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Banff Ice climbing season? Places to stay?

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Banff Ice climbing season? Places to stay?

Postby eliassegovia » Wed Mar 25, 2009 12:51 am

Hello there,

I'd like to know more or less how long into the season does a regular ice climbing year get in banff. Is late march usually climbable?

Thanks!!!
Last edited by eliassegovia on Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Dow Williams » Wed Mar 25, 2009 1:31 am

I have climbed quite a bit in May actually....obviously WI 6 pillars are no more, but tons of WI 4 if that is what you are looking for.
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Postby eliassegovia » Wed Mar 25, 2009 1:47 am

Thanks! I´m from Spain and I´m planning on convincing my friends to come next season in late march, but they are concerned that it might be too late. So you'd say that on an average season, late march is good for those pillars? ;-)
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Postby pvalchev » Wed Mar 25, 2009 3:10 am

yes, in an average year late march is still good.
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Postby eliassegovia » Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:38 pm

Ok, so I'm going for the first week of March to the Banff/Canmore Ice. Can anybody give me some recomendations on a good/convenient climbers friendly place to stay? Thanks!
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Postby Dow Williams » Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:54 pm

The Alpine Club of Canada hostels, both Canmore and up on the Icefield Pkwy. Canmore has another hostel, relatively new, more convenient to town. Search it on line. Banff has a hostel as well, is a little less centered for ice, further away from the Ghost and Kananaskis. Enjoy and good luck.
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Postby Steve Larson » Fri Sep 18, 2009 11:42 pm

Just to be clear, the hostels up the Icefields Parkway are operated by Hostelling International, not the ACC. The ACC clubhouse in Canmore rocks, but as Dow say, is kind of removed from town. The new hostel in Canmore is called the Hostel Bear. It is by far the rowdiest hostel I've stayed in up there, but to its credit, the design makes it so that even if the kids are partying loudly all night in the rec room, you can't hear them in your bunk. I've only stayed there in the summer. It might be a lot more mellow in the winter. The Banff and Lake Louise hostels are huge, and feature about everything you'd need, including an on-site restaurant (the ACC clubhouse has a great kitchen, but no food served on site). If you decide to go for one of the hostels outside of the three major towns, make sure you understand exactly what the amenities are (they're not all the same) so you can come prepared. The ACC Clubhouse and the hostels are all roughly the same price ($35/night +/- a few bucks), though the more rustic hostels run a bit less. If you are going for more than a week it makes sense to join HI, as you'll get a significant price break.
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Postby eliassegovia » Wed Sep 23, 2009 4:50 pm

Dow and Steve,

Thanks, that was good information. I look forward to be there in a few months.
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Postby cbcbd » Fri Oct 02, 2009 11:11 pm

How many people do you have in your group?
One time we went up with a group of 4 and found a good deal online at one of the "chalets" - I think it was Canadian Rockies Chalets in Canmore? Anyway, for about the same price, or even cheaper than Hostel Bear per person, we had a 2 bedroom chalet with pullout couch and kitchen. Perfect and plenty of room for drying out the gear. The Hostel Bear is fine, but you just have to deal with international wusses blasting the heat in your room ;)

Staying in Banff or Lake Louise will be more expensive, so if we're not planning on heading far North we like to stay in Canmore - Still good access to a lot of climbing, a few minutes to Banff if you want to visit and still has plenty of stuff in town.
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Re: Banff Ice climbing season? Places to stay?

Postby Buckaroo » Sat Oct 03, 2009 5:45 am

eliassegovia wrote:Hello there,

I'd like to know more or less how long into the season does a regular ice climbing year get in banff. Is late march usually climbable?

Thanks!!!


March is a good month for Ice In Canadian Rockies. The days are longer and it's not as bitterly cold. Jan days are 6 hrs and it gets so cold the ice becomes brittle. But in March some climbs are starting to get sun bleached and on the East side they are getting dried out and hollow from the wind. But there's so much stuff to do there's always something in condition.

Rampart Creek Hostel up on the Icefields Parkway, can be kind of noisy, bring earplugs.

Hit the hotsprings above Banff between sessions, ease those aching muscles.

What grade are you looking to climb?, can give some recommendations.
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