Mt. Edith Cavell is the signature peak in Jasper National Park. The impressive East Ridge is one of the 50 Classic Alpine Climbs in North America with fantastic blocky quartzite and a superb position once you hit the upper portion of the ridge. All of this combines for a fantastic moderate route that goes at AD – 5.3 with 700m (about 2296 ft) of Elevation Gain once you hit the ridge. The most difficult climbing encountered is on the upper sections of the ridge where the exposure is felt. Edith Cavell’s standalone feeling provides one of the best views you could ever hope for in Jasper National Park.
The East Ridge was first climbed by Joseph Hickson and Conrad Kain in August of 1924 where they spent a night on mountain as they traversed the peak. The typical ascent is up the East Ridge with a few options for descent. One option is back down the East Ridge but with the popularity of the peak it is common to descend the West Ridge often referred to as the “tourist route.” Either way this is a must-do objective for those in pursuit of the famed 11,000ers.
Day 1: We will meet all guests at our office in Canmore at 12:00 pm MST on the first day. After going through the gear, we will pack up and drive north along the Icefields Parkway to Jasper National Park where we will stay at the Mt. Edith Cavell Wilderness Hostel. This will set us up for success for our summit day and where we will end up once the peak is complete.
Day 2: Summit Day! This summit will be a classic alpine start having us up early to have our best shot at attempting the peak. The initial approach will have us on a paved trail where we will eventually break off and head towards the East Ridge col via some moderate scrambling and some snow and ice where crampons and an ice axe may be required. From here, we will start the journey, climbing almost 700m along the impressive East Ridge. We will return to the hostel that night for a well-deserved rest before heading back to the Bow Valley. Expect 10-14 hours round trip from the Hostel.
Day 3: We will get up and be treated to one last view of Edith Cavell before returning to the Bow Valley via the Icefields Parkways.
Meeting Time and Place
We will meet all guests at our office in Canmore at 12:00 pm MST on the first day. We are located at #200, 50 Lincoln Park, Canmore, AB. Map
Guides and Group Size
The maximum guide to guest ratio is 1:1. 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. The maximum group size is 2.
Transportation while on the program is not included. We rely on guests’ personal vehicles to reach program locations. If flying in, we recommend you rent a car from Calgary Airport.
Please note that program venues may be within National Parks and/or Kananaskis Country. For programs where transportation is not provided by Yamnuska/Canadian Rockies Hiking by Yamnuska, guests will be required to purchase their own pass.
National Park passes are available both online at https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/voyage-travel/admission and in-person at National park gates and some information centres.
Kananaskis Country conservation passes are available online at https://www.alberta.ca/kananaskis-conservation-pass.aspx
Accommodation & Meals
Meals and Snacks are not provided but your accommodation at the Mount Edith Cavell Hostel is included in the price.
The Mount Edith Cavell Hostel is operated by Hosteling International. The hostel is a Wilderness hostel – there is no television, Wi-Fi, or phones – the electricity is generated by solar power and there’s no running water. This is cabin-in-the-woods living and the lack of modern distractions inevitably facilitates the making of new friends and shared experiences and adventures. It features communal sleeping areas and a separate kitchen and living area.
Accommodation in Canmore is not included before or after the trip. 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 accommodation well in advance as all levels of accommodation in the Bow Valley fill quickly.
Food is not included in this program however a food package option is available.
Food Package: A food package is available that would provide all meals and snacks from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 3. Those taking the food package will have nutritious and delicious breakfasts, lunches, and trail snacks supplied. Meals are prepared by our in-house chef from fresh, nutritious ingredients. For guests with dietary restrictions, we are able to modify the program food pack to meet your individual needs. The cost is $110.00 plus GST (a surcharge will apply for those with special dietary needs).
Weather and Conditions
Please note that weather may still prevent a safe attempt on the mountain. In this case, we will either schedule another peak or a day of mountaineering instruction. The mountains call the shots and the wise mountaineer takes heed. Thus we never guarantee climbs.
Equipment and Clothing
We supply group climbing gear such as ropes and hardware but we recommend you bring your own personal climbing gear (e.g. harness, helmet and ice axe), clothing and general equipment. We can lend you some personal items should you require them. A rental charge will apply for rock shoes. Let us know, in advance, what you will need. It is required that you bring rock shoes in addition to mountaineering boots for this program.
The equipment and clothing you bring with you will play a large role in the quality of your experience. Read the following suggestion list carefully. If you have any questions or need clarification don’t hesitate to call or write. There is room for substitution and changes but if you have any doubt, do contact us.
We suggest layers of light, easily carried clothing that allows for fast and easy adjustment to best suit fast-changing weather conditions. Cotton clothing is not appropriate as it causes rapid heat loss when wet. Feel free to call us if you have any questions about what to bring.
You will need to bring:
- Wool/blend socks
- Long underwear – top – synthetic or wool
- Softshell climbing pants – these should be windproof nylon/synthetic blend mountaineering pants
- Mid-weight top – synthetic or wool
- Softshell jacket – this should be a windproof nylon/synthetic blend jacket
- Outer jacket and pants – waterproof with a hood on the jacket and side zips on the pants (Gore-Tex)
- Insulated jacket – synthetic or down
- Gaiters – ensure they fit over your mountaineering boots
- Mountaineering gloves – lightweight and medium to heavyweight pairs
- Hat – synthetic or wool that covers your ears and fits under a helmet
- Sunhat – with a wide brim
You will need to bring: (Items in blue are available to rent from Yamnuska, we can loan you the items in red). You must give us plenty of notice if wanting to rent or loan gear.
- Lightweight mountaineering boots – Ideally these boots should be lightweight leather or synthetic with a semi-rigid or rigid sole. It is possible to buy boots such as the La Sportiva ‘Trango’ which are designed specifically for alpine rock. As always, the most important feature of a mountaineering boot or approach shoe is comfort. Different brands seem to suit different feet. If buying try a few different pairs and if they are not comfortable don’t buy them. There are many good brands. They include Asolo, Kayland, La Sportiva and Scarpa and 5.10.
- Day pack – Big enough to fit extra clothing, equipment and your food. A 30-35 litre capacity is suitable.
- Rock Shoes – Comfort is essential as you will be wearing these for prolonged periods of time.
- Ice Axe – regular glacier axe, minimum 55cm in length. Lightweight versions are appropriate for this trip.
- Crampons – must fit your boots
- Belay device
- Sunglasses – with 100% UV protection
- Sun cream – extra strength
- Lip cream – with UV protection
- Headlamp – with fresh batteries
- Water bottle
- Blister kit – ‘moleskin’, ‘second skin’ etc.
- First aid items – keep this small (band-aids, ibuprofen & aspirin/Tylenol, etc.)
- Trekking pole – must be collapsible (recommended)
We supply the following items, but if you have your own, please feel free to bring them: nut tool, belay device with pear-shaped carabiner, 1 x 5m 7mm prussik, 1 x 120 cm sewn sling and 2 x locking biners, 1 x 16-22 cm ice screw.
Please book as early as practical to avoid disappointment. Full payment is required at the 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.
Risk is an inherent part of all mountain activities. We strive to manage and reduce it however, it is impossible to totally eliminate. Learn more about our safety and risk management approach here. 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 travellers 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, 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 trip.
Includes guides, 2 nights accommodation at the hostel, and use of specialized climbing gear.
Not included: Canmore accommodation, meals, transportation, gratuities & taxes.
An optional meal package is available. See the logistics tab.
Trip Cancellation Insurance is available through the Simpson Group
Please note you will be required to sign the Yamnuska Release of Liability, and Waiver of Claims prior to commencing the program. Please review the sample waiver prior to booking and call us with any questions.
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?
Mt. Edith Cavell is not a climb for beginners. We require that you have recent alpine-style mountaineering experience (or extensive multi-pitch rock experience) beforehand, and you will need to complete our experience questionnaire upon booking. When making your booking we can advise you as to the feasibility of your attempting this peak.