Helen Lake Quartzite

Canada | Banff | Banff Rock


Two quartzite cliffs near Helen Lake, 33 km north of Lake Louise, offer good, sport and gear climbing in a remote and very scenic location. The cliffs are situated high up at 2400 m, well above the tree line, and have short climbing seasons and approach times of 1½ - 2 hours. They differ somewhat in character, Sitting Bull faces south overlooking the Bow Valley and has mainly sport climbs up to 30 m in length, and The Sugar Cube faces east towards Helen Creek and has 2 - 3 pitch, predominantly gear routes up to 70 m long. Both cliffs are situated on a long band of Gog Group quartzite which outcrops extensively in this area but forms good cliffs only at the two established locations. The climbing season typically extends from early July to mid September for both cliffs. Sitting Bull is in the sun all day and generally has a longer season whereas the Sugar Cube goes into shade by noon. Despite their long approach times and short climbing seasons, the two cliffs offer excellent and varied quartzite climbing with stunning views of some of the best scenery in the Canadian Rockies.

  • < 5.9
  • 10a - 10d
  • 11a - 11d
  • 12a - 12d
  • 13a >
  • The Sugar Cube
    2 3 5 0 0
  • Sitting Bull
    3 1 4 0 0

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