Climb Mount Carnarvon in Yoho NP, BC, Canada

Elevation Gain: 5904'.......... Summit: 9974'.........Distance: 18km / 8 Hr RT

July 18, 2017 (Tuesday)

GETTING THERE: Pass through Lake Louise heading westbound and continue on the Trans-Canada on its way to Field, BC. After you pass Field, turn right onto the road leading to Emerald Lake. Park at the lake and access the Hamilton Lake Trailhead. It is recommended to eat at Truffle Pigs in Field. The closest camp site would be quite in the distance at Yoho Pass, Yoho Campsite #3. Take helmet, compass, ice axe and bear spray. No permit required.


This is large mountain with many areas of loose scree and exposure. It often has snow / ice on the route so take necessary precautions. Proceed up the Hamilton Lake Trail west of the Emerald Lake parking area. Ascend 6kms+/- to the outlet of Hamilton Lake. I did the first 2000' elevation gain in an hour. At the lake, cross over the outlet and head straight up the steep meadow (left) to the direct south ridge of Mount Carnarvon.

The landscape up on the ridge at 8300' is desolate and windswept. Tackle the ridge head on (north). There are a few cruxes with enjoyable solid rock to climb straight on. It would be safer no doubt to head left at each crux to deal with less steepness and/or exposure.

Eventually you will approach the headwall to the summit. This is for sure the most difficult climbing of the day. Look for cairns (there might not be many if at all) that show your traverse left to the west side. Once you have circumvented to the west, work your way up one of several loose gullies to the top ridge. Then continue troublefree to the summit alongside Mount Carnarvon’s dying glacier on the northeast side.