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
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.
: 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.
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).
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...
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.
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 LinksParks 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.