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Is it for you?

You must have a resume of prior mountaineering experience which includes glacier travel and climbing on steep ice and snow. This is one of our most demanding and challenging climbs. You will also need to be in excellent condition. If you have insufficient experience for this climb consider taking our advanced 'Intro to Alpine Ice'  mountaineering program or arrange for at least 4 days of training with our guides beforehand.

If it becomes obvious that you are either not fit enough for the climb or lack the mountaineering skills needed then the guide will organize alternatives if possible. We unfortunately will not be able to provide refunds in this situation as we will have already committed resources.

Time Needed

We require a commitment of at least 7 days for attempts on the Kain Face. This allows a reasonable amount of spare time in case of bad weather which may delay access to and from the peak and limit summit opportunities. Should bad weather further prolong the trip guide fees will be charged for extra days. We will only consider shorter Robson trips if they are imbedded into longer private guiding programs such as where a guest may have booked the guide for at least 7 days in any event.

If the trip is successful early on then the extra days can be used on other climbs in the region.

Climbing Season

The snow on the upper peak tends not to stabilize until mid-July. The optimal season is usually mid-July though the 3rd week of August. Some years you can climb right into September but there is a risk that the mountain might be out of condition due to late season storms.

Guide Ratios

Due to the advanced nature of this climb and current condition on the upper section of this peak, we currently only offer this objective at a 1 to 1 ratio. Each guest will have to have their own guide, however it is still more cost effective to try and arrange for a partner to climb the peak with a second guide at the same time, as both groups benefit from a discount in the helicopter fees for the flights in and out of the dome.

Mount Robson

At 3,954m Mount Robson is the tallest peak in the Canadian Rockies. Climbers come from around the world to attempt its icy flanks on the way to the summit. The great bulk of this heavily glaciated peak creates its own climate and with all of the world's great peaks, the summit is never assured. Mt Robson is a much sought after test piece for experienced mountaineers.

This is a truly challenging objective for those with a number of intermediate and advanced peaks under their belt. Reaching the summit of is for many the ultimate Canadian Rockies mountaineering objective.

The Peak

Mt. Robson is the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies and its summit elevation is 3954m. It's located on the western edge of the range, 100km west of Jasper in British Columbia's Mount Robson Provincial Park. Its massive bulk, the first thing that moist westerlies hit after crossing B.C. has resulted in a moist local micro-climate . At its base is temperate rainforest more typical of the coast and its upper heights are cloaked in the massive glaciation that makes it such a beautiful and challenging climb.

We prefer to attempt the the Kain Face on the N.E. side of the peak, it was the first ascent route in 1913. Now it is much steeper as the glaciers have changed. It is a serious climb involving some objective hazards and whilst the climbing is not extremely technical (45 - 550 snow and ice), conditions and weather can increase the challenge considerably. The summit day is often long and demanding and can take 14 hours or more.

Other routes on the mountain include the Schwarz Ledges on the South Face. Overhung by unstable seracs this route is not very appealing. Harder routes include the North Face and the Fuhrer Ridge, these are routes we would only consider guiding with guests who have already built up a climbing relationship with our guides or have an extensive technical climbing resume.

Sample Robson Itineraries:

Option 1:

Day 1:  We meet at 6am (MST) in Canmore and drive via the Icefields Parkway and the Yellowhead Highway to Robson Provincial Park (4.5hrs).  We hike for 7 km to Kinney Lake, where we set up camp for the first night. 

Day 2:  From Kinney Lake we hike to  the far end of Berg Lake along the Berg Lake Trail thru the Valley of a Thousand Falls and Emperor Falls. 

Day 3:  Leaving Berg Lake behind us, we make our way to the Extinguisher Tower beside the Robson Glacier.

Day 4:  We climb to the Dome via the Robson-Resplendant col.

Day 5:  This is our first summit attempt day via the Kain Face route. Expect to be out for 14 or more hours. Leaving camp in the very early hours of the morning you will head to the base of the 'Kain Face' and commence 550m of climbing on snow, ice or both with angles reaching 50 degrees. From here the fun continues. The route follows a beautiful snow and ice ridge that leads to the steep slopes circumventing the 'Roof' and then, finally, the last section to the summit. To descend we reverse the climb!

Day 6:  Second summit attempt if poor conditions on day 5.

Day 7:  Descend to Berg Lake

Day 8:  Hike out and return to Canmore

 

Option 2: (Pending Helicopter Flight availability - see Day 6 & 7 notes below)

Day 1: Meet at 6am (MST) the drive to Robson Provincial Park (4.5hrs) from Canmore, fly to the 'Dome' at 3000m. This is located just below the Kain Face.

Day 2:  Acclimatization and training day.

Day 3: Summit attempt via Kain Face route. Expect to be out for 14 or more hours. Leaving camp in the very early hours of the morning you will head to the base of the 'Kain Face' and commence 550m of climbing on snow, ice or both with angles reaching 500. From here the fun continues. The route follows a beautiful snow and ice ridge that leads to the steep slopes circumventing the 'Roof' and then, finally, the last section to the summit. To descend we reverse the climb!

Day 4: Spare day for another summit attempt; or, if  weather permits and we were successful the previous day, we may fly out early and head to the Columbia Icefields for another climb on the last day.

Day 5: Either fly out from the Dome or do a final climb in the Columbia Icefields. Return to Canmore where the trip finishes. This can be a long day, so make travel plans accordingly.

*Days 6 & 7: There are no scheduled flights to the 'Dome' and it is only possible to confirm flights 1 day prior to departure.  As a result is is necessary to plan a minimum of 7 days for a Mt Robson Climb.  Should a flight to the 'Dome' become available and you decide to take this option you can use the extra days to climb other peaks in the area or elsewhere with your guide.

Costs

Please contact the Yamnuska office for a quote.

Trip Cancellation Insurance is available through the Simpson Group.

For guests with dietary restrictions, we are able to modify the program food pack to meet your individual needs.  As food pricing and preparation for these diets is more costly, we have implemented the following surcharges.  For vegan, gluten free, lactose free, soy free, nut free or any similar type of single restriction menu requests there will be a $15/day surcharge. For a diet requiring any 2 restrictions a $25/day surcharge will apply.  For any 3 restrictions a $30/day surcharge will apply.  Vegetarian meals will not be surcharged.  For more complex diets our kitchen staff will assess the restrictions to inform you if the diet can be accommodated and what surcharge would apply. 

Notes on hiring a guide

When hiring a guide we quote you guide fees plus expenses. Expenses you will incur include the cost of transportation for yourself and the guide to Mount Robson, camping gear rentals if applicable, Provincial Park fees and meals (for the guide also). In addition there is the cost of any helicopter flights. To simplify things we have offered the 5-day package price outlined above.

Helicopter cost
Because this depends upon flying conditions and whether or not the flight is shared with other groups, we cannot accurately predict this cost. Therefore we do not include this in our price. Instead we arrange for you to pay this cost directly to Yellowhead Helicopters (we will help facilitate this). For flights to and from the Dome the price without other groups sharing costs currently ranges between $1350 and $1750 Cdn one way for up to 2 passengers.

Transportation
We do not usually supply transportation and you are also responsible for the cost of the guide's transportation to the area. We suggest you pick the guide up in Canmore on your way to Mount Robson.