Mount Cline is the highest mountain on the David Thompson Highway and makes for a great introduction to multiday mountaineering expeditions! The remote setting, beautiful campsites and interesting climbing make this one of our favorites!
Elevation: 3361m / 11030ft
Location: David Thompson Highway near Saskatchewan River Crossing. 1 hour from Nordegg, 2 hours from Canmore.
Difficulty: Beginner to very advanced routes.
Logistics: Climbed as a 2 or 3 day trip. Season runs from late May through October on the normal route.
Prerequisites: Good fitness and endurance. Some rock climbing and rappelling experience. Much more advanced skills required for the harder routes.
Hidden Gully/SW Ridge (II 5.4): This variation to the normal route on Mount Cline makes an excellent introduction to climbing big mountains in the Rockies. On day one we make a 4 or 5 hour hike into an amazing basecamp surrounded by house-sized boulders and towering peaks. The next morning we get up early and start the ascent. The climb begins with a long snow couloir to gain a large plateau and glacier. A short ways across the plateau brings us to the upper rock ridge. The ridge starts out with easy scrambling but quickly narrows and offers an exciting crux section. The crux involves climbing and rappelling through two very exposed notches in the ridge. Although not overly difficult, the thousand foot drops on either side make this an experience to remember! Above this crux easier slopes are followed to the summit of Mt. Cline. On a clear day it is possible to see literally hundreds of peaks including Mount Columbia, Mount Temple and Mount Forbes! We can either make the descent and long hike out that afternoon or split it into two days for a more relaxed trip. 2-3 days. Group size up to 4.
North Ridge (III 5.6 WI3): A remote alpine ridge climb that provides a true wilderness adventure with climbing on rock, snow, and ice to the top of a Rockies 11000 foot peak! It is a two day climb with a bivi on the ridge along the way. Be prepared for lots of exposure and exciting climbing. Descent is down the South West Ridge. 2 days. Group size of 1 only.
East Face (IV 5.10b): The first ascent of this huge alpine rock route was made by CRAG’s head guide Jay Mills and is one of the best alpine rock routes in the range. After hiking in and camping at the base of the face a very early start will see us starting the climb at first light. Thirteen long pitches of excellent rock climbing (mostly 5.8 and 5.9) lead up the wall following cracks, corners, and other features. The crux 5.10b pitch comes near the end and is followed by the most exposed 5.9 pitch you will ever climb! Recommended training routes would include Super Brewers on Castle Mountain and lots of multipitch rock climbing. Descent is made down the South West Ridge. 2 days. Group size of 1 and only available at the discretion of the guide after completing other challenging routes. Must be able to quickly follow 5.10 while carrying a pack. Most years this route is only dry in August.