The North Glacier Route on Mount Aberdeen climbs an impressive tongue of ice to the saddle between Mounts Haddo and Aberdeen. Combining its 10,338-foot (3,151 meters) elevation with a classic hiking and mountaineering route, climbing Aberdeen is an excellent adventure. This peak was first climbed by what is now considered the normal route in 1908. Depending on conditions, the descent will either retrace our steps or descend into Paradise Valley. The summit mountaineering route is rated Alpine II and does involve a couple of pitches of low-angle ice climbing. There is one technical rock step required to reach the summit. We want an early start on this route as the first few pitches are subject to rock and ice fall when the heat of the day hits. The approach is largely on a maintained trail in the stunning Surprise Valley. If time and energy permit we can also tag the top of Mt Haddo.
Please contact our office to arrange a climb of Mt Aberdeen as we do not have scheduled summit mountaineering trips.
Your guide will meet you at 4:00 am at the Yamnuska office in Canmore unless you make other arrangements to meet in Lake Louise (in which case a transportation charge for the guide will apply)
You begin the day following the Saddleback Trail between Fairview and Saddle Peaks before taking the Fairview scramble trail for a short distance. Traversing the lower slopes of Fairview you descend into the Aberdeen Glacier drainage before starting up the steep moraine to your starting point on the glacier.
Climb a steep section of ice to the crevassed glacier above until you reach the col between Mounts Haddo and Aberdeen. A snow slope leads you to the summit of Aberdeen and spectacular views of Mounts Temple, Victoria, Lefroy, and Deltaform, to name but a few.
Please call the office to organize this 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.
Accommodation and Meals
Accommodations and meals are 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 own pre and post-trip 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, helmet, ice axe), clothing, and general equipment. We can lend you some personal items should you require them. Make sure you let us know, in advance, what you will need to borrow.
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.
- Mountaineering boots – You will need mountaineering boots with crampon compatible soles. As always, the most important feature of a mountaineering boot 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.
- Day pack – Big enough to fit extra clothing, equipment, and your food. A 30-35 litre capacity is suitable.
- Ice Axe – regular glacier axe, minimum 55cm length.
- 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 – 2-litre minimum
- Blister kit – ‘moleskin’, ‘second skin’ etc.
- First aid items – keep this small (band-aids, ibuprofen & aspirin/Tylenol, etc.)
- Trekking pole – must be collapsible (optional)
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. We require full payment on 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 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, 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.
Is it for you?
Guests signing up for this climb require previous experience with glacier travel and moderate angled ice climbing. Good to excellent fitness is also required.