Located in Canmore, Alberta at the gates of Banff National Park, Yamnuska Mountain Adventures is one of Canada’s premier providers of mountaineering, rock & ice climbing, backcountry skiing, hiking, and trekking experiences in the Canadian Rockies. For over 40 years, we have hosted thousands of clients from Canada and all over the world. Our brand is known for quality mountain experiences, safety, and well-organized itineraries. We have some of the best mountain guides and hiking guides in the industry. All Yamnuska Mountain Adventures climbing guides are certified through the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides.
From our humble beginnings as an adult wilderness program at the YMCA’s Yamnuska Center back in 1977, we have grown to be recognized internationally for our superior guest service, exemplary safety record, and the highest standard of program delivery. We are proud to call Canmore, Alberta our home but consider the mountains of western Canada to be our classroom and playground. We are one of Canada’s oldest and premier mountain schools. Our rich and deep history of climbing in Canada is a great source of pride for all of us here at ‘Yam’.
Much has been written about Yamnuska, its history, and the committed climbers and guides who started our organization way back in 1977. We encourage you to check out the Yamnuska story on Wikipedia or in many Canadian Rockies climbing history books. When you walk down the hall in our training center we encourage you to enjoy our ‘Holly-Yam’ display which depicts many of the Major Motion Film Productions we have been involved in over the years. We are also a proud mountain skills and adventure training contractor to police and military organizations in Canada and the UK.
Yamnuska Mountain Adventures is passionately committed to providing exceptional mountain experiences and services in a sustainable and respectful manner with safety as our top priority.
Yamnuska Mountain Adventures recognizes that the traditional stewards of the land on which we live, work and play are the First Nations and Metis peoples of Canada.
Yamnuska is located within Treaty 7 territory, the traditional territories and home of the Stoney Nakoda, Blackfoot Confederacy and Tsuut’ina Nations, as well as Zone 3 Metis Nation.
We honour, respect and celebrate this territory with all those who steward this land.
All of our mountain guides are ACMG/IFMGA certified and in addition to their exceptional technical skills, our team is trained to give you the quality experience you expect. We pride ourselves on setting the standard in our industry for staff training and guest service.
Our modern 6,000 sq foot training facility has 2 classrooms, a full-service backcountry kitchen, and a guide’s lounge for your comfort and convenience. We maintain an inventory of quality technical mountain gear for you to use on our programs. Our rigorous gear inspection and replacement program mean you will have high-quality and modern equipment for your trips or courses with us.
Yamnuska mountain guides and instructors are certified by the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides. In addition to certification, which only relates to a guide’s technical competence, all of our guides have access to Yamnuska’s staff training and guide mentoring programs which help to develop many other key qualities required of a professional Yamnuska guide. They need to be endowed with patience, empathy, and a sense of humour as well as being effective communicators and great coaches.
Safety & Risk Management
As Canada’s largest mountain skills instruction school, our safety and risk management plans are unmatched. A full-time, on-call duty manager ensures that we are prepared to deal with any emergency or program requirements around the clock. Our rigorous safety policies and procedures have been developed through our experience from more than 40 years of training and working with military organizations from around the world.
All of our safety, risk management, and avalanche plans are written by our operations team and updated constantly. We pride ourselves on our ‘Culture of Safety’ and think you will appreciate this focus on your mountain adventures with us.
Learn more about our safety and risk management approach here.
All participants must sign the Yamnuska waiver of liability prior to commencing any Yamnuska Mountain Adventures program. Read the sample waiver.
Police, Military, and First Responder Experience
We are a proud contractor to Canadian and British Forces in both technical skills and adventurous training for active and serving military personnel. Our organization has worked extensively with other police and first responder organizations to help prepare serving personnel with the skills required to operate in a mountain or technical environment. We have a long history of working with those who serve. We offer discounted pricing for active police and military servicemen and women.
We believe in self-propelled mountain experiences. With us, you ‘earn your turns’ and we believe there is only one way to get to the top of a mountain or ski slope – you climb it. We are an active member of Leave No Trace and our guides act as custodians of our mountain parks and protected areas. Our respect for nature and our environment is deeply embedded in the core values of our organization and we are committed to passing these values on to future generations of mountaineers and outdoor enthusiasts. We have a very vested interest in sustaining our mountain environment for future generations.
Canadian Tourism Commission Signature Experience
Yamnuska Mountain Adventures has been recognized as a ‘Signature Experience’ provider for offering uniquely Canadian experiences by the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC). On October 18, 2011, the CTC announced that we had been granted this prestigious honour citing our Wapta Traverse ski trip as a signature winter experience and our Wapta Ice Hike as a signature summer experience. Both glacier traverse programs are located in Banff National Park, Canada’s oldest and largest National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site.
We are a proud sponsor of several youth, climbing, and mountain culture initiatives. Although we donate trips and money to numerous causes, a few of the more popular ones are listed below.
John Lachlan Memorial Award The John Lauchlan Memorial Award is a cash and mentorship award designed to assist Canadian climbers. It exists to perpetuate the bold and adventurous spirit which John Lauchlan exemplified in his climbing exploits. Specifically, the award strives to promote the development of Canadian climbers through the support of worthy expeditions and mountainous adventures.
Climber’s Access Society of Alberta (CASA) The Climber’s Access Society of Alberta’s primary objective is to provide and preserve public access for climbers to the montane and alpine regions as well as related and surrounding wilderness of the Rocky Mountain Cordillera and Eastern Slope foothills of Alberta. Yamnuska Mountain Adventures is a proud supporter of this organization.
The Association of Bow Valley Climbers (TABVAR) The Association of Bow Valley Rock Climbers (TABVAR) is a not for profit organization, funded by donations, whose purpose is to promote the responsible development of safe rock climbing areas serving the Calgary, Canmore, Banff, and Lake Louise climbing communities. TABVAR provides funds for fixed anchors on routes and for “environmental” projects such as erosion protection measures at the base of cliffs. https://tabvar.org/
We are a Founding Supplier of Avalanche Canada. We believe strongly in supporting this very important organization.
The Avalanche Canada Foundation is a registered charity formed to:
- raise and administer funds in support of public avalanche information
- support education in public avalanche awareness and safety
- support programs that will prevent or minimize avalanche risk to the public
- support research projects that facilitate public avalanche safety
Yamnuska Mountain Adventures is an annual contributor to the Gala Fundraiser Dinner in Calgary.
Mountain Guides Ball
Every year, new mountain guides ‘get their badges’ and we proudly support this fun gala evening to celebrate their significant achievement. Put on by the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides and the Alpine Club of Canada, we donate prizes and financially support the event through ticket purchases and media promotion.
Yamnuska is committed to sustainable travel and tourism by helping to promote the preservation of the fragile alpine areas of the world’s mountains. Our programs are typically human-powered endeavors and we strive to cut our impact on the environment by supporting local and national environmental organizations. Here are some of the ways that we have offset our footprint and are helping to educate the public about the ongoing challenge of environmental ethics.
Leave No Trace Canada
Leave No Trace (LNT) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting and inspiring responsible outdoor recreation through education, research, and partnerships. Yamnuska Mountain Adventures is a proud corporate member.
LNT principles are:
- Plan ahead and prepare
- Travel and camp on durable surfaces
- Dispose of waste properly
- Leave what you find
- Minimize campfire impacts
- Respect wildlife
- Be considerate of other visitors
At Yamnuska Mountain Adventures we use FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified paper for our office printing. The Forest Stewardship Council is recognized by the WWF and Rainforest Alliance as the leading standard in responsible forest management. The paper comes from responsibly managed forests. Paper bearing this stamp indicates that it was manufactured from environmentally sustainable and ecologically sound sources. The paper is free from chlorine and acid, is not bleached, and does not go through a chemical treatment process, reducing harmful by-products.
We are proud members of Banff Lake Louise Tourism.
Sales and Industry Trade Shows
We attend the following consumer trade shows each year:
- The Calgary Outdoor Adventure Show
- The Toronto Outdoor Adventure Show
We regularly attend the following Industry Trade Shows:
- Travel & Adventure Shows in the USA
- The Banff Mountain Film Festival Sponsor Trade Show
- Canada’s West Marketplace
- Rendezvous Canada
Annual Sales Promotions
Like you, we think it’s unfair if everyone on a trip has paid a different price so we are transparent about our pricing policy and sales discounts. At the trade shows listed above, any purchase is eligible for a 10% discount (see restrictions below). As well, our Early Bird discounts offer guests 15% off scheduled trips and programs they purchase for the upcoming summer or winter season. The early bird discount for upcoming winter programs runs until July 1 of the previous season and for upcoming summer programs, the discount runs until December 31 of the previous season. We encourage you to take advantage of these great discount opportunities and assure you we will not suddenly offer other sale prices. The Mountain Skills, Summer and Winter Semesters, International programs, Esplanade Track, Tombstone Trail, Lodge Based ski trips, and certain hiking programs are not eligible for these discounts. Programs that we re-sell for our partners are also not available for these discounts (i.e. Wilderness First Aid programs). Signature Series programs do not qualify for the discount.
Receptive Tour Operators and Agents
With agreements, we offer some of our trips to commissioned sales agents. The terms and conditions vary based on volume and reciprocal marketing initiatives. We deal with some of Canada’s largest receptive tour operators and select international sales agents.
Yamnuska Mountain Adventures
Suite 200 Summit Centre 50 Lincoln Park
Canmore, Alberta, Canada T1W3E9
Toll-Free North America: 1 866 678 4164
Tel.: +1 403 678 4164 | Fax: +1 403 678 4450
Monday 8:30am to 5:00pm
Tuesday 8:30am to 5:00pm
Wednesday 8:30am to 5:00pm
Thursday 8:30am to 5:00pm
Friday 8:30am to 5:00pm
Saturday 8:30am to 4:00pm
We are open Saturdays during Peak Seasons
Our current Program Guide was printed in 2019.