Mt. Stanley’s North Face is one of the more prominent peaks you see as you drive into Kootenay National Park. The long strip of snow and alpine ice leading directly to the summit is sure to grab the attention of any alpinist. First climbed in 1901 Edward Whymper Named the peak after Fredrick Stanley, the creator of the NHL’s Stanley Cup. The impressive North Face, also known as the Kahl Route, was later climbed in 1966 by Nick Ellena and Heinz Kahl.
An ascent of Stanley Peak will involve glacier travel, steep snow and ice climbing and rock scrambling, putting all your skills as an alpinist to the test. This day will see approximately 1600m of elevation gain to the summit that sits at 3153m. The total kilometers out and back is roughly 15km and will take an average of 10-12 hours round trip. An ascent of Stanley Peak will give you a stunning view of the peaks, valleys and icefields that surround Kootenay National Park. A must do for any Alpinist’s looking to tick the classic alpine objectives of the Canadian Rockies.
We will meet all guests at our office in Canmore at 3:00 am MST on the day of the climb. We will check and issue gear then head to the trailhead 6.5 km south of Vermilion Pass in the Ball Range, south of Lake Louise. This climb takes about 10 – 12 hours, so please come prepared for a full day out in the mountains with lots of snacks, lunch, and appropriate clothing and footwear. On the approach we will travel along a well-built trail winding through the regenerated forest. Once we get above treeline we are greeted by an amazing view of the North Face and the waterfalls pouring off cliffs below the glacier. A couple more hours of hiking and scrambling will take us to the glacier, high above the valley bottom. From the toe of the glacier we will navigate through the crevasses to below the impressive North Face. From here we cross the bergschrund and climb steep snow and ice right to the summit of Mt. Stanley. After high-fives and photos on the summit we will make our way down the North-West Ridge, rappelling and downclimbing followed by a hike back down to the cars.
Departures can be set up on a private basis for individuals, families, or groups. Please contact us if you would like to arrange your own departure and we will be happy to provide you with a quote based on your group’s size and trip options.
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.
Canmore is situated 100km (65miles) west of Calgary on the Trans-Canada Highway. It is well served by scheduled bus lines both from Calgary (airport and downtown), Banff (20km 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.
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.
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 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 & Clothing
We supply group climbing gear such as ropes. You must bring your own personal gear, clothing and general equipment. Read the following suggestions and lists carefully. If you have any questions or need clarification, don’t hesitate to call or email prior to your departure.
- Light mountaineering boots or mountaineering boots* (must be crampon compatible)
- Crampons *
- Mountaineering ice axe*
- Climbing harness*
- Climbing helmet*
- Daypack* (30-40 litres)
- Lunch, snacks
- Water bottle (full!)
- Sunscreen, SPF lip balm
- Blister kit
- First aid items (Our guides carry a first aid kit, but you may bring your own Band-Aids and anti-inflammatory medication if desired.)
- Trekking pole (recommended)*
*These items are available for rent. Please advise us in advance.
When scrambling in a high mountain environment, it is important to be able to adjust to the changing conditions. We recommend bringing clothing that can be layered to achieve comfort as you change from periods of activity to periods of rest. Cotton clothing is not appropriate as it causes rapid heat loss when wet.
We recommend you bring:
- Mountaineering boots
- Socks (synthetic/wool)
- Light synthetic shirt
- Softshell pants and jacket
- Midweight synthetic or down jacket
- Heavyweight insulated jacket
- Waterproof hardshell jacket with hood
- Waterproof hard-shell pants
- Midweight gloves
- Warm hat that fits under a helmet
- Sun hat
Additional gear info:
Mountaineering boots: A good pair of boots is essential. They need to be warm and crampon compatible. Yamnuska uses Scarpa Mont Blanc boots
Daypack: For single-day climbing trips your pack should be 30–40 litres.
Crampons: Mountaineering crampons should have anti-snow-balling plates, and need to be compatible with your boots. We use the Petzl Vasak.
Mountaineering ice-axe: Your ice axe should be 55-75cm and should be equipped with an adze. Yamnuska provides the Petzl Summit Axe.
Climbing harness: Should be sized to fit over your cold-weather clothing. It is recommended to have a harness with a belay/rappel loop
Helmet: A comfortable, all-around climbing helmet that can fit over your winter hat.
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.
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 climb require previous experience with glacier travel and moderate angled ice climbing. Excellent fitness is also required. You can expect to be out for a 10–12-hour day.