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Watch Ice Climbers Ascend Canada’s Second Tallest Waterfall

Takakkaw Falls was first climbed in the mid-1970s, and is now one of the most-talked about big Rockies ice lines

Yoho National Park’s Takakkaw Falls is Canada’s second tallest waterfall at 373 metres. It’s one of B.C.’s most-visited areas in summer, but in winter when the access road closes, few people make the kilometres-long ski to visit it.

In 1974 when ice climbing was just getting going in Canada, Jack Firth, Bugs McKeith, John Lauchlan and Rob Wood skied in, camped and made the first ascent. It’s now climbed as a WI4 over four pitches.

It forms every winter, but conditions vary due to the high volume of water the flows behind the ice. It can be climbed by a strong team in a day or casually ascended with a bivi near the falls. The approach is a 14-kilometre ski along the closed-in-winter road in big avalanche country.

Watch Dave Rone and Krzysztof Gorny make an ascent a few seasons ago in good conditions. Before you head out into Canada’s mountains, always check the avalanche conditions here.

Takakkaw Falls