Page Type Page Type: Area/Range
Location Lat/Lon: 52.30000°N / 117.2861°W
Activities Activities: Ice Climbing
Seasons Season: Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 6562 ft / 2000 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Shades of Beauty

Beauty Creek is the tributary that feeds Stanley Falls in Jasper National Park on the east side of the Columbia Icefield Parkway north of Tangle Ridge. There are many ice routes that form in the shadows of Tangle Ridge, but the most common is Shades of Beauty, 120+/- meters of WI 4 ice I climbed in May, 2006.

The approach along Beauty Creek Trail is quite memorable. Although I have been to the summit of Tangle Ridge, I had yet to venture back along its north side until climbing Shades of Beauty. Beauty Creek Trail runs you along a deep canyon named Stanley Falls (photo). This canyon is very similar to Johnston (Banff National Park) and Marble Canyons (Kootenay National Park), but more remote and less visited. No less than 8 waterfalls descend through this limestone gorge (Stanley Falls). The approach to the ice routes in this area actually travels the left bank of this gorge.

The ice routes are numerable, however inconsistent in form from year to year:

SUNWAPTA FALLS , 65m III, WI 3- Directly east of where you park.

CHALKSTONED, 60m III, 5.8, WI 3- Left of Stanley Falls

RICK BLAK MEMORIAL, 50m III, WI 5- 100 meters right of Shades of Beauty


STANLEY FALLS SENIOR, 45m III, WI 4- Directly across from Shades of Beauty

FREE AND FOCUSED, 30m IV, WI 5R- 30 minutes east of Shades of Beauty

SOUL ASYLUM, 25m IV, 5.7, WI 4+- 200 meters right of Free and Focused

Getting There

Shades of Beauty Climb

The Trans-Canada Highway dissects Banff National Park east to west as you come in from Calgary. Continue past the Banff and Sunshine Ski Resort exits to Lake Louise. Exit onto the Icefields Parkway. Drive 130 kms+/- northwest to the Columbia Icefield Center. Continue for approximately 15 kms into Jasper National Park to a pullout on the right, less than 3 kms south of the Beauty Creek Hostel . This is the trailhead for Beauty Creek Trail.

There is a park kiosk as you enter the Icefields Parkway which serves as a forced stop to check park driving permits which you should already have. The Icefields Parkway is probably the most “wildlife viewed” road in all of North America. I have witnessed moose and bear crossing the road in this area. I advise following the speed limit for that reason. We encountered a black bear crossing the parkway at Mosquito Creek in 2005.

Red Tape

Shades of Beauty

You will be required to purchase a national park pass as you enter the parks via Banff, Jasper or Rocky Mountain House. This pass is good for all four national parks. If you plan many visits to Canadian National Parks within one year, you should purchase an annual pass. There are no permit requirements to climb in Jasper National Park, but all camping is regulated. There is also a backcountry permit required if you plan on spending a night in the backcountry versus the town campsites. This can be obtained via the parks website. Parks Canada headquarters are located in Banff and Jasper and you will drive through the manned kiosks as you enter the parks from any direction.

This is active grizzly country, therefore, you should always have bear spray on your person during non-hibernation months. I advise checking with Parks Canada for any area and/or trail closures.

When to Climb

Shades of Beauty Climb

Ice is best climbed in the winter of course, but this is the Canadian Rockies. We climbed ice three straight days in May and Shades of Beauty was one of our routes. Can’t say its brethren, Stanley Falls Senior, directly across from it was doing so well in May with its southern exposure.


Beauty Creek Hostel is less than 3 kms north and is partially (whatever that means) open in the winter. The closest camping is located back east 15 kilometers at the Columbia Icefield Campground located on the north side off of the Columbia Icefields Parkway. You can go on line at Jasper National Park to pick your camp site and obtain your camping permit. You will also be required to obtain your backcountry permit, if you are going to use a backcountry site, which is separate, but can be obtained simultaneously.

Mountain Conditions

Jasper National Park’s website has weather, wildlife reports, trail closures, etc. Outside of the parks web site, Canadian Avalanche Association is also useful, particularly for winter travel.


Climbing Sequence



Children refers to the set of objects that logically fall under a given object. For example, the Aconcagua mountain page is a child of the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits.' The Aconcagua mountain itself has many routes, photos, and trip reports as children.



Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.

Jasper National ParkAreas & Ranges