Castle Mountain in Banff boasts one of the best alpine-style rock climbing routes in the Canadian Rockies. Its towers are easily viewed from Castle Junction on the Trans Canada Highway west of Banff and make obvious climbing objectives. Individually, these rock climbing training routes can be completed in a day by very fit guests but also make for an excellent two-day experience by spending the night at the Castle Mountain bivi hut.
At Castle Mountain’s southeastern end stands Eisenhower Tower. It is the perfect objective for the climber looking to build a multi-pitch alpine rock climbing experience or just climb an aesthetic multi-pitch rock route. Excellent views, great climbing, and a technical descent sum up an ascent of Eisenhower Tower. Many guests have experienced their first multi-pitch alpine rock route with us on this climb. Experienced climbers will enjoy the beauty and variety of the route.
Slightly harder and more sustained than its neighbour Eisenhower Tower, Brewer Buttress climbs a proud line up a beautiful buttress capped by a large roof. The route is exposed and is an excellent choice for climbers looking for a high-quality, long multi-pitch alpine rock route.
Brewer Buttress can be completed in one day by guests with excellent fitness, or comfortably in 2 days with guests with good fitness using the Castle Mountain bivi hut for an overnight. If you have never spent a night at the Castle Mountain bivi hut, this in itself is an experience!
Trip Cancellation Insurance is available through the Simpson Group.
Please contact the office to arrange your trip.
Guides and Group Size
The 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. The maximum group size is 4, minimum 2.
Transportation is not included in this program. We will rely on guests’ vehicles to reach the trailhead.
Canmore is situated 100 km (65 miles) west of Calgary on the Trans-Canada Highway. It is well served by scheduled bus lines both from Calgary (airport and downtown), Banff (20 km west), and points further west. Calgary International Airport is well connected to major cities throughout North America and Europe. Vehicle rental is available both in Calgary and in Canmore.
Frequent shuttles connect Calgary International Airport and Canmore.
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 and Meals
Accommodations and meals are not included in the 1-day trip. For the 2-day trip hut accommodations are included at the Castle Mountain Hut as are meals from lunch on day 1 to lunch on day 2.
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 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.
Equipment and Clothing
We supply group climbing gear such as ropes and hardware but we recommend that you bring your own personal climbing gear (e.g. harness and helmet), 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 (Gore-Tex)
- Insulated jacket – synthetic or down
- Mountaineering gloves – lightweight
- 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 – Or sturdy approach shoes. Ideally, mountain boots should be lightweight leather or synthetic with a semi-rigid sole. It is possible to buy boots such as the La Sportiva ‘Trango’ which are designed specifically for alpine rock. A sturdy pair of approach shoes would also be appropriate for this trip. 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.
- Daypack – 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.
- Belay device
- Sunglasses – with 100% UV protection
- Sun cream – extra strength
- Lip cream – with UV protection
- Headlamp – with fresh batteries
- Blister kit – ‘moleskin’, ‘second skin’ etc.
- First aid items – keep this small (band-aids, ibuprofen & aspirin/Tylenol, etc.)
- Personal toiletries including hand sanitizer
- 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 120cm sewn sling and 2 x locking biners.
For guests taking part in the 2-day program please ensure that you bring along a 3-season (0 to -5 Celsius) sleeping bag as well as a small toiletries kit.
Please book as early as practical to avoid disappointment. We require full payment on booking. We accept Visa, Mastercard, Certified Cheques, Electronic Transfers and Bank Drafts. Credit card payments are easiest, especially for international travellers.
We ask that you familiarize yourself with 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, 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 trip.
Private guiding options are available. Please contact us to discuss this option.
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.
Is it for you?
Guests signing up for this trip must be able to second numerous pitches of 5.6 – 5.7 rock and have previous experience seconding multi-pitch traditional rock routes.