Climb 1: YUKNESSW/NW Side (3rd)
Climb 2: HUNGABEEWest Ridge (5.4)
Climb 3: HUBERHuber Ledges to NE Face (3rd)

TR #: 96

Category: British Columbia/Alberta         Rock Type: Shale, Quartzite, & Limestone
Summit Elev: 9,350 ft / 2,850 m (Yukness); 11,460 ft / 3,490 m (Hungabee); 10,980 ft / 3,350 m (Huber) 

Partners: Scott Bingen, Demetri Galaxides, Steve Trent

Three big Canadian Rockies summits in Yoho National Park.


Yukness Mtn
W/NW Side
Hungabee Mtn
W Ridge
Mt. Huber
Huber Ledges to NE Face
Abbot Pass Hut
via trail
Me (Steph)
Seattle, WA
Anacortes, WA
Anacortes, WA
Canmore, AB

It's always fun to check out a new climbing area, so I jumped at the chance to join my friends Scott and Steve on a climbing trip to the Canadian Rockies. We were disappointed that the weather forecast was not solid enough for Mt. Robson, but we decided that climbing some massive Rockies 11'ers in Yoho National Park would be a worthy alternative. Yoho National Park is located along the western slope of the Continental Divide in southeastern British Columbia, and is bordered by Banff National Park (Alberta) on the eastern side.

We spent three days climbing in the beautiful Lake O'Hara area of Yoho National Park:

  1. The first day (Aug 24) we took the bus to Lake O'Hara (avoids walking 11km along road), hiked a couple of hours to the basin below Opabin Pass where we established camp, and then scrambled up Yukness Mountain for some stellar views of the park. A friend named Demetri (from Canmore) joined us.
  2. The second day (Aug 25) the four of us (Scott, Steve, Demetri, and I) climbed the West Ridge of Hungabee Mountain, which is the highest summit in Yoho National Park and lies on the continental divide between BC and Alberta. Climbed only a couple of times a year, this mountain represents the epitome of Rockies climbing: massive, chossy, tricky route-finding, and spectacular summit views. We had reservations at Abbot Pass Hut, so despite the fact we got down to camp as the sun was setting, we packed up to hike 3.5 hours to Abbot Pass. Demetri had to work the next day, so he hiked out. The grueling ascent in the dark was all worth it when we were greeted with a fire burning in the wood stove and water already boiling on the stove.
  3. The third day (Aug 26) we woke up to a brilliant morning at the cozy Abbot Pass Hut. After the long day the day before, it was nice to just hang out in such a beautiful spot. But after about 30 seconds of relaxing in the hut, I began to get antsy to climb some of the mountains towering around us. So I left to go climb Mt. Huber (via the Huber Ledges route, since I preferred to have a partner if I went up the more technical route from Abbot Pass), while Scott and Steve opted to hang out at the hut.  I reconnected with Scott and Steve evening at the Lake O'Hara parking lot, and we drove to Canmore to stay with some friends. (Finally, before heading back to Seattle, we climbed the southwest ridge of Mt. Temple in Banff NP with the Canmore friends.)

This page provides photo trip reports for the three climbs. Although I do not give a detailed verbal description of the climbs (there are several good guidebooks that have good descriptions), each photo has a short description. I've also included some maps and route overlays. (Note that Hungabee, Huber, and Abbot Hut lie on the continental divide between Yoho NP (BC) and Banff NP (Alberta); we approached via the Yoho NP side, but there are also routes that approach from the east.)


Summit 1
Yukness Mountain, W/NW Side
date: Aug 24, 2010
partner: Scott Bingen, Steve Trent, Demetri Galaxidas
elev: 2,847 m / 9,340 ft
lat/long: 51.34500, -116.30500
difficulty: I, Class 3
time: 1h30min from Opabin Basin to summit, 1h15min from summit to Opabin Basin
Easy scramble to a great 360° view.

Photos from climb

Summit 2

Hungabee Mountain, West Ridge
date: Aug 25, 2010
Scott Bingen, Steve Trent, Demetri Galaxidas
elev: 3,493 m / 11,460 ft
lat/long: 51.33310, -116.28420
difficulty: III, 5.4
time: 5h from Opabin Pass to summit, 7h from summit to Opabin Pass (would be faster if not rappelling)
This climb to the highest summit in Yoho National Park represents the epitome of Rockies climbing: massive, chossy, tricky route-finding, and spectacular summit views.

Photos from climb

Summit 3

Mt. Huber, Huber Ledges to NE Ridge
date: Aug 26, 2010
elev: 3,368 m / 11,050 ft
lat/long: 51.37028, -116.31223
difficulty: II, Class 3
time: 40min from Abbot Pass to Wiwaxy Gap, 2h10min from Wiwaxy Gap to summit, 2h30min from summit to Lake O'Hara
A fun climb across an improbable west face.

Photos from climb