The Ghost Valley near Calgary and Cochrane, Alberta is a hidden gem of classic gun smoke-coloured limestone cliffs and excellent climbing routes. Difficult access and the remote nature of the area make this a secluded place for both single and multi-pitch rock climbing. There is an excellent mix of both bolted and naturally protected routes in the Ghost Wilderness Area that will provide high-quality climbing for the guided rock-climbing trip. The low instructor ratio will ensure a flexible agenda with personalized coaching and lots of climbing. The objective of this program is to get in as much climbing as possible from our camp in this beautiful area. There are intermediate and advanced climbing objectives available to us within a short distance from our camp.
Objectives and Agenda
Since we set up camp in the Ghost, our plan is to get as much climbing as possible in 5 days
- Get personalized coaching in movement skills
- Climb some great multi-pitch routes
- Climb sport and traditional gear routes
- Enjoy a rock climbing trip in a terrific climbing area
- Camp in the fantastic Ghost Valley
Participants will be split into teams of 2 based on individual objectives and experience (teams may be changed day to day). Each team will work with their guide to establish the day’s objectives. People in this program should be motivated to climb as much as possible and learn or review skills on the way.
Day 1: We will meet at the Yamnuska office in the morning and, after issuing any required equipment, we will drive the two hours into the Ghost Valley. This involves some off-road driving. This will be a great day for some cragging at one of the sunny crags in the area. We set up our camp in the evening and enjoy dinner at our camp.
Day 2-4: Multi-pitch climbs will be the main objectives of these three days. Skills will be taught as needed or requested. Possible routes include Bonanza 5.8 – 6 pitches, Macadamia 5.9 – 4 pitches, The Wraith 5.10a – 8 pitches, Consolation 5.8 – 7 pitches as well as numerous other options.
Day 5: A final day of multi or single-pitch climbing before we leave the Ghost area and return to Canmore.
More climbing: Yamnuska guides and instructors are also available for private climbing after the course.
Meeting Time and Place
The course begins at the Yamnuska office at 8:00 am on Day 1. The Yamnuska office is located at #200 – 50 Lincoln Park. See this map for location.
Instructors & Group Size
The maximum guide to guest ratio on this program is 1:2. Yamnuska Mountain Adventures employs only qualified ACMG or IFMGA guides and apprentice guides who are licensed to operate in the area. Your safety and enjoyment are paramount to them. A minimum of 2 guests is required to run this program.
Participants are responsible for their own transport to Canmore. While on the program, Yamnuska will provide transportation into “the Ghost” if you do not have a 4×4 vehicle. Canmore is a 1hour (100km) drive west of Calgary.
Accommodation and Meals
Camping in the Ghost valley is free of charge. You are responsible for providing your own personal camping gear (Tent, Sleeping Bag, Thermarest, Cook Gear, etc.). These can also be rented for an additional cost, and Yamnuska offers a Camping and Food Package for those wishing to enjoy the excellent meals and equipment that are provided by our kitchen and logistics departments. The Ghost Valley is known for short and intense thunderstorms in the summer so your camping equipment needs to be wind and rain-ready.
Unless you would like to purchase our Camping and Food Package, meals are not supplied. We will access our water from the rivers in the area but we will still use purification systems. Lunches should be lightweight and easy to eat as in many cases we will be in the middle of a multi-pitch route at a rest stop while eating our mid-day meal.
Camping and Food Package
If you like, we can include you in the camping and food arrangements we make for our guides/instructors. This will cost an additional $362 plus GST. This package includes meals and tent rental (sleeping bag and Thermarest can be rented separately). For guests with dietary restrictions, we are able to modify the program food pack to meet your individual needs. As food pricing and preparation for these diets is more costly, we have implemented the following surcharges. For vegan, gluten-free, lactose-free, soy-free, nut-free, or any similar type of single restriction menu requests, there will be a surcharge. For a diet requiring any 2 or more restrictions, an additional surcharge will apply. For more complex diets our kitchen staff will assess the restrictions to inform you if the diet can be accommodated and what surcharge would apply.
This fee covers:
- Tents (shared, double occupancy);
- Food from lunch on Day 1 to lunch on Day 5;
- Group Cooking equipment – Stoves, Pots, etc.
The guides will be in charge of food, but meals will be prepared collectively. If you decide to take this package you will need to bring the following items. We can rent you a sleeping bag and ‘Thermarest’ sleeping mat.
- Sleeping Bag (3-season)
- Sleeping Mat
- Pillow (optional)
- Personal Eating Utensils and Bowl
If choosing this package we will also need to know in advance if you have any dietary restrictions.
Equipment & Clothing
The course fee includes the use of group technical gear although you should feel free to bring any gear you already have.
The weather encountered on this program varies greatly. The list below covers all possibilities. Should sunny warm conditions be forecast some items may be unnecessary. Remember that weather can change fast so even if the day starts out sunny you may still need rain gear in the afternoon. Conditions on the higher climbs on the multi-pitch days are often colder.
Clothing and Equipment List
- Camping Equipment (Tent, Sleeping Bag, Thermarest, Cooking Kit, etc.)
- Backpack (Used to carry your personal gear into the camping spot – 2 to 3 km on the first day)
- Daypack (large enough for spare clothing, your lunch & personal, and group climbing gear on multi-pitch routes)
- Sun cream
- Personal toiletries including hand sanitizer
- Rain Gear
- Clothing allowing for easy and complete range of movement
- Warm weather gear (fleece jacket, long johns, warm hat, etc.)
- Rock shoes (available for your use at no extra charge, please let us know in advance if needing to use these)
- Hiking boots or running shoes for the hike to the climbing area.
- Harness, helmet if you have them (we will supply these if necessary)
Please book as early as practical to avoid disappointment. We require a deposit of 35% at the time of booking. The final balance is due eight weeks before the program’s start date. We will also need you to complete the mountain experience questionnaire.
We ask that you please 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.
$1995 CDN covers guiding, instruction, use of technical group climbing gear, transportation into the Ghost, and park fees. Camping equipment, personal climbing gear, and meals are not included, however, we offer a camping and food package add-on for an additional fee. Goods and Services Tax (GST) is extra. Gratuities not included.
Trip Cancellation Insurance is available through the Simpson Group.
Is it for you?
This program is for climbers seeking fun, adventure, and great climbing. You must be comfortable seconding 5.9 on a multi-pitch climb and completing approaches of 1.5 hours on loose and rugged terrain.
Check out this website compiled by a past guest about this course.