The Tower of Babel is the quartzite spire rising 1500 feet above the North end of Moraine Lake. First climbed in 1957, this tower provides stunning views of Moraine Lake and the Valley of the Ten Peaks. The quartzite rock of the tower provides great climbing and is a nice change from the rubble of the surrounding peaks. Three primary climbing routes cruise the North Face of the tower (up to 5.8), while other faces provide potential for new routes. Access is just a few minutes walk from the Moraine Lake parking lot. Overall, the tower is a highly recommended moderate climb in a beautiful mountain setting.
Climbing the scree gully between the Tower of Babel and Mount Babel is the easiest route to the summit, although painfully steep and loose.
Take the Lake Louise exit off Highway 1. Drive South towards Lake Louise and take the Moraine Lake turn-off (on the left). About 15 minutes on the Moraine Lake road will take you to the parking lot at the North end of the lake. Note that on a busy day, you may have to park on the road when the parking lot is full.
None – as long as you’re not planning on staying out over night. Otherwise you will need a wilderness permit.
When To Climb
Summer is the most pleasant time to do the tower. The steep descent would likely require crampons and an ice axe if covered in snow.
Currently tent camping is not allowed in the Lake Louise and Moraine Lake areas due to grizzly bear activity. The nearest tent camping is the Lake Louise Overflow campground just South of the Lake Louise exit on Highway 1 (this is not recommended as it is directly off the highway). Additional camping is available at Protection and Castle Mountains to the South and Mosquito Creek to the North. For more info check out the Parks Canada site http://www.worldweb.com/parkscanada-banff/visinfo.html or call the Lake Louise visitor center (403)-522-3833.
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For trail conditions call 403-760-1305