Valad Peak is lovely mountain with a formidable face falling down to Maligne Lake and Coronet Creek in southern Jasper National Park. Similar to Mt. Brazeau and Mt. Henry Macleod, the West Face rises dramatically from Coronet Creek to the summit plateau, which is draped in the glacial mass of the Brazeau Icefield. The North and South Ridges, topped with the Brazeau Icefield, are low angle and gentle, but are riddled with a minefield of hidden crevasses. The summit reaches a notable 3250m (10,663 ft.)
Henry Macleod was a Canadian Pacific Railway surveyor who first saw Maligne Lake in 1875. Arthur Coleman named that mountain after him in 1902, but it was forty-four years later that the nearby peak was named for his Metis guide, Valad. Valad guided Macleod to Maligne Lake. First ascended in 1923 by A. Carpe, W.D. Harris and Howard Palmer.
Jasper National Park is the largest of Canada's Rocky Mountain Parks and part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This spectacular park protects 11,228 square kilometres (4,335 square miles) of broad valleys, rugged mountains, glaciers, forests and alpine environments. There are more than 1,200 kilometres (745 miles) of hiking trails within Jasper and 16 of the 54 11,000’ers.
Jasper joins Banff National Park to the south via the Icefields Parkway. This parkway offers scenic driving, and more importantly, access to some of the best alpine and waterfall ice climbing in the world. The parking areas for all routes is at the Poboktan Creek trailhead, approximately 165 km north of the Trans Canada Highway or 70 km south the town of Jasper.
Pleasant weather for hike in
Head up the trail, at about 7 km up, head North-East into a major side valley, no official trail. Once near end of valley, head up steep scree slopes and in between cliff bands to north. Great bivy site at edge of icefield at NTS UTM grid reference 777179 (lat. 52.5103, long. -117.4749).
A permit or fee is not required to climb in Jasper National Park. A voluntary safety registration system is available for climbers in the rocky mountain national parks. It is necessary to register in person at the park information centres or warden offices during business hours. On completion of the excursion, the party must notify the park by telephone or by returning the registration form.
Up to date information about climbing and mountaineering in Jasper National Park available at:
Jasper NP Mountaineering
Camping and Bivouacs
Climbers are permitted to bivouac on long routes or otherwise where necessary to safely complete a climb. Some restrictions apply. A backcountry use permit is required, contact any Jasper National Park visitor centre, where you may obtain the permit.
Great bivy location for accessing the Brazeau Icefield, in the summer months, is located at NTS UTM grid reference 777179 (lat. 52.5103, long. -117.4749).
Bivy on edge of Brazeau Icefield
When to Climb
Valad Peak, and the adjoining Mount Brazeau and Mt. Henry Macleod, offer classic mountaineering objectives in summer or winter. As a ski mountaineering expedition, generally late winter or early spring will often the best snow conditions and stability. For summer mountaineering, typically mid June to the end of September offers the best conditions.
Only one distinct climbing route has been documented on Valad Peak. The relatively easy North and South Ridges are simple glacier travel routes from the Brazeau Icefield; these slopes provide an easy ascent with proper snow and weather conditions.
- North or South Ridge, Alpine I
First ascended in 1923 by A. Carpe, W.D. Harris and Howard Palmer. An easy ascent usually from a high camp on the edge of the Brazeau Icefield. Descend the same route, often combined with a traverse of Mount Brazeau and Mt. Henry Macleod. Be prepared for the many crevasses and whiteout conditions; whiteouts are common atop this glacial plateau.
Looking south from Brazeau to Valad and Henry Macleod
Bill Corbett’s book, The 11,000ers of the Canadian Rockies, provides a comprehensive climber’s guide and history to the 54 11,000-foot peaks in the Canadian Rockies. Since a traverse of Mt. Brazeau, to Valad Peak to Mt. Henry Macleod is classic objective, beta for all three peaks is detailed in this guide.
11,000ers of the Canadian Rockies