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Hungabee Mountain
Mountain/Rock

Hungabee Mountain

 
Hungabee Mountain

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Alberta/British Columbia, Canada, North America

Lat/Lon: 51.33201°N / 116.28423°W

Object Title: Hungabee Mountain

Activities: Mountaineering

Season: Summer

Elevation: 11457 ft / 3492 m

 

Page By: Ferenc Jacso

Created/Edited: Aug 14, 2012 / Aug 20, 2012

Object ID: 806443

Hits: 2035 

Page Score: 83.1%  - 16 Votes 

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Overview

 
Hungabee Mtn. from Deltaform Mtn.
 
Hungabee Mountain is a major summit in the Lake Louise and Lake O'Hara region of the Canadian Rockies, sitting on the Continental Divide, straddling the Alberta/British Columbia border as well as the Yoho/Banff National Park border. The views of this mountain are impressive from any side. Its most common vantage point may be Mt. Temple from the east, from where the east face appears as a steep 3500-ft wall. Deltaform Mountain provides a very different vantage point from the south, from where one can inspect the standard West Ridge route (III, 5.4). This route is described in Bill Corbett's 11,000ers of the Canadian Rockies guidebook.

Canadian Mountain Place Names by Glen Boles puts Hungabee as a Stoney Indian word for chieftain. Hungabee Mountain's sub-peak to the south is Wenkchemna Peak, which stands for the word "ten" in Stoney and is the last peak of the Valley of the Ten Peaks, a beautiful area above Moraine Lake in Banff NP.

Routes overview: The Rocky Mountains of Canada South by Glen Boles et al. lists the SW face and S couloirs as the first ascent route (Aug 1903, H C Parker, C Kaufmann, H Kaufmann) which is unused these days due to rockfall. A variation of the standard West Ridge route (see Routes section) was used as first winter ascent route in Dec 1966 by B Greenwood, C Locke and C Scott. The N Ridge from the Ringrose-Hungabee col has also been climbed on somewhat better rock although rock quality is an issue on every route. The SE Ridge looks the most natural route but it is reportedly long and dangerous with little protection available. The NE Face provides the most sporty route climbed to date with several higher fifth class pitches.

Getting There

 
Ascending Opabin Glacier
 
The nearest international airport is in Calgary, Alberta. From the airport, drive west 210 km on the Trans-Canada Highway through Banff NP and into B.C., then take the turn-off left to the Lake O'Hara parking lot. From here you can take a bus or hike 11 km to Lake O'Hara. Buses depart 8:30, 10:30, 3:30 and 5:30, and, with a bivy permit (see Red Tape), you can likely get on a bus without reservations. The problem is not that the bus don't have spots left but the daily quota runs out for daytrips. (The daily qouta is above and beyond overnight users that include bivy permit holders and ACC Hut reservations.) The bus costs about $10 one way and $15 round-trip (2012).

Red Tape

 
Lake O Hara
 
The Lake O'Hara environs are highly protected. It appears that Parks Canada tries to keep it as pristine as possible. The downside of it, you can't just hike or bike in at your own wish for a multiday trip, the upside, you won't see crowds around this lake. Biking in is forbidden. If you hike in, you will be stopped by a warden (or more) for your bivy permit for Opabin Pass. Those that have hut, campground or lodge reservations usually take the bus, and anyone hiking in with overnight backpack is highly suspect to wardens...

Bivy permits may or may not be available at Lake Louise or Field (B.C.) Parks Canada Visitor Centers. If they are available, they are free. Anecdotally, people have been refused of bivy permits in years when the area was closed for reasons like bear activity.

Camping

 
Lake McArthur from Hungabee Mountain
 
There is a campground near Lake O'Hara that requires reservations. It takes about two hours to get to Opabin Pass from the campground, so if you stay there for the night before your climb, it will make your summit day longer.

A couple of bivy spots are available in Opabin Pass (bottom of the image on the left) and a few more higher up on the West Ridge. Only bivy sacks are permitted, no tents. You need a bivy permit as well, see above in Red Tape.

External Links

Parks Canada Yoho National Park
The Alpine Club of Canada - Elizabeth Parker Hut: this is the nearest hut to Hungabee Mountain but requires reservations well in advance.

Images