Sunwapta Falls - Right Drainage

Sunwapta Falls - Right Drainage

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 52.33072°N / 117.30858°W
Additional Information Route Type: Ice Climbing
Seasons Season: Winter
Additional Information Time Required: Half a day
Additional Information Difficulty: Grade 3
Additional Information Grade: II
Sign the Climber's Log


Sunwapta Falls - Right DrainageFirst Pitch
Sunwapta FallsLeading the Top Pitch
This is the right hand of two parallel drainages that are collectively described as Sunwapta Falls in Joe Josephson's Waterfall Ice Guide for the Canadian Rockies. In fact these are two very distinct climbs. The description in the guide of rolling steps of grade 3 ice is very likely for this right hand drainage. The left drainage and its sporty grade 4-5 freestanding pillar is well described in AJones route description
Sunwapta Falls - Left Drainage.

The right drainage sports a much more moderate start and finish with similar rambling ice in between. The climbing is enjoyable on typically good ice in a beautiful orange-hued canyon. The atmosphere in the canyon is its greatest virtue. For those just starting to lead or looking for a more moderate day out, this would be a recommended climb.

Getting There

As for all of the Beauty Creek Ice Climbs you need to park 2 km south of the Beauty Creek Hostel.

From Jasper turn south onto Hwy 93 and follow it for about 86 km past the Beauty Creek Hostel to the parking lot for all the Climbs.

Google Map From Jasper

From Lake Louise follow Hwy 93 north for about 140 km.

Google Map From Lake Louise


From the parking lot the right drainage should be obvious to the east on the treed slope in front of you. Cross the creek to the road and work your way up to the drainage following the rim of the drainage if possible. The trail typically descends into the drainage closer to the start of the climbing.

Route Description

The climbing starts up a short grade 3 step of ice (10 m) that is followed by rolling steps of grade 2-3 ice ice up to 5 m for a couple hundred metres.

Middle Pitch of Sunwapta Falls - Right DrainageMiddle Pitch Sunwapta
Top Pitch of Sunwapta - Right DrainageLast Pitch
There is one 10 metre step about midway that is typically pitched out. Otherwise the majority of the climbing can be soloed or simul-climbed.

Exit the canyon to the climber's left atop the final pitch.


Hike down the treed slope to the skier's right of the canyon back to the road and parking area.

Essential Gear

Typical Ice Rack.

External Links

There are two great websites for ice conditions in the Canadian Rockies:



Live The Vision - Ice Conditions.