Takakkaw Falls is the second tallest waterfall in Western Canada (1260’).
One of the more interesting easy trad routes in all of Canada is the Takakkaw Falls route
itself, a 12 pitch 5.6 route established in 1966 that includes a 60m horizontal tunnel on its second to last pitch.
To the left of this classic route are a couple of rather obscure and much shorter moderate climbs (5.9+) put in considerably later by Karl Krause (1993).
Neither climb is overly exciting, but combining the two for a short day out in a spectacular setting makes the trip worthwhile. We ran into mountain goats at the base of the falls on this particular trip.
2nd Pitch- 25m- 5.8
Suspended in Gaffa shares its first pitch with the other Krause route, Sunburst and Snowblind. You run up a chossy left facing corner and traverse past some bolts out right to a decent looking left facing corner/roof pitch. After pulling the bulge/roof on this second pitch, the final pitch follows a mixed (bolts and gear) line up face and discontinuous corners to a fixed rap and ledge. A double rope rap along with a single rope rap puts you back at the top of the first pitch where you can move right to climb Sunburst and Snowblind.
To reach the falls from the East, follow the Trans-Canada Highway for 23 km west of Lake Louise until Yoho Valley Road. The Trans-Canada Highway splits the park in half. Heading west on the Trans-Canada, as you approach the only town in the park, Field, BC, you will see a sign for the Yoho Valley Road. Follow this road for 13 km to the Takakkaw Falls parking lot. When accessing from the west, drive 3.7 km west of Field on the Trans-Canada Highway and turn left on Yoho Valley Road. A short well developed hiking trail leads to the base of the falls. From there ascend the larger scree to the left of the falls to the base of the wall. Follow the wall left up to the very top of the scree slope. When it flattens out, continue a short distance to locate an easy left facing corner. If you step back, you should be able to locate three bolts above and right of this corner which are part of the first pitch.
Route Description (s)125 Meters, 3 Pitches, 5.9+
1st Pitch- 50m- 5.4/
Scramble up the loose corner and traverse right. Follow three bolts up and right. Locate the fixed station below the decent left facing corner with some blocks above. There is another fixed station about 10m right which is the start of Sunburst and Snowblind.
2nd Pitch- 25m- 5.8/
This is a relatively fun pitch. Follow up the corner placing gear at will. When you get to the large block above, either climb through it or bypass it on the left.
Pull the bulge above to a fixed station with a decent stance.
3rd Pitch- 50m- 5.9+/
Follow three bolts through the face above and make fun moves for the grade into the hanging right facing corner. Once the corner ends, follow several more bolts to the fixed station and ledge above.
Make a double rope rap down the third pitch, a single rope rap down the second pitch and either walk right along the broad ledge over to the base of Sunburst and Snowblind or take another double rope rap to the ground.
Helmets advised on Takakkaw Falls wall as it is quite chossy. Double or twin ropes. The second pitch takes a decent selection of gear. I advise a single rack of .4” to 3”. Take a combination of draws and slings. Take your camera, we got fantastic close up shots of mountain goats on descent and the waterfall usually makes a rainbow at the base on sunny days as well. In our case, the mountain goats actually walked through the rainbow.
External LinksBanff Rock Climbs
Environment Canada Weather
Yoho National Park
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