Canadian Rockies Alpine Guides - Climb Mount Louis in Alberta's Rocky Mountains

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Box 40087
Canmore, AB
T1W 3H9

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Mt. Louis Blog postings:
Gmoser Route (Aug 2009)
Gmoser Route (Aug 2009)
Guided climbs of Banff's Mt. Louis Mount Louis in Banff National Park with the Kain Route & Gmoser Routes shown.

Elevation: 2682m
Location: Banff, Alberta
Season: Early June through late September
Logistics: Climbed as a day trip from the Bow Valley or Calgary.

This prominent peak near Banff has been attracting climbers since legendary Mountain Guide Conrad Kain led the first ascent during an "afternoon picnic" in the early days of Rockies climbing. It's stunning appearance and enjoyable climbing make it a much sought after objective.

Kain Route (III 5.7)

Length of Day: 10 - 14 hours
Max Group Size: 2
Prerequisites: At least one multipitch rock climb and the ability to follow 5.7 rock climbing with a light pack. Good fitness.

After hiking to the base, much of the mountain is climbed via difficult scrambling and easy rock climbing. The upper section of the route provides more challenging climbing with the very last pitch being the hardest, and best! A number of rappels off the backside gain the trail back to the road. This climb is a good next step after completing a couple of II routes such as Eisenhower Tower or some long multipitch rock climbs.

Climbing high on Mt. Louis Kain Route

Gmoser Route (III 5.8)

Length of Day: 10 - 16 hours
Max Group Size: 2
Prerequisites: Some multipitch rock climbing & an easier alpine rock climb or two highly recommended. Must be able to follow 5.8 rock climbing with a light pack. Good fitness.

A steeper and more sustained route that has about 15 pitches of excellent rock climbing. Most of the pitches are in the 5.4 to 5.6 range but the crux corner pitch offers tricky 5.8 climbing on superb rock. High on the mountain, it joins with the Kain Route and climbs the best pitches of that route to the summit. A highly recommended route for those with good rock climbing skills who want to enjoy a big day in the mountains.

Climbers on a guided ascent of the Gmoser Route on Mount Louis in Banff

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 (about 30 litres) - available for loan
  • Hiking boots
  • Rock Climbing Shoes
  • Harness - available for loan
  • Helmet - available for loan
  • Sweater/Fleece
  • Rain Jacket or Goretex/Softshell Jacket
  • Rain Pants or Goretex/Softshell Pants
  • Light Gloves
  • Toque
  • Sunglasses
  • Headlamp
  • Sunscreen
  • Water Bottles (2 litres)
  • Lunch

Alpine guide J. Mills leading the crux pitch of the Gmoser route on Mt Louis
Canadian Rockies Alpine Guides (CRAG) - - Canmore, Alberta, Canada