The classic North Summit of Mount Victoria in Canada, as seen from Lake Louise, is likely the most photographed peak in the world! The outdoor mountain climbing trip involves glacier travel, steep snow and ice and some easy rock climbing to reach the summit. Though less frequently climbed and lower in elevation than the South Summit, the North Summit offers superb views, especially at sunrise, of Mounts Lefroy, Temple and Huber. Ice fall from the hanging East Face glacier can sporadically be heard tumbling to the gorge below and reveals the power and grandeur of the Canadian Rockies from our safe vantage high above. Join us for an unforgettable adventure and the experience of climbing one of Canada’s most memorable 11’000 foot peaks.
Day 1: (Evening) We will meet all guests at the Canadian Alpine Center (Lake Louise Hostel) at 7pm MST on the first night of the trip. The guide will go over the next day’s objectives and do a gear check before we hit the sack for a few hours of sleep.
Day 2: This summit requires a very early pre dawn start and we will be aiming to leave the hostel between 3 and 4am the next morning. We’ll hike past the famous Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse, continuing up the moraine till we reach the toe of the glacier. Crossing the bergschrund can often be challenging before we head up some steeper snow slopes. Views of Mt Lefroy and the horizon are unmatched during sunrise. Depending on conditions we can either climb a short rock band or traverse around it until the snow ridge is regained. The Northeast Ridge leads us to the small, rock summit.
Guides and Group Size
Maximum guide to guest ratio is 1:2. Our guides are enthusiastic and extremely talented. They hold certification from the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides and we are licensed to operate in the area by Parks Canada. Maximum group size is 6.
Transportation while on the program is not included. We rely on guest’s personal vehicles to reach program locations. If flying in we recommend you rent a car from Calgary Airport.
Accommodation & Meals
Accommodation at the Lake Louise hostel on Day 1 is included in the trip price
Accommodation in Canmore is not included. A variety of accommodation options exist in both Canmore and Banff, including campsites, hostels, all levels of hotels as well as condo style accommodation with kitchens or suites. We recommend that you book your own pre and post-trip accommodations well in advance as all levels of accommodations in the Bow Valley fill quickly.
Excess luggage can be left at your hotel or our office.
Meals are not included so please come prepared for a full day out in the mountains with lots of snacks and a lunch.
Equipment and Clothing
The equipment and clothing you bring to this course will play a large role in the quality of your experience. Read the following suggestions and lists carefully. If you have any questions or need clarification, don’t hesitate to call or email.
Yamnuska provides the following personal technical gear. Please feel free to bring your own items if desired:
- Mountaineering ice axe
- Climbing harness
- Climbing helmet
We recommend you bring:
- Mountaineering boots (must be crampon compatible)
- Daypack* (40 litres)
- Water bottle
- Sunscreen, SPF lip balm
- Headlamp (with fresh batteries)
- Ear plugs
- Blister kit
- First aid items (Our guides carry a first aid kit, but you may bring your own Band-Aids and anti-inflammatory medication if desired.)
- Trekking pole (optional)
- Music player and lightweight reading material (optional)
*These items are available for rent. Please advise us in advance.
When mountaineering, it is important to be able to adjust for the changing conditions. We recommend bringing clothing that can be layered to achieve comfort as you change from periods of activity to periods of rest. Cotton clothing is not appropriate as it causes rapid heat loss when wet.
We recommend you bring:
- Long underwear top and bottoms (lightweight synthetic or wool)
- Socks (synthetic/wool, at least two pairs)
- Light synthetic shirt
- Softshell pants and jacket
- Midweight synthetic or down jacket
- Heavyweight insulated jacket
- Waterproof hardshell jacket with hood
- Waterproof hardshell pants (should have a full length side zip so they can be put on without taking off boots and crampons)
- Gaiters (big enough to fit over large boots)
- Waterproof mountaineering or ice climbing gloves (at least two pairs)
- Warm hat that fits under a helmet
- Sun hat
- Running shoes or sandals
Additional gear info:
Backpack: It is possible to use just one multiday backpack (55-65 litres), as long as it is comfortable to wear while climbing. If bringing an additional day pack, this should be very light and compressible in order to fit inside the bigger pack on the approach hike.
Mountaineering boots: A good pair of boots is essential. They need to be warm and crampon compatible. Yamnuska uses Scarpa Mont Blanc boots.
Crampons: Mountaineering crampons should have anti snow-balling plates, and need to be compatible with your boots. We use the Petzl Vasak.
Mountaineering ice axe: Your ice axe should be 55-75 cm, and should be equipped with an adze. Yamnuska provides the Petzl Summit Axe.
Climbing harness: Should be sized to fit over your cold weather clothing. It is recommended to have a harness with a belay/rappel loop.
Climbing helmet: A comfortable, all around climbing helmet that can fit over your winter hat.
Please book as early as practical to avoid disappointment. Full payment is required at time of booking. We accept Visa, Mastercard, Canadian Cheques, Money Orders and Bank Drafts. Credit card payments are easiest, especially for international travellers.
We ask that you review our detailed booking instructions and conditions.
Please note that you will be required to sign our waiver before commencing the program. Please view our sample waiver copy.
There are two basic types of insurance that most travelers need to consider: Medical and Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance. We offer our guests coverage for both and highly recommend you purchase it.
Emergency Medical Expenses Insurance:
It is wise to ensure that your health plan will cover you in case of illness or accident during your trip. Obtain extra coverage if necessary. There is no charge for rescue in the national and provincial parks, however costs such as air or ground transportation, long term care and other services are not covered.
Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance:
We recognize that our guests’ schedules may change for many reasons; business, family, flight delays, injuries and other unplanned events. For these eventualities the Trip Cancellation/Interruption insurance is a great way to protect your investment.
For all your travel insurance requirements we recommend the Simpson Group. This agency offers a wide range of travel insurance options including Trip Cancellation/Interruption, Travel Medical and Personal Effect Loss for Canadian Travelers. We highly recommend purchasing this insurance.
Please note that this coverage is for Canadian residents only. For guests who are not from Canada and who are interested in the ‘Visitors to Canada’ insurance package please contact the Simpson Group directly at JSimpson@simpson-group.com and reference your Yamnuska Mountain Adventure’s trip.
Cost: $595 CDN
Includes guides, Lake Louise accommodation and use of specialized climbing gear.
Not included: Meals, Canmore accommodation, transportation, gratuities & taxes.
Departures can be set up on a private basis for individuals, families, or groups. We can organize a private departure and leave the trip open for more people to join. Please contact us if you would like to arrange your own departure and we will be happy to provide you with a quote based on your group’s size and trip options.
Trip Cancellation Insurance is available through the Simpson Group.
More climbing: Yamnuska guides and instructors are also available for private climbing in the Rockies and elsewhere before and after the program.
Is it for you?
This is a challenging objective and guests should have prior intermediate mountaineering experience and a high level of fitness. You can expect to be out for a 12 – 15 hour day.