Mt. A2

Also known as “little Athabasca” this fun peak is one of the best glacier ascents in the Rockies.  Although not as tall and eye catching as some of the other peaks in the area, most climbers who have ascended both Athabasca and A2 say that the climb up A2 was even more interesting and enjoyable!  As with every mountain at the Columbia Icefields the views are jaw dropping!  We often climb this peak during our popular Alpine Skills Courses

Mountaineering on Mt A2

Elevation: 3040m / 9975ft

Location: Columbia Icefields.  2.5 hours from Canmore, 1 hour from Jasper

Difficulty: Beginner/Intermediate

Logistics: Season runs from late May to late September.  Early starts are required (usually about 3am) so camping at the Icefields the night before is recommended. 

Prerequisites: Glacier Travel Course or similar experience. Good fitness. 

A2 summit ridge beside Mt. Athabasca
Up through the rocks on Mount A2 aka Little Athabasca


Normal Route (II): The climb starts with a hike past a picturesque mountain lake and up some moraines.  After a couple of hours we start up the complex glacier and find our way around numerous crevasses as we steadily gain height.  High on the mountain we reach a rock ridge leading to the summit with glaciers and mountain views all around!  The final part is the steepest and has 2 pitches of belayed climbing up snow covered rock to the summit.  7-11 hours round trip.  Group size up to 4.

Mountaineering at the Columbia Icefields

Gear List

All technical equipment is provided free of charge except for boots. However, if you have any of your own climbing gear feel free to use it! Rental and purchase information for boots, clothing and camping gear can be found here. If you are unable to locate any of these items or have any questions, feel free to contact us at any time for assistance.

  • Ice Climbing/Mountaineering Boots
  • Small Pack (about 30 litres) – available for loan
  • Crampons – available for loan
  • Mountaineering Axe – available for loan
  • Harness – available for loan
  • Helmet – available for loan
  • Avalanche Gear – available for loan and dependent on season.
  • Sweater/Fleece
  • Winter Jacket or Goretex/Softshell Jacket
  • Winter Pants or Goretex/Softshell Pants
  • Long Underwear
  • Gloves (2 pairs)
  • Toque
  • Sunglasses (important!)
  • Headlamp
  • Sunscreen
  • Gaiters
  • Water Bottles (2 litres)
  • Lunch