Mt Temple

An iconic Rockies peak rising above beautiful Moraine Lake!  It’s height (9th highest peak in the Canadian Rockies!) and location make for some of the best views anywhere.  The scrambling route on the South West slopes allows novice climbers to experience a big mountain and lots of enjoyable terrain without requiring any technical climbing skills.  The massive East Ridge route is one of the “100 Classic Climb in North America” and is highly recommended for anyone with sufficient climbing ability and endurance.

Great views on a guided trip up Mount Temple

Elevation: 3543m / 11624ft

Location: Lake Louise area in Banff National Park.

Difficulty: Beginner to advanced routes available.

Logistics: All routes on Temple can be completed in a single day from the Canmore/Banff areas with an early start.  July and August are the best times to plan an ascent of Mount Temple.

Prerequisites: For the SW Slopes scrambling route good mountain hiking fitness is required, including experience in rugged terrain with significant elevation gain. There is around 1700m of elevation gain during the day and much if it is on steep rocky slopes.  The East Ridge route requires significant climbing experience and excellent endurance.

Mount Temple South Face scrambling route
Scrambling trip up Mount Temple


South West Slopes (I): Starting from Moraine Lake, the ascent begins with a hike up to Sentinal Pass. From here we leave the hiking trail and begin the steeper ascent towards the summit. As we ascend, the views of the surrounding peaks and glaciers become more jaw dropping with every step! Although this isn’t too technically difficult of a climb, there are a number of steeper rock scrambling sections to keep you on your toes and lots of elevation gain to make you work hard for the summit! On the upper mountain snow may be encountered depending on the season. Descent is made back down the same route.  8-13 hours round trip.  Group size up to 4.

East Ridge (IV 5.7): This is perhaps the best and most famous alpine rock ridge in the entire Canadian Rockies! It offers excellent climbing throughout with lots of variety. After a short hike up the base, a few hours of fun scrambling on good rock lead to the legendary Big Step. The Big Step consists of a number of steep rock climbing pitches (hard 5.7) on good quality quartzite. Above the big step, lower angle slopes lead to the Black Towers which are climbed in a few more pitches to reach the upper glacier. A spectacular ice arete on the upper glacier leads to the summit. The descent down the SW Slopes is straightforward and scenic. 14-20 hours round trip.  Group size of 1 only.

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.

  • Boots – hiking boots or light alpine boots for SW Slopes, alpine boots for East Ridge.
  • Small Pack (20 – 30 litres)
  • Harness – available for loan
  • Helmet – available for loan
  • Crampons – available for loan – not necessary on SW slopes during dry conditions.
  • Mountaineering Axe – available for loan – not necessary on SW Slopes during dry conditions.
  • Rock shoes – for East Ridge route only
  • Headlamp
  • Water Bottles, 2 Liters per person (perhaps more on hot days)
  • Food & snacks
  • Waterproof jacket + pants (preferably breathable)
  • Warm tops and bottoms (fleece etc.)
  • Toque and gloves
  • Hiking socks
  • Gaiters (depends on conditions)
  • Hiking pole