Japanese Route

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 52.30000°N / 117.4666°W
Additional Information Route Type: Alpine mixed technical rock climb
Additional Information Time Required: A long day
Additional Information Difficulty: IV or V, 5.6
Sign the Climber's Log


Ford the Sunwapta River at Wooley Creek, and climb up over Wooley Shoulder to the Lloyd McKay Hut located at the base of Little Alberta. To quote the hut log, "The approach to Mt. Alberta from here makes Wooley Shoulder look like a Canada Parks trail."

Route Description

See 50 Classic Climbs of North America (Roper, Steck) and Selected Alpine Climbs of the Canadian Rockies (Dougherty). Work up through the lower cliff bands via much third class terrain and a fourth class chimney. The approach wanders almost around the south ridge before traversing back across the ledge system at mid height to the bivouac.

Even in the driest years water is available in seeps about 15 minutes north of the bivouac site.

5-7 pitches of climbing up the east face (Take shelter from predictable stonefall at sunrise) brings one to the summit ridge. Follow this to the summit, negotiating a drop-off (The 20m Step) along the way. Leaving a rope fixed at the Step facilitates the return along the ridge. Rappel the route of ascent.

Essential Gear

Crampons and ice axe are needed on the summit ridge in all but the driest drought years . An extra rope is useful to leave fixed at the 25 m step. As with most Canadian limestone routes, a few knifeblades and LAs are useful in addition to a small rack of nuts and cams.

Miscellaneous Info

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