A Bow Vally Classic for hikers and climbers. Its sheer 500' face can be seen from the TransCanada and the peak is often in the clouds. It gets an A for accessability.
There are many routes for both up this limestone mountain to the 2240m summit. Even hikers (who can do a 900m elevation change in 4.5-6km) can make it to the summit without special equipment. The first 3km is through mixed forest with a wide variety of wild life and birds to see. Above the trees is a fair amount of skree and careful footing is required.
A loop can be made around the mountain and if so, do it CCW. To make the loop (or get to the summit from the E), there is a narrow ledge 30m long that must be traversed about 300m from the summit. There is a cable to hang on to but it isn't for the faint of heart as you can see in the picture.
Editor's Note: This is a scramble. Be aware that scrambling can injure or kill you. Be prepared, know your limits and make sure somebody knows where you're going.
Calgary, west on TC1 ~60km to Seebe turnoff. Go N on 1X to 1A, then E 2km to Yamnuska parking lot on N side of highway. Go to N end of lot and follow well used trail.
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Posted By: vpathak
- Sun Jul 22 23:43:29 EDT 2012
UpsideGreat hike/scramble. Did this in early July and the weather was perfect. Don't think I could have done it in rainy conditions. The views from false as well as the true summit are incredible. The rock is loose so dont lose heart if you slip a few times. If you reach the true summit, you can follow the west side of the mountain to go down where you go right below the Yamnuska south face which you just summited. You can choose to scree down which will save considerable time. We chickened out so we had to go all the way across the face into the trees and then continue till we met the trail which we had taken earlier in the morning. Dont take any false trails when you are back in trees. Continue till the end where you have the actual trail.
DownsideBeing a popular trail, it can be crowded. Although not everyone ventures past the trail onto the scrambling section. The "trail" can be difficult to follow when on the rock slopes. So just follow the easiest way.
CommentThe hike is good for scrambling beginners like me, involves some use of hand and crossing a narrow section with the help of an installed chain.. But not good if you are not comfortable with heights and also requires reasonable fitness to cross some sections. My advice is to judge your ability in the first few minutes of scramble and then decide if you want to continue..
Posted By: jmoore
- Tue Aug 16 03:32:19 EDT 2011
CommentDid this one mid-Aug. 2011, started the hike at about 1:45 pm and got off the mountain at about 7:00. We travelled east to west, used the chain to get around ledge which was amazing fun! From the chain, we climbed to one of the false summits, and from here decided to aim for the true summit. We could see several trails that headed towards the summit however they were not super easy to follow. We were informed by other hikers (also aiming for the summit) to look for inookshook's (sp?) and aim for them as that is where the trail is. These were not always easy to see, however we did manage to make it to the summit.
On our descent, we continue to the west of the mountain, and you end up walking along huge rock face of Yamnuska that you have just come down off of. From here, we travelled almost all the way across the face and descended in one of the final run-offs of scree as opposed to continuing all the way across back into the trees. There was a trail at the bottom of the scree which links up with the trail you hike up on at the start.
I'm not an experienced climber, and found this hike challenging yet do-able, and it was definitely worth it!!
Posted By: mark3107
- Mon Jun 28 00:20:10 EDT 2010
Upsidewell signed and maintained trail with an exciting cable walk. The scree running was superb.
DownsideNot dog friendly due to the cable walk and the scree if coming down the west side
CommentFantastic hike with outstanding views and serious exposure when looking over the edge. The cable walk was exciting and the scree running awesome but not suited to less experienced hikers or people afraid of heights.
Posted By: slickster
- Sun Apr 18 00:04:22 EDT 2010
Upsidegreat hike with some scrambling. fantastic views.
Downsidedid this in april with others on the trail, and i suppose it could get busy in summer.
CommentI enjoyed this hike a lot. CCW loop. the crux in the rockband was quite manageable and similarly with the cable and the ledge.
on the descend, i would recommend considering gaitors to keep the rocks out of the boots. there is a lot of scree on the descend.
i took 6 hrs to go around and that includes time for pictures, lunch, and some breaks.
Posted By: Omeljaniuk
- Thu Jan 15 13:43:34 EST 2009
1. I've taken the route up Yamnuska from the east and summitted from the west.
2. From the east, the cable-protected ledge is straightforward but I haven't figured out what to do after I unclip and try to reaccess the route to the summit. I've scrambled down a few meters after the cable-protected ledge and tried to have a look but I wouldn't commit after the wall on the left because I couldn't see. So, which way to get down and resume the summit track?
3. Thanks in advance. When I take my kids up I tend to be very, very cautious. They on the other hand are fearless.
RobertANSWERS are in this forum: YAMNUSKA TRAVERSE CRUX SOLUTION
Posted By: Bud Stokes
- Mon Oct 27 01:29:23 EDT 2008
UpsideGreat variety, loved the alpine section. Fairly high exposure in a few places (along the cable) but not diffucult at all..... just very cool!!! Many possibe lines so its a good one to do multiple times.... also fairly short (1/2 day) and close to Calgary
CommentSix hours is a generous estimation of time. Five of us did it in four hours and we are fairly average hikers in my opinion, we did not stop for lunch however so that would add a bit more time.
Posted By: Sarabiner
- Mon Oct 13 13:42:10 EDT 2008
UpsideGreat exposure. Climbing, bouldering and a waterfall to cool off on after a scree ski down.
CommentA strong hiker can bomb it up, around, and back to the car park in less than 4 hours though a great number of people take the full day. Give yourself extra time if you've never hiked Yam before.
Posted By: pduncan
- Sun Mar 23 13:38:08 EDT 2008
QuestionI was looking for information on the Ghost-Spectral Creek/Lakes area, thinking of a backpack this summer. I am aware of the closure on the Aylmer side during "berry season" and thru the autumn. Apparently this was formerly a popular backpacking trip, but it seems few have traveled there in recent years. If anyone has hiked in the past few years, I would appreciate info on condition of the route up Spectral Creek from the Ghost. Also would be curious if anyone has hiked Paradise Pass from the Ghost, that seems to be a valley very rarely traveled.
Paula DuncanANSWERS are in this forum: Spectral Creek/Ghost
Posted By: fered
- Tue Sep 25 11:05:02 EDT 2007
UpsideThe view and the scenery is spectacular.
DownsideThere was a lot of snow on the scramble to the peak because it is on the north eastern side and the sun disappears behind the mountain fairly early, a good reason to start early in the morning. We tried to make it yesterday (September 24) and there was about a foot of snow.
CommentBE WARNED, if there is snow don't attempt the summit unless you are experienced.