Yamnuska Mountain Adventures

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Who are we?

Located in Canmore, Alberta at the gates of Banff National Park, Yamnuska Mountain Adventures is one of Canada’s premier providers of mountaineering, ice climbing, rock climbing, backcountry skiing, hiking and trekking experiences in the Canadian Rockies. For over 30 years, we have hosted thousands of clients from Canada and all over the world. Our brand is known for quality mountain experiences, safety and well organized itineraries. We have some of the best mountain guides and hiking guides in the industry. All of our guides are certified through the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides.

From our humble beginnings as an adult wilderness program at the YMCA’s Yamnuska Center, we have grown to be recognized internationally for our superior guest service, exemplary safety record, and the highest standard of program delivery. We are proud to call Canmore, Alberta our home but consider the mountains of western Canada to be our classroom and playground. We are one of Canada’s oldest and premier mountain schools. Our rich and deep history of climbing in Canada is a great source of pride for everyone at Yamnuska Mountain Adventures.

Much has been written about Yamnuska, its history and the committed climbers and guides who started our organization way back in 1977. We encourage you to check out the Yamnuska story on Wikipedia or in many Canadian Rockies climbing history books. When you walk down the hall in our office we encourage you to enjoy our ‘Holly-Yam’ display which depicts many of the Major Motion Film Productions we have been involved in over the years.

Our Vision

“Yamnuska Mountain Adventures is passionately committed to providing exceptional mountain experiences and services in a sustainable and respectful manner with safety as our top priority”

Guest Service

All of our mountain guides are ACMG/IFMGA certified and in addition to their exceptional technical skill, our team is trained to give you the quality experience you expect. We pride ourselves on setting the standard for staff training and guest service.

Our modern 4,000 sq foot facility has a classroom, full service backcountry kitchen, and guide’s lounge for your comfort and convenience. We maintain an inventory of quality technical mountain gear for you to use on our programs.


As Canada’s largest mountain skills instruction school, our safety and risk management plans are unmatched. A full-time, on-call duty manager ensures that we are prepared to deal with any emergency or program requirement around the clock. Our rigorous safety policies and procedures have been developed through our experience from more than 30 years of training and working with military organizations from around the world.

All of our safety, risk management and avalanche plans are written by our operations team and updated constantly. We pride ourselves on our ‘Culture of Safety’ and think you will appreciate this focus on your mountain adventures with us.


We believe in self propelled mountain experiences. With us you ‘earn your turns’ and we believe there is only one way to get to the top of a mountain or ski slope – you climb it. We are an active member of Leave No Trace and our guides act as custodians of our mountain parks and protected areas. Our respect for nature and our environment is deeply embedded in the core values of our organization and we are committed to passing these values on to future generations of mountaineers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Canadian Tourism Commission Signature Experience

Yamnuska Mountain Adventures has been recognized as ‘Signature Experience’ provider for offering uniquely Canadian experiences by the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC). On October 18, 2011 the CTC announced that we had been granted this prestigious honour citing our Wapta Traverse ski trip as a signature winter experience and our Wapta Ice Hike as a signature summer experience. Both glacier traversing programs are located in Banff National Park, Canada’s oldest and largest National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Place Categories: Ice Climbing Guides, Mountaineering Guides, Rock Climbing Guides, and Skiing Guides.Place Tags: canadian adventure, canadian climbing, mountaineering in canada, rock climb canada, and ski canada.

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5 reviews

  1. via-the-bee, Feb 15, 2014 - Yamnuska Mountain Adventures

    Quick Tips: Bring a backpack to carry some your gear, and wear warm waterproof gloves to avoid getting cold fingers.

    My friends and I went ice climbing for a half day (8:15~13:00) for my bachelor party. We were all beginners and climbed at the Lower Junkyards (Grassi Lakes) near Canmore. There were good routes for beginners there and the views were spectacular!

    Our guides, Carl and Jamie, were super friendly and thorough, giving us tips and feedback throughout the whole experience. It takes about two hours from the start of the day to set up your gear (you learn how yourself), drive to the site (again, you drive yourself, so make sure you have snow tires or good all-season tires), and walk to the ice wall.

    The six of us got in about three climbs each (crampons-only, one-axe, and two-axe climbs), and that was plenty for us for our first time! It helps if you have been to a rock wall and have learned how to belay sometime before, but no worries if you have not.

    This was a great introduction to an exhilarating sport.

       -   Reply
  2. Sephorra, Mar 09, 2014 - Yamnuska Mountain Adventures

    My Husband and went on the Beginners Ice Climbing day tour at the Junkyards. Our guide was Carl, who was awesome!

    I was really scared doing this, so much so that I didn’t sleep properly the night before! However, I will say Carl was great in encouraging me and supporting me through climbing up the ice. I really appreciated this, it made me feel a lot more comfortable. His patience and support filled me with more confidence. My husband made it all the way to the top and even did some of the steeper climbs. Carl was really great in giving us tips on what to do, what paths to take up the ice etc.

    Even if you are afraid don’t let that get in the way, you do what you can, and there are a variety of climbing options (where we were at the junkyards) it had both steep and more subtle inclines. This was great for myself and my husband because he was a lot better than me!

    It was pretty icy on the ground the day we went, and it even rained a bit before it started snowing, so we got really wet. Definitely wear water proof gear, if you have more than one pair of water proof gloves, take them, seriously, take them! We only had the one pair, and although they were ok, they were soaked by the time we got back and my hand were pretty cold as a result. Wear layers, it is warm climbing but can get pretty chilly when you are belaying.

    Take some water and some granola bars, it is pretty exhausting and good to have the food and water. If you want, take a thermos with some tea, we didn’t but it was a warmish day for winter (by canadian standards). If it had been colder the warm drink would have been nice to warm up with.

    Overall, amazing day, awesome guide, we both had a wicked time. Would definitely recommend it if you want to get into ice climbing, or looking for a new adventure sport. Thanks very much Carl and Yamnuska Mountain Adventures!

       -   Reply
  3. Lindsay N., Mar 18, 2014 - Yamnuska Mountain Adventures

    Did two courses this year with Yamuska – AST1 and Intro to Ski Touring. I left both feeling full of info and confidence. The guides (Allison, Dave and Grant) not only gave us all the information we needed to know but facilitated a critical environment essential to talking about avalanche safety skill sets. Risk assessment was at the forefront of both courses allowing the group to think about how they would carry out a day of skiing on their own no matter the avalanche risk and hazard. The knowledge I gained from these 3 experienced guides didn’t only just apply to my winter and snow activities but my summer adventures as well. These courses are experiences I will never forget. I was so beyond impressed with what I gained that I have been telling everybody how important it is to make sure they take the quality courses Yamnuska offers. I can’t wait to take my AST 2 next year in the Roger’s Pass.

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  4. Bshaw19, Mar 26, 2014 - Yamnuska Mountain Adventures

    I did the 5 day Ice evolution course and it was awesome. The course was adapted and tailored to our skill level as a group. I got more than I expected out of the course and am really happy with where my skills have progressed. Our guide Brent was fantastic and did an excellent job of selecting climbs and areas that were not hotspots for crowds. We almost always had the entire crag to ourselves. Fantastic experience.

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  5. hbradau, Apr 01, 2014 - Yamnuska Mountain Adventures

    6 days traverse from Bow to Yoho, with lots of backcountry skiing. One night at Bow Hut, one night camp, three nights at Stanley Mitchell Hut. This is a challenging trip, especially with the forecasted avalanche conditions.
    The Yamnuska guides (Jesse and Craig) were exceptional, it’s fair to say that the trip exceeded my expectations. I will definitely go in more trips organized and guided by Yamnuska.

       -   Reply

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