A subsiduary peak of nearby Mount Victoria that is often overlooked, but worth a visit. For the North-East Ridge it is a 5-7 hour trip from the bus drop off point (wardens cabin) at Lake O'Hara. Can be climbed in conjunction with Mount Victoria usually as part of the desent via the SW face. Offers splended views of the entire Lake O'Hara area.
You will have to get yourself to Lake Louise or Lake O'Hara. From Calgary take the Trans Canada (1) west through Canmore, Banff to Lake Louise. For Lake O'Hara you must continue for another 20 minutes on the TransCanada.
Usually Lake O'Hara is the starting point for Mount Huber. Depending on which route you wish to climb you can chose your starting point.
Via Mount Victoria and the the South Ridge you can start from both the Lake Louise and the Lake O'Hara.
The Death Trap. If you are not faint of heart. It's a very tight, very deep and steep glaciated valley that runs from Abbot Pass down to the Plain of Six Glaciers. This is were all the big avalanches run, so be careful!
If your looking for the normal approach, then Lake O'Hara is for you. The trip takes about 5-7 hours.
First catch the shuttle bus which is the only vehicle allowed on the road pas the parking lot (contact the Alpine Club of Canada for hut & bus reservations) or hike the 13km up the dirt road. It is closed to private vehicles. Follow the trail left around the edge of Lake O'Hara up to the cut off via the Wiwaxy Gap trail or if you are doing the Abbott pass Mount Victoria version on to Lake Oesa and then continue up the steep slopes, north to Abbot Pass. The Last part is a bit of a chore, but the first part is on an amazing trail built by Lawrence Grassi. It has to be seen to be believed. Huge flat stones have been placed along the trail making this hike so much easier. Trail worthy of ancient Rome.
Lake O'Hara bus & access
Because of delicate beauty coupled with high demand, access to Lake O'Hara is controlled by strictly limiting the numbers of people who can take the shuttle bus up the 13 km access road. It is **highly recommended** you make reservations. Reservations can be only be made beginning 2 months of the first day of your stay in the Lake O'Hara region. Telephone for Lake O'Hara bus & campground reservations: (604) 343-6433. The bus runs from mid-June to October.
If you can't get on the shuttle bus you are welcome to walk up the 13 km road that the bus runs on. Mountain bikes are not allowed. The numbers of people who may walk in is unrestricted. But, take it from someone who knows: it's a long slog, especially with a heavy pack.
Mount Huber, Abbots pass and Mount Victoria are in Banff National Park.
You will have to purchase a parks pass upon entry to the park at Banff. Should you wish to camp a backcountry permit will be needed. You should check in and out with the rangers at Lake Louise.
Backcountry wilderness permits can be purchased in Banff or Lake Louise.
Park Passes are also required for your vehicle and can be bought at the east gates while entering the park via Calgary or at the Info Centers.
Rates for Parks Canada as of July 1, 2005:
Wilderness Backcountry: $9/night
Wilderness Pass: $63/year
Reservation Fee: $12/group
Also be advised that there have been Bear closures in the area. There are also areas the Lake O'Hara area that have restricted access. Contact the Info Centers for more information.
When To Climb
The summer season is the best time to climb the peak. June can be a bit early depending on the weather conditions, but still possible. Sept is a nice time to climb. If you are going to be using the Hut at Abbot pass, be sure to reserve your spot at the Hut as it can fill up fast during peak climbing periods.
Camping is allowed at the Lake Louise Campsite, or at Lake O'Hara campsite. Please camp in designated areas only (approx$14/night).
Abbot Hut is located at the base of the South Ridge. It is maintained by the ACC. For reservations call 403-678-3200. $24/night for non-members, $19/night for members.
One place that is recommended is the ACC/Hostel in Lake Louise. This place has a small cosy restaurent with good food as well as kitchen facilities and lots of room for approx 36$ Canadian a night. While this is twice as much as the ACC lodge in Canmore it is still a bargin when compaired to the cost of hotels in the area.
Elizabeth Parker hut
Another "camping" option near Lake O'Hara is the Elizabeth Parker hut, owned & maintained by the Alpine Club of Canada. Reservations can be made through the AAC: (403) 678-5855. The hut is locked; make certain you get the lock combination when making reservations.
Picturesque, the log hut lies on the far side of a meadow and is adjacent to a tarn. The 0.7 km trail is across the road from the warden's cabin & is obvious.
The EP hut offers a cooking annex, complete with pots, pans, and utensils. Please bring your own stove / gas.
A spacious sleeping /commons area adjoins the cooking annex. It includes sleeping platforms, foamies (mattresses), and a toasty stove.
Mountain Conditions and the ACC
Try this for activities in the area
Banff Lake Louise Tourist Bureau
Joining a club such as The Alpine Club of Canada is recommended when climbing in Canada. While it is not obligatory, useful information can be had at any of their main Clubhouse in Canmore, in Lake Louise or at their website which is open to everyone.
Staying at the club in Canmore is 15$ Canadian for members and 19$ for non-members. It can get quite crowded in the summer so a reservation is recommended. Staying at the hostel in Lake Louise is more at 36$ Canadian but is good value for the money.
Weather forecasts are available, on the web weather office
or (403) 762-2088
If your seeking information on route conditions call the Lake Louise Warden office 403-522-1220. Banff or Lake Louise Public Safety Wardens 403-762-4506 or Mtn Magic Equipment (the boys on the climbing floor generally know how things are) 403-762-2591