Submitted by Just B on July 22, 2005
This page is pale in comparison the the page previously maintained by Henry Timmer Please be patient, the page will be better eventually.
After Mount Robson and Mount Temple, Mt. Athabasca may be the most well-known peak in the Canadian Rockies. It was my first Canadian alpine ascent and the same goes for many. The surrounding area include, Mt. Andromeda, Snow Dome, Mt. Kitchener, Mt. Wilcox and Nigel Peak.
Definately a main climbing and tourist attaction in the area.
History, First ascent.
The first known Europeans to discover this peak in 1896 were Walter Wilcox, Robert Barrett, and their two guides. They made an attempt to climb the peak but were unsuccessful.
First recorded ascent
J. Norman Collie and Herman Woolley, in 1898 via the North Ridge.
This climb of the mountain was the result of nineteen days of travel and searching on horseback and on foot, beginning in Lake Louise. It is a lot easier today.
Follow the Snocoach Road through a first set of metal gates, which are left open at night to allow access to climbers and backcountry users. During the day they are closed, stop in front of the gate to wait for the next passing Snocoach shuttle driver to open the gate for you. This happens every fifteen minutes or so. Do not attempt to open the gate yourself.
Continue on this road uphill to the second gate, located just past a small bridge, which is always locked. A small gravel parking lot is to the left. A registry box is located on a pedestal at the right side of the lot.
To access climbs on the Mt. Athabasca/Andromeda Col (AA Col) or Mt. Andromeda, you will have to continue up this paved road further for a couple of miles, to those trailhead locations.
Camping and lodging
Columbia Icefield CampgroundLocated only 1 km north of the Icefield Centre.
Available are two wood cook huts, each with a wood-fired stove and two picnic tables with benches.
A pay telephone and bulletin board for messages is located at the campground entrance. Outhouses are clean. The Icefield Campground offers no showers.
A water tap when working may provide drinkable water. A creek runs near the campground.
2.7 km south of the Columbia Icefield Centre on Highway 93.
Opens in mid-June until October.
Cost $18 per night, self-registration is in effect.
Bivouacking on Mt. Athabasca itself will require a backcountry permit, available from Park Wardens at the Ranger Stations or the Icefield Centre for $6 a night.
Information is available at The Canadian Rockies.com. There is a backpacking information page available, look for Backpacking Jasper National Park.
Hostelling International runs a chain of excellent, low-cost hostels, four open year-round, are located near the icefield. These hostels are clean, well-kept and managed by full-time custodians. Contact numbers too come.
Most offer kitchens, gas and wood stoves.
Located at Athabasca Falls, Beauty Creek, Hilda Creek and the town of Jasper. Reservations are recommended.
Hilda Creek Hostel is open again via reservation through 1-866-762-4122. Six beds with a kitchen and common room, smaller than its past grandeur of 24 beds - but still the quickest access to the Icefields routes, or a great place for a day's ski touring followed by a pint of whiskey with friends.
The Alpine Club of Canada and Guides
Joining or contacting the Alpine Club of Canada can be useful.
The Alpine Club's Edmonton Section
The Alpine Club’s Calgary Section
The Canadian Avalanche Association is an excellent source of current avalanche information.
The Association of Canadian Mountain Guides can provide you with information regarding guide services.
They include services from groups such as Yamnuska Mountaineering, Inc.
James Blench of JB Alpine Services
Excellent guide recommended for here, Mount Logan, Mt. Robson as well as other peaks in the region.
Telephone: (403) 678-2576
Park fee's and Red tape
Contact Parks Canada for more information.
If you wish to do some backcountry camping a permit for 8CDN$/night (maximum of 30CDN$) plus a 10CDN$ reservation fee will be required. Under 16 travel for free. All fees are to be paid in advance. Annual wilderness passes are 42CDN$, valid for 12 months from the date of purchase.
Contact the Jasper Parks Visitor Centre for more information: (780) 852-6176 or check out the Jasper National Park Home Page for trail reports and avalanche reports.
A National Park Pass is required if you will be stopping anywhere in Jasper National Park. 8CDN$ per person or 16CDN$ per vehicle.
Emergency tel numbers
Royal Canadian Mountain Police
P.O. Box 1800 600 Pyramid Lake Road, Jasper, AB.
518 Robson St. Jasper, AB.
Fire & Ambulance
Jasper Firehall, Patricia St. Jasper, AB.
Park Warden Office
(780) 852-6155 / 56
Maligne Rd. Jasper, AB. (km 2)
Sunwapta Park Warden Station
Mile 45, Highway 93 (Icefield Parkway)
Pobotkan Creek Warden Station
Highway 93 (Icefield Parkway)
Search and Rescue
Jasper Park Warden (780) 852-3100
or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) at (780) 852-4848.
Snocoach and ski tours[img:83956:alignleft:small:]Snocoach glacier tours onto the Athabasca Glacier can be arranged at the Icefield Centre. These are privately led hikes supervised by local licensed guides.
Glacier ski tours by veteran climber and ACC member Marcus Kellerhals for trips on the Athabasca Glacier.
Edmonton Section>Alpine Club of Canada Edmonton Section
Services, programs, trips, memberships, information
Calgary Section>Alpine Club of Canada Calgary Section
Columbia Icefield Visitors' Centre> - Columbia Icefield Visitors' Centre Home Page
Comprehensive listings, features, services and tourist information
Columbia Icefield Chalet>Columbia Icefield Chalet/Hotel
Located on the top floor of the Columbia Icefield Visitors" Centre, this well-appointed hotel offers all the comforts of a modern new hotel, in the austere surroundings of the Columbia Icefield and it's awesome surrounding peaks.
Snocoach glacier tours>Brewster Snocoach Glacier Excursions
This page contains information for snocoach tours onto the Athabasca Glacier, as well as pricing and other related information
Glacier Ski Tours>Ski Touring the Athabasca Glacier
Veteran climber and Alpine Club of Canada member Marcus Kellerhals leads ski tour groups onto the Athabasca Glacier and the Columbia Icefield. Information is available on this page.
- Backpacking Jasper National Park>Backpacking Information
This page gives information about backpacking areas and regulations in Jasper National Park.
- Parks Canada Fee Page - Jasper National Park>Parks Canada fees for National Park Access and Activities
- Jasper National Park Home Page>The Home Page for Jasper National Park
- Environment Canada Website>Environment Canada
Complete weather reports, alerts, forecasts, satellite imaging, and more. An invaluable resource to anyone planning a trip to Mt. Athabasca or the Columbia Icefield area.
Home page for the Hostelling International organization in Alberta. Complete information on locations, services, prices and other information
- Parks Canada>
Home page for Parks Canada, with links to all areas of Park Canada services and information
Home page for avalanche.org/ Avalanche reports, warnings and alerts, links, news
The Canadian Rockies.com>
The home page for The Canadian Rockies.com, with information on hiking, scrambling, trekking and backpacking in the Canadian Rockies
current climbing conditions>
Up-to-date weather reports, climbing conditions and other valuable information for climbers, outdoor enthusiasists and backcountry users, By Rescue Dynamics of Edmonton, AB
Home page for Rescue Dynamics, an Edmonton, AB company specializing in high angle mountain rescue, guiding, weather reports and conditions, mountain first aid, courses, gear recall information and other links
Canadian Avalanche Association>
Website for the Canadian Avalanche Association. Avalanche forecasting, news, alerts, and other information
ACC Accident History>
ACC Mountaineering accident history in the Canadian Rockies.
Calgary Mountain Club>
Home page for the Calgary Mountain Club, a pioneer institution in the history of Canadian mountaineering
Dave's Alpine Climbing>
Website for climber and photographer Dave Stephens, with trip reports, images and more.
Weather Underground five day forecast for Jasper, AB.>
Weather Underground report on weather, 5 day forecast and much more for the Jasper area.