Mount Yamnuska

Photo of Mount Yamnuska
Photo uploaded by Dow Williams

Scramble Route-Traverse

Park at a trail head on the north side of 1A, 2 km east of the junction of 1A and 1X north of Seebe. Follow the trail up the mountain in a westerly direction, bypassing the 1st marked junction.

Take a right at the 2nd unmarked junction. You are aiming for the east shoulder pass of Yam. At approximately 7000' you will top out and descend via the trail to circumvent the disintegrating buttress and proceed west on the north side of Yam following a trail that eventually ascends again aiming west for a small water worn notch in a rock band. From a distance this looks more challenging then it really is. Scramble up this break and continue west on the north side taking in the view from time to time up on the ridge. Continue west until you reach the crux which is aided by a new cable assisting you across horizontal ledges to a notch in the ridge. Then comes a great challenge for scramblers without anxious spouses. I would free climb the steep wall that immediately follows the cable crossing. However, the scramble route is to descend (unnatural for any climber) the gully on your right, clinging to solid rock on your left until you feel comfortable ascending again and continue your plod westward for the summit cairn. It took Stacy and I 2.5 hrs to the summit from the parking lot.

There is a summit register and plenty of space to lay out and enjoy the weather if it is suitable. The descent is uneventful down the west side and return to the south facing climbing routes, following the scree below Yam until you find the escalator scree in the middle that descends back to an official trail

Easy Street Route

Once you make the hump to the base of the wall, Easy Street is one of several variations towards the west end of Yamnuska. It shares the same start as Windy Slabs and I have marked a photo of the bottom portion of the route. After 5 pitches of Easy Street which takes you to BBQ Ledge, you can finish via one of the "West End Finishes." Below I describe the more challenging 5.9 layback to the right, but other options from 5.6 to 5.8 exist.

Begin at the right-hand side of a pillar about 40 meters left and slightly downhill of the ramp at the start of "Unnamed". Two Pitons near the bottom mark the route.

1st Pitch- 25 meters- Climb the right side of the pillar to its top where you will find one bolt and two pitons.

2nd Pitch- 50 meters- Traverse left past a piton into a small bay (pitons). Cross the bay and climb an easy ramp to a large belay ledge with a bolt. Step down and across a small gully (piton) and up to a clean ledge. Climb the slabby wall above toward King's Chimney. Once on the highest ledge between that route and Unnamed, move up the chimney of King's Chimney to a two-bolt belay on the left.

3rd/4th Pitch- 65 meters- We had a 70 meter rope and combined these two pitches. Climb up a short distance above the belay and step left to a small ledge. Follow solid cracks and slabs immediately left of King's Chimney to a fixed piton. Move left from the piton to another groove that leads up past a second piton to a two-bolt belay. If you have a long enough rope, traverse left to a groove and climb above to a solid ledge. Belay at a piton with a good cam crack to the right.

5th Pitch- 30 meters- Move left past a piton for about 5 meters, then step right across a steep, blocky wall and follow good cracks in the corner above to the large platform on the skyline which is BBQ Ledge (bolts).

6th Pitch- 55 meters- Proceed directly above for several moves and then traverse slightly left into a gully. Follow the layback crack above you to the right using primarily cams. This is not a true layback, but rather consists of several balancing moves switching back and forth. The crux on this pitch is about 2/3rds of the way up.

Return via the scramble traverse descent which is left to the col and subsequent scree trail.

Essential Gear

Nuts and Cams, small to large, plenty of runners and station gear. Climbing shoes, helmet, 60-70 meter rope, etc.

Elevation (feet): 7,349
Elevation (meters): 2,240
Continent: North America
Country: Canada
Range/Region: Canadian Rockies
Province: Alberta
Latitude: 51.1236
Longitude: -115.117
Difficulty: Scramble
Nearest major airport: Calgary International
Convenient Center: Canmore Alberta

Thanks to Dow Williams for adding this peak.

Trip Reports

There are 15 trip reports for Mount Yamnuska.

  • Log #19163 - by Dow Williams on Feb 15, 20063.00 stars
    I have climbed Yam many times, but chose to add my Easy Street beta as a summit log at Peakware. Once you make the hump to the base of the wall, Easy Street is one of several variations towards the...
  • Log #17974 - by eric macht on Aug 23, 20043.00 stars
    great scramble....hope to climb it when my skills better!
  • Log #17975 - by Dylan Ferris on Aug 15, 20043.00 stars
    Well we went up the west side. It was a blast trying to get up and also the scree skiing is AMAZING!!!!
  • Log #17976 - by Jeff Chrumka on July 15, 20043.00 stars
    Enjoy the view and take lots of water!
  • Log #17977 - by Joel Wellpert on Nov 13, 20033.00 stars
    Great climb. Lots of cool routes. Some great limestone.
  • Log #17978 - by Bill Sutton on Oct 05, 20033.00 stars
    Willa and I thought this outing was entertaining. It was a nice mix of numerous scramble elements that kept us interested at all times. Not hard to see why it's so popular with mountain enthusiasts...
  • Log #17979 - by Sheldon on Oct 05, 20033.00 stars
    The Yam is like a playground it has everything you could ever ask for exept for elevation. Great scrambling,scree skiing,bouldering,some what of a ridgewalk,hiking and of course climbing.
  • Log #17980 - by Mike on Sep 03, 20033.00 stars
    My very first multi-pitch climb. Had great weather (especially for mid october). No leading for me, just seconding up. Pretty easy climb, with just one short 5.
  • Log #17981 - by Brett Johnson on July 01, 20033.00 stars
    Great hike, but not for the beginner. We started up taking the West route, bad decision. Too much skree and very hard going. Coming down was a breeze though.
  • Log #17982 - by Rene Boisselle on June 30, 20033.00 stars
    Fantastic rock climbing routes (forbidden corner, chockstone corner, missionnaries crack, belfry, shuftee, directissima, red shirt, corkcrew, unamed, pangolin, necromancer, dick's route, smeagol,...
  • Log #17983 - by Rob Davidson on Jan 20, 20033.00 stars
    A great easy scramble with good views of the front ranges and eastern plains.
  • Log #17984 - by Tim L. Helmer on Jan 09, 20033.00 stars
    This is an easy scramble with one difficult exposed section that has two options. A down climb or a traverse on a narrow ledge. Views of the Bow River Valley and the parries are excellent.
  • Log #19401 - by Maria on June 04, 20063.00 stars
    This was my first summit and it was amazing. It was scary at parts, but the accomplishment was well worth it. I have really never hiked before and I was able to make it to the summit, and the people...
  • Log #20788 - by Rene Boisselle on May 26, 20073.00 stars
    All recommended, good rock as per Rockies standard, some good and steep leads. Forbidden corner, red shirt, Grillmair, Calgary, Calgary, Directissima, Corkscrew, pangolin, shuftee (FFA),...
  • Log #21312 - by John Horne on June 16, 20083.00 stars
    The mountain is one of the most easily reached peaks from Calgary. It is a moderate hike through the woods for the first half of the climb with many great viewpoints on the way up. At the halfway...