI3-pitch on Cascade Falls Photo Altus Mountain Guides

 

 


Related