ApproachThis is a 3300’+/- ascent day
. Drive 3 km further down the Trans-Canada from the Norquay Ski Resort exit and pull off to the right and lock your bikes to the tall fence on your right. Return to the Norquay Ski Resort exit and climb the Norquay Ski area access road for 6 km until it dead ends into a parking lot on your left. Ascend the ski hill to the upper lift terminal.
Continue behind the lift terminal straight up a rib of trees, with one small rock step to a col on the north ridge. Proceed right (north) along the ridge, up and down several peaks and through one crux (picture on main page) to the east summit. This challenge involves a steep, sometimes wet wall climbed by an exposed route on the right side.
Climb up and across a down sloping ledge that tilts to the right toward an exposed drop off. Scramble left up a ramp beside a steep wall and ascend this wall in the corner. Even at a leisurely pace, you should reach the east summit in less than 3 hours. Do not be fooled by the large cairn. To the west sits the true summit.
Lose some hard earned elevation here to the next col and proceed up the right hand skyline, avoiding the (snow covered or not) gully on your right (picture above). This final east ridge is hands on scrambling, confidence and experience required.
Your views from the true summit include Louis
and the three summits of Edith
as well as a surprisingly nice view of Assiniboine for this height.
On descent, return to the col and take the drainage all the way back to Trans-Canada. If parking bikes here, you are about 3 km from the second Banff exit. There is no trail on this descent, but it is straightforward. Just travel southeast towards the road. I saw one ewe (mountain sheep) and heard one marmot. The wildflowers were doing great on this slope in June. The large scree and boulders were hard on the feet, but made for a rapid descent.
Helmet, Bear Spray, Gaiters for Descent