Canadian Rockies Alpine Guides - Mountaineering and Climbing on Mount Fay in Alberta's Rocky Mountains

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Canadian Rockies Ice Climbing Guides


Box 40087
Canmore, AB
T1W 3H9

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Mount Fay Blog postings:

West Ridge (Aug 2012)

Climbing Mt Fay in the Valley of the Ten Peaks

The North Face of Mount Fay, a popular guided climb near Lake Louise, Alberta

Elevation: 3235m, 10614ft
Location: Lake Louise. 45 minutes from Canmore, 2.5 hours from Jasper.
Season: June - September
Logistics: The Neil Colgan Hut on a high glacier allows Mount Fay to be climbed as a comfortable two day outing. It can also be done in one very long day.

North Face (II)

Length of Trip: 2 medium length days with a night at the Neil Colgan Hut, or one very long day.
Max Group Size: 2
Prerequisites: good physical fitness and glacier travel skills. Those without any glacier experience can choose to take an extra day and learn these skills as a part of the trip.

The North Face of Mount Fay is one of the classic moderate ice faces in the Canadian Rockies and is a good introduction to this type of climbing. The approach to the glacier, and the hut, is a good day in itself with lots of scrambling, some rock climbing, and an exciting "batman" up a 15 meter fixed peice of chain! Once on the glacier, an hours walk across the ice leads to the Neil Colgan Hut. If time and energy allows, an ascent of nearby Mount Little may be completed on the same day. The next morning we get up early and cross the glacier to the base of the ice face. A bergshrund crossing and about eight ropelengths of 45 degree ice leads to the snowy summit! Descent is usually down the West Ridge.

The North Face of Mount Fay above Moraine Lake.

West Ridge (II 5.4)

Length of Day: 2 medium length days with a night at the Neil Colgan Hut, or one very long day.
Max Group Size: 2
Prerequisites: One day of glacier travel training (can be scheduled the day before), experience wearing crampons, and good physical fitness.

A great ridge climb with lots of wild exposure and mostly moderate climbing on rock, snow, and ice. Approach the hut as described above. Day two starts with a walk across the glacier to the base of a short snow and ice slope. After climbing this slope, the ridge is followed throughout to the summit. Descent is made by downclimbing and rappelling the route. This is likely the most popular climb in the Valley of the Ten Peaks area.

Other Routes

  • Mt. Little - a cool ridge climb above the hut. If time and energy allows, this can be done on the same day as the climb up to the hut.
  • Mt. Perren - a nice day out from the hut with a glacier crossing, 3 pitches up a ice/snow slope, and an exposed scramble along a narrow rock ridge to the summit. The views from the summit are incredible!
Climbers on the West Ridge of Mount Fay in the Valley of the 10 peaks.

Other Expenses

Guests are responsible for covering the following expenses for their guide as well as themselves.

Neil Colgan Hut - $36/person per night + GST (2008).
NP Wilderness Pass - $9/person per night + GST (2008)

Gear List

Group gear such as ropes and carabiners will be provided by Canadian Rockies Alpine Guides. The personal gear listed below is mandatory. Please inform us well in advance if you need to borrow any of these items. Items that are not available for loan must be rented or purchased. Rental and purchase information can be found here.
  • Small Pack (for day trips) - available for loan
  • Ice Climbing/Mountaineering Boots
  • Crampons - available for loan
  • Mountaineering Axe - available for loan
  • Harness - available for loan
  • Helmet - available for loan
  • Sweater/Fleece
  • Winter Jacket or Goretex/Softshell Jacket
  • Winter Pants or Goretex/Softshell Pants
  • Long Underwear
  • Gloves (2 pairs)
  • Toque
  • Sunglasses (important!)
  • Headlamp (with extra batteries)
  • Sunscreen
  • Gaitors (optional but highly recommended)
  • Water Bottles (2 litres)
  • Lunch

Overnight trips to Neil Colgan hut will also require:

  • Mid sized Pack, 45+ Liters - available for loan
  • Lightweight Sleeping Bag.
  • Hut booties/flipflops/lightweight shoes.
  • Earplugs.
  • Food. You can bring your own food or purchase our meal packages, let us know your preference.
  • Small book, if you like, for the evenings.
Canadian Rockies Alpine Guides (CRAG) - - Canmore, Alberta, Canada