Mount Robson

Featured photo of Mount Robson

The registration to climb Mount Robson is voluntary. The registration box was at the Berg Lake trailhead back in 1998. If you use it, make sure you sign out as well. From the Robson Provincial Park Visitor Center drive 2 km north to the Berg Lake trailhead. There was no fee for overnight parking here in 2003. There are six official campsites en route to the start of your climb, unless of course you are using a helicopter, in which case you really are not in need of this beta. It takes 4 km to reach Kinney Lake (campsite), a rather uneventful section except for Knowlton Falls. The trail continues across a gravel bar, where you have several water crossing options depending on the flow, up to Valley of a Thousand Falls including White Falls (campsite-nice!) and Emperor Falls (campsite). Now the route gets quite scenic as the Mist Glacier starts to come into view. Continue through some gravel flats to the southwest shores of Berg Lake (campsite). Travel along the west shore of Berg Lake to Campsite 5 which has a day shelter to store food and other items you do not need to take on the climb. This is an ideal first camp spot with spectacular views of the Berg Glacier breaking off into Berg Lake, thus the name.

Route Description-Kain Face

Continue on to Campsite 6 where you leave the trail and make way for the tongue of the Robson Glacier. Bypass a small tarn on the left hand side as you travel southeast up the moraine. We hopped on this exposed glacier (meaning the crevasses are quite exposed during the late summer months) fairly early, quickly fixed our crampons and went unroped up the Robson Glacier until progress was slowed by crevasses. We then moved back onto the east moraine to a bivy site on a small rock cropping below a massive rock tower called Extinguisher. Extinguisher Tower has a lot of rock fall and reminds you all night of where you are. We used this as our 2nd camp.

Get an early start as you attack the deeper snow further up the Robson Glacier en route to some nasty seracs called the Mousetrap Icefall, in the Robson Cirque. Although the Mousetrap Icefall is not recommended in at least one guidebook, I found this section to be the most interesting and difficult climbing of the whole trip, and pondered what those who helicopter to the Dome were really accomplishing in terms of climbing. It is also the most direct route but requires solid ice climbing skills to move horizontally through these leaning ice obstacles. Avalanches were plentiful through this upper area and we noticed many of our old tracks wiped out on our return down the southeast ridge. Proceed to the Dome below the Kain Face and make camp. Wind and cold can be brutal at this bivy site (and it was for us). Get an early start and ice climb your way above the bergschrund and up the northeast face comprised of over 1000’ of vertical ice. Then follow the southeast ridge, containing a few technical spots, to the summit. On the descent back to the top of the Kain face, we had one fall. You must be confident in self arrest as this slope does drop almost to the valley floor on the southeast side.

On descent from the Dome the next day, we took the southeast ridge down to the Resplendent col for some variation in the route. We set up several rappels along the ridge. It took us over 20 hours to make it back to the parking lot from the Dome. Most of the photos I have added to this site are from a 2003 snowshoe up to Robson Glacier. Better route photos will be forthcoming from more recent trips, I am sure.

Essential Gear

Alpine, Ice and Camping Gear for an Alpine IV Climb including Pickets and Screws and One Alpine Ax and a Tool or 2 Tools.

Elevation (feet): 12,972
Elevation (meters): 3,954
Continent: North America
Country: Canada
Range/Region: Canadian Rockies
Province: British Columbia
Latitude: 53.1167
Longitude: -119.15
Difficulty: Technical Climb
Year first climbed: 1913
First successful climber(s): W.M. Foster, A.H. McCarthy, Conrad Kain
Nearest major airport: Calgary or Edmonton, Alberta
Convenient Center: Jasper, Alberta

Thanks to Dow Williams for adding this peak.

Trip Reports

NOTE: Trip reports were previously called "Summit Logs" - same feature, new name

There are 32 trip reports for Mount Robson.

Select any entry from the list below:

  • Log #19028 - by Bruce H. Balderston on Feb 14, 2006
    Three friends and I climbed Robson in the Summer of 1972. They were Dave Sweet, Kurt Shuttenberg and Kurt's brother, whose name I have forgotten. We hiked in to Berg Lake. From a camp high on the...
  • Log #18766 - by Frederic Lavoie on Aug 05, 2005
    Nous l'avons fait par la face Kain en 6 jours aller-retour. Nous avons eu un sommet completement dégagé pendant environ 48h. La face Kain est impressionnante, mais la cascade de glace (Mousetrap),...
  • Log #6522 - by Dow Williams on Nov 01, 2004
    This mountain was my introduction to the great Canadian Rockies. We formed a party of 4, 2 Alaskans, 1 climber from Georgia and myself from Nevada at the time. We flew into Calgary, drove up to...
  • Log #6520 - by dawn on Oct 02, 2004
    i feel that the information is great! keep up the good work!
  • Log #6521 - by joe jocelyn on Aug 26, 2004
    Heard too many horor stories about this snowcap . We`re starting to find more and more bodies from receding and melting ice and glaciers . A nice workout .
  • Log #6523 - by Dan Clarke on Dec 08, 2003
    Like everyone here I'm obsessed with "my mountain" Mount Robson. I climb smaller mountains every year but none that require alot of technical experience. Climbing Mount Robson is a dream of...
  • Log #6524 - by BruceT on Oct 01, 2003
    Mousetrap on the way up was more interesting than dangerous, as it is portrayed. The way down was a different story but the Serac Fall missed us.
  • Log #6525 - by Amy Toyota on Sep 16, 2003
    Summited the South Face with Kevin Wilkinson. The weather was perfect and conditions were good. Hit the peak by 11:00am. My first trip with crampons and an ice axe.
  • Log #6526 - by Krister Sorensen on Sep 15, 2003
    Climbed North Face with T. Hains, J. Leonhard, C. Coulson, and myself, K.
  • Log #6527 - by Ryan Murphy on Sep 12, 2003
    Summited via S Face route with Danny Gallagher and Preston McEachern. SICK as hell. View was awesome, conditions were perfect.. dry ledges.
  • Log #6528 - by John Ionescu on Sep 05, 2003
    Solo'd the North Face and came down on the South Face (Normal Route) in 35 hrs. Left parking lot on Sat Aug 16, 7:30AM; Climbed the North Face and reached Emperor Ridge by 3:30AM (waited on a...
  • Log #6529 - by Danny Gallagher on Sep 03, 2003
    Soloed via SSW Ridge. Not a great route....but a great mountain. I lived for this day for a number of years.
  • Log #6530 - by Darryl Dow on Aug 20, 2003
    Soloed via South Face, SE Ridge Schwartz Ledges had patches of verglass on ascent, remainder of route was also in good shape, good snow cover but not too soft. No slide activity seen except - on...
  • Log #6531 - by dave on Aug 16, 2003
    Wanted highly motivated youth ages 15 to 18 to form the youngest climb team to attempt, mt.athabasca, sir. jon a macdonald, and mount robson im looking to drum up support and get fellow teenagers...
  • Log #6532 - by alex Sullivan on Jan 22, 2003
    WOW, loved the mountian, hate to type, so climb it and you'll know what I mean
  • Log #6533 - by dave on Sep 10, 2002
    people dont understand how hard it is for a 17 year old to get a foothold in mountinering. im 17 and im failry strong. i know lots about mountains but i am totaly inexsperianced. people ask why mount...
  • Log #6534 - by Kenneth Lee on July 08, 2002
    Mt Robson Climb Report (summary) By Tim O'Leary and Kenneth Lee June 2002 A helicopter took us to the Robson-Resplendent Col (Rearguard Meadows) on Saturday, 15th June at about 9:30...
  • Log #6535 - by Dmitry Eremin on Sep 16, 2001
    Party of two: Dmitry Eremin (Chicago, IL ) & Mike Goldin ( Denver, CO ) both originaly from St. Petersburg Russia. via Kane Face, full route without helicopter support so it was 2.5 days to The...
  • Log #6536 - by Alan on Aug 17, 2001
    We were fortunate enough to have great weather, tracks to follow up the Kain face, and frozen snow for our ascent. We hustled on the climb to get down the Kain face as early as possible. Even at...
  • Log #6537 - by Richard Hiley on July 13, 2001
    Very intimidating mountain. At first look it takes your breath away. Our group never made the summit as weather moved in. We received our introduction to the mountain by having it hurl snow and ice...
  • Log #6538 - by Manuel Lowenhaupt on Jan 03, 2001
    Climbed the Kain face with a guided group. Wonderful mountain, worth the effort.
  • Log #6539 - by Barry D Murray on Dec 14, 2000
    Solo attempt via the SSW Ridge. Headwall to hut had immense amount of snow. Alpine zone had 50 cm of snow with 8 cm of a compressed crust due to mild weather conditions the weekend of the 2nd and...
  • Log #6540 - by Robert Idsinga on Nov 02, 2000
    Nope, never summitted yet. BUT I WILL!!!!!! Arghh%$##@@#$!! Until then, if anyones interested in getting their hands on a radio capable of using the parks repeater set up and capable of talking to...
  • Log #6541 - by Clare Wilson on Oct 02, 2000
    Berg Lake trail route is a beautiful hike which goes almost half way up Robson. For people of any skill level and you may go as far as you wish. Whether it be a day hike to Kinney Lake or a 4 day...
  • Log #6542 - by Zoltan Robert KOVACS on July 30, 2000
    dear sir please help me at send me at the necesary information and region maps of this peak costs of this adventure proiject thanks an best regards kovacs
  • Log #6543 - by Alan Kane on Jan 10, 2000
    Finally after many years of patiently waiting for good conditions, we climbed the peak via SSW ridge and Schwartz ledges. This is a pretty full 3 day trip, quite a hump (5000 ft) to the hut too. If...
  • Log #6544 - by James Adamson on Dec 09, 1999
    We hiked up to the Ralph Forrester hut via the SSW ridge in winter conditions. A nice climb, noticed some possibly dangerous cornices and seracs towards the summit. Once again we were just training...
  • Log #6545 - by Lorne Graham on Nov 10, 1999
    We tried the Empire Ridge, but didn't have enough time. We only had a day to climb the mountain from the parking lot
  • Log #6546 - by Brent Wise on Sep 08, 1999
    Summitted solo via the SSW Ridge on the seventh of seven possible days!! Clear skies in every direction. Finally! mountain of my dreams for x-number of years!
  • Log #6547 - by Brian MacLean on July 28, 1999
    Just another walk in the park! Remember, life is short; therefore, "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those...
  • Log #6548 - by Darian Davis on Nov 06, 1998
    It was an incredible climb, with the help of two guides. Mark Whelan and Pat (?). Second client never made it past the dome. We started the Cain face in clear weather.
  • Log #6549 - by Greg Kormany on Sep 29, 1998
    The park only allows helicopters to land at Berg Lk on Mon. and Fri., however, one can fly into the Tower or the Dome any day of the week. Do not by a camping pass at the info centre. We did the...