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Climbing
Non
Alpine climbing NCCS rating
Class I
Elevation Gain
1,690.00 m (5,544.62 ft)
Distance
15.73 km (9.77 mi)
Please respect the outdoors and leave no trace. One tip how to dispose of waste properly: Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products. For more information, visit https://lnt.org/learn/7-principles

Mount Whyte is one of the best views views short of Mount Temple that one can experience in and around Lake Louise. It is a tricky scramble with a couple of rather exhilerating moves. Most people will include Mount Niblock in this trip because the peaks share a col, and just getting there is often the most frustrating part. 

The route begins in the Lake Louise car park. Due to the recent popularity and challenges finding a spot at this site, it is recommended to get to the lot prior to 7 a.m. If you arrive any later you risk having the use the shuttle service. 

The trail follows the signs to Lake Agnes, about 2 kilometers above the Chateau Lake Louise. The hike is busy even early in the morning with many folks heading to the tea house. Once at the tea house, follow the signs for the Beehive, which lead to the opposite side of the lake. At this junction, keep following the lake shore. The trail will grow much fainter because people rarely go here. Keep walking along this route heading up the valley at the end of the lake. This section has plentiful wildflowers, bublling brooks, and is a lovely escape from the madness of the tea house. 

The trail often has cairns. Head up the huge scree and talus pile, the point of which abuts a band of rock. A short scramble gets you through this onto a ledge system. Head to the climber's left and around the second long band on vertical rock. Then zig back up this new ledge. Toward the top of this area the ledges become narrower and tigher, and you will zig and zag your way to climber's right side of the col. The col is wide and covered with shale. From here most folks go and tag the nearby Mount Niblock. It's a quick hour-long extension at most, and it is definitely worth it. 

To get to Mount Whyte, carry on the ridge heading westward. The ridge narrows as you approach a rockband. Proceed to the climber's left of the rock band, walking under the wall where a weakness will allow you to move through the scree and talus up to the next band of rock. Steep climbing beside a vertical wall gets you to a ledge. This narrow ledge is one of the most challenging sections, and at points only your toes will be on the ledge. Gently sidestep your way into a broad bowl with loose but decent scrambling. 

You can gain the ridge by continuing upward from here. On the ridge you can walk between spires, and you'll have a superb view of the area. Mount Temple is most prominent, along with Mount Victoria and Mount Lefroy. In the distance, Mount Stephen and the Presidents offer additional superb views.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

National or state forest pass

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

The best view of the Lake Louise Peaks. Extended quality scrambling. Generally quiet.

Cons

Loose rock. Lots of slogging up scree.

Pets allowed

No

Trailhead Elevation

5,708.66 ft (1,740.00 m)

Highest point

9,711.29 ft (2,960.00 m)

Address

Lake Louise, AB T0L
Canada

Features

Flushing toilets
Vault toilet
Glacier
Geologically significant
Big vistas
Wildflowers
Wildlife
Waterfalls

Access

Vehicle

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Primary aspect

East facing

Site characteristics: Drinking water

Unfrozen water

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Comments

03.08.19
Another shot to update this to "guidebook standard"
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