Canada Alpine Guides - Mountaineering and Climbing in Alberta's Rocky Mountains

CRAG Homepage
Mountaineering guides in Canada
Rock climbing guiding & courses in the Canmore, Banff, and Jasper areas.
Ice climbing in the best place on earth, the Canadian Rockies!


Box 40087
Canmore, AB
T1W 3H9

[About our Guides]
[Prices & Booking]

Coire Dubh Blog postings:
Jan 2010
Jan 2009
Jan 2013
Mixed climbing on Coire Dubh Integral near Calgary, Alberta Approaching the start of the ice climbing on Coire Dubh Integral

Coire Dubh Integral is the best introduction to winter alpine mixed climbing that the Rockies has to offer! This route has it all, nice ice climbing, moderate mixed climbing, a southern exposure, and a great alpine setting. Some previous ice & mixed climbing experience as well as good fitness is required to be succesfull on this route.

A one hour approach brings us to the base of Goat Mountain. The climb starts with 300 meters of snow and ice up a cool gully leading deep into the mountain. Above this, the rest of the climb is on rock where we will use ice tools, hands, and crampons to climb rock corners and cracks for the remaining 200m+ of the route. The first pitch is the hardest and although the climbing is never too difficult by Rockies standards, it will still feel plenty challenging unless you have done alot of this style of climbing before! As an added bonus, all the belays are quite comfortable with lots of big ledges between pitches. From the top we begin a scrambling descent along the rocky ridgeline back to the road. Expect this climb to take 7 to 11 hours round trip depending on fitness and snow conditions. This climb is a perfect start for those looking to climb alpine mixed routes in the Canadian Rockies! For those with lots of mixed experience there are also a number of more difficult routes on this wall, most of which were first climbed by CRAG's head guide Jay Mills.

Heading up the cool snow gully between ice climbing pitches

Location: Bow Valley. 20 minutes from Canmore, 45 minutes from Calgary.
Length: 550m
Grade: WI3, M4 (5.7 if dry)
Logistics: Canmore, Alberta is the best place to base out of for climbing in the Bow Valley. If coming from Calgary you can choose to meet your guide at the parking area for the climb.

Guide on the crux mixed pitch of Coire Dubh Integral

Other Nearby Routes

  • Coire Dubious - WI3, M5, 550m - a harder route beside Coire Dubh
  • Doors of Perception - WI3, M6, 550m - an even harder route on the Coire Dubh Wall
  • Professor Falls - WI4, 280m
  • Bear Spirit Crag - WI4 and M6-M9, 15m - a fun mixed crag
  • Trophy Wall - WI6, 150m - famous hard climbs.
  • Grotto Canyon - WI3-4 and M6-8, 20m+
  • and dozens more...

Climber on the crux pitch during a guided ascent of Coire Dubh Integral

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
  • Ice Climbing/Mountaineering Boots
  • Crampons - available for loan
  • 2 Ice Climbing Axes - 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 or Balaclava
  • Gaitors (optional but highly recommended)
  • Water Bottles (2 litres)
  • Lunch with lots of snacks