Joffre Lakes Provincial Park
Credit: Ryan Stuart
1) Joffre Lakes Provincial Park
Coast Range, British Columbia
At Joffre Lakes, the Duffey Lake Road takes care of most of the elevation gain that plagues the Coast Range, and delivers would-be mountaineers to the doorstep of a trifecta of peaks. The parking lot sits 400 metres below and five kilometres away from the base of multiple routes of rock, snow and ice leading to the summits of Joffre, Matier and Rex’s Pillar, the most accessible glaciated peaks near Vancouver.
For more info: Alpine Select

2) The Bugaboos
Purcell Mountains, British Columbia
With more than 200 routes ranging in difficulty and exposure to satisfy just about any taste, this impressive group of granite spires rising out of glacial ice in the northern Purcell Range draws climbers from around the world. Access is via a logging road and a steep hike, and there’s a campground and an alpine hut.
For more info: Bugaboo Rock: A Climbing Guide

3) Rogers Pass
Selkirk Mountains, British Columbia
This was the first place that the Canadian Pacific Railway promoted mountaineering in Western Canada, importing Swiss guides to lead tourists to the summits towering over the pass. Long, easy snow and rock routes still draw plenty of climbers to the area, now part of Glacier National Park. A few alpine huts and well-built trails help ease the burden of steep approaches.
For more info: Selkirks North

4) Columbia Icefield
Rocky Mountains, Alberta
Accessing 3,300-metre peaks covered in ice doesn’t get easier than at the Columbia Icefield, the high point on the Icefields Parkway. This is the location for some of the biggest peaks in the Canadian Rockies, including Mount Columbia, Alberta’s tallest. Kicking steps up the relatively easy snow and ice shoulders of Andromeda and Athabasca is a rite of passage for Canadian mountaineers.
For more info: Select Alpine Climbs in the Canadian Rockies

5) Lake Louise
Rocky Mountains, Alberta
A high concentration of day climbs on tall, craggy peaks makes the areas around Lake Louise (including Moraine Lake and Lake O’Hara) one of the best mountaineering destinations in the country. With high roads, lots of trails and alpine huts, you can wake up in a bed, climb a classic route and be home in time for dinner. The rock is mostly good quality quartzite and the views are some of the best in the world.
For more info: Select Alpine Climbs in the Canadian Rockies
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