It is impossible to drive East or West on the Trans-Canada highway and not stop at the summit of Rogers Pass in Glacier National Park. Once stopped the alpinist in you will take over looking up at the endless possibilities of peaks to climb. Peaks of the Hermit Range, the Bonney and Bostock Groups, the Van Horne Range, Purity Range, Dawson Range, and especially the challenging Sir Donald Range all lie wholly or in part within Glacier National Park. Over the course of five days we will travel throughout the National Park and focus on objectives such as Mt. Tupper, The Swiss Peaks Traverse, Uto and Mt. Sir Donald via the Northwest Arete which is listed as one of the 50 classic climbs in North America.
Glacier National Park is acknowledged as the birthplace of mountaineering in North America. In 1888, two British mountaineers, Rev. William Spotswood Green and Rev. Henry Swanzy, completed the first recreational technical climbs in the Selkirks. Eleven years later, the services of Swiss Guides were provided for guests at the Glacier House Hotel in Rogers Pass. Those guides created the network of trails, providing access to local peaks, that has remained to this day.
Day 1: We will meet at the Yamnuska Office at 8:00 am for the trip. After checking equipment and food we will drive to Roger’s Pass where we will hike to Hermit Meadows camp site close to the base of Mt. Tupper.
Day 2: Mt. Tupper West Ridge! This climb is mainly 4th class scrambling with three distinct cruxes that can all be done at no harder than 5.3. After an outstanding climb a little more scrambling to the final summit block leads to an airy arete finish and the large flat summit.
Day 3: After breakfast we will descend to the trail head and head for the camp site close to the base of Uto/Sir Donald. From here we will relax in a beautiful surrounding while looking at our objective for the next day.
Day 4: With an early start we will ascend to the Uto/Sir Donald col and gain the NW Ridge of Sir Donald. Steep blocky steps lead through exposed and exhilarating sections en-route to the upper section of the peak. The summit block provides the crux of the climb as it steepens and continues up the ridgeline. To descend we will retrace our steps down the ridge leading to the rappels on the lower section of the West Face and return to our bivi site. Expect a 12-hour day.
Day 5: A casual start to the day and a chance to enjoy the beautiful surrounds of the Uto/Sir Donald camp ground. After breakfast we will descent back to the parking lot and head back to Canmore.
Guides and Group Size
Maximum guide to guest ratio is 1:1 for Sir Donald and 1:2 for Hermit Meadows objectives. 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. Maximum group size is 4, minimum 2.
The program begins at the Yamnuska office at 08:00am on Day 1. The Yamnuska office is located at 200, 50 Lincoln Park. See this map for location.
Transportation is not included for this program. We will rely on guest’s vehicles to reach the trailhead.
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. Rogers Pass is 240km to the West of Canmore and approximately a 3-hour drive.
Accommodation & Meals
On the trail you will be staying in modern, lightweight 3- and 2-person weather-proof tents.
All meals, snacks and drinks are supplied from lunch on Day 1 to lunch on Day 5. For guests with dietary restrictions, we can 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 $16/day surcharge. For a diet requiring any 2 restrictions a $25/day surcharge will apply. For any 3 restrictions a $30/day surcharge will apply. Vegetarian meals will not be surcharged. 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.
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 and Clothing
The equipment and clothing you bring to this course will play a large role in the quality of your experience. Read the following suggestions and lists carefully. If you have any questions or need clarification, don’t hesitate to call or email.
Group climbing gear such as ropes and hardware is provided, but we recommend bringing your own personal climbing gear. Please let us know if you would like to use the following Yamnuska gear:
- Mountaineering ice axe
- Climbing harness
- Climbing helmet
- Belay device, 3 locking carabiners, prussic cord, 120 cm sling
We recommend you bring:
- Lightweight mountaineering boots* (must be crampon compatible)
- Rock shoes*
- Multiday pack* (60–70 litres)
- Daypack* (30-40 litres)
- Sleeping bag*
- Sleeping Pad/Thermarest*
- Water bottle
- Sunscreen, SPF lip balm
- Headlamp (with fresh batteries)
- Ear plugs
- 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 (optional)
- Music player and lightweight reading material (optional)
*These items are available for rent. Please advise us in advance. Gear rentals price list
When mountaineering, it is important to be able to adjust for 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:
- Long underwear top and bottoms (light weight synthetic or wool)
- Socks (synthetic/wool, at least two pairs)
- Light synthetic shirt
- Softshell pants and jacket
- Midweight synthetic or down jacket
- Heavyweight insulated jacket
- Waterproof hardshell jacket with hood
- Waterproof hardshell pants (should have a full length side zip so they can be put on without taking off boots and crampons)
- Gaiters (big enough to fit over large boots)
- Waterproof mountaineering gloves
- Warm hat that fits under a helmet
- Sun hat
- Running shoes or sandals
Additional gear info:
Backpack: It is possible to use just one multiday backpack, as long as it is comfortable enough to wear while climbing. If bringing an additional day pack, this should be very light and compressible in order to fit inside the bigger pack on the approach hike.
Sleeping bag: We recommend a three-season bag rated to approximately -2° C. A down bag will be lighter and more compressible for the weight than a synthetic bag. A compression stuff sack is recommended to reduce volume.
Lightweight mountaineering boots: A good pair of boots is essential. One good option is lightweight leather or synthetic mountaineering boots with either a semi-rigid or a rigid sole. It is possible to buy boots such as the La Sportiva “Trango” which is designed specifically for alpine rock and which can take a crampon.
Rock shoes: A shoe that has a flat sole and is not sized uncomfortably tight will be the best choice for a variety of climbs.
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 55-75 cm and should be equipped with an adze. Yamnuska provides the Petzl Summit Axe.
Please book as early as practical to avoid disappointment.
We require a 35% deposit including GST at the time of booking. Final balance is due 8 weeks before the program start date.
We ask that you familiarize yourself with our detailed booking instructions and conditions.
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 travelers 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’s trip.
$2695 CDN includes guiding, out trip meals, Park Wilderness Pass and use of group technical equipment.
Not included: Canmore accommodation, Park Entry fees, Gratuities & taxes.
Trip Cancellation Insurance is available through the Simpson Group.
Is it for you?
Guests signing up for the Rogers Pass Alpinist Camp need to be fit and in good physical shape. This is a strenuous and demanding program involving lots of height gain, not only to the peaks but also to the camps. You should also be comfortable and efficient at seconding 5.6 rock and have had previous experience with multi-pitch alpine rock routes. This is one of our more physical programs.