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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 5 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 5 days in any event.

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

If wanting to walk to and from the peak then extra days will be required.

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.

Due to the dangerous state of the Robson Icefall we now often access the high Dome Camp by helicopter. This allows us to climb the peak in as little as two days if conditions are perfect and climbers are fit. Alternatively we can fly to a point lower on the mountain and access The Dome via the ridge from the Resplendent col, itself a challenging climb, especially when carrying a heavy pack. Approaching on foot it would take at least six days to complete the climb.

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.

Kain Face Itineraries

Fly to Dome Camp
Day 1: 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. Possibly climb Mount Resplendent (3426m).

Day 3: Summit attempt via Kain Face route. Expect to be out for 14 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 with the beautiful snow and ice are the leading 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 at the Columbia Icefields. Return to Canmore where the trip finishes. This can be a long day, so make travel plans accordingly.

Climbing on the Kain Face of Mount Robson. James Blench photo.
Climbing on the Kain Face of Mount Robson.
James Blench photo.

Fly to Upper Robson Glacier or Rearguard Meadows
Day 1: Drive to Robson Provincial Park (4.5hrs.) from Canmore, fly to the Rearguard Meadows adjacent to the Robson Glacier.

Day 2:  Move up as high as conditions and fitness commit. If all goes well to The Dome, otherwise camp in the Resplendent Col.

Day 3: Complete ascent to The Dome or 1st summit attempt via Kain Face route. Expect to be out for 14 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 with the beautiful snow and ice art leading 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: 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.

Costs

We offer a fixed price 5-day Kain Face ascent package.

Price includes: guide fees, park fees, camping gear and out trip meals. A surcharge will applu for special dietary requirements.

# guests with guide

Per Person cost
1 $3295 CDN
Extra days on the mountain will be charged at our daily basic guide rate of $495 for 1 guest

Price does not include: 5% Goods & Services Tax, accommodation, transportation to Mount Robson for yourself or the guide nor the cost of any helicopter flights (see notes below).

Trip Cancellation Insurance is available through Travel Guard.

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 package 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. If the guide has to provide their own transportation, a charge of $280 is applied. In the case where you cannot arrange transportation we may be able to do this but the cost will be substantial (more than the cost of a reasonable rental car taken from the airport).