Looks like my wife and I will be in Banff at the end of January. I am looking for some of the “easier” summits to get to.
Looking at the maps, it looks like many of the summits are unreachable? Tunnel and Stony Squaw seem to have a good amount of activations. Looking for any suggestions if you have been to the area.
I would consider skiing if that gets me to a decent summit as well.
There are two very close to Banff. As a matter of fact its in the town. A group of us normal activate both in the same day. 2 parties we activate and do S2S as well, then meet at lunch for a coffee then swap summits in the afternoon. The summit references are VE6/HC-034 Stony Squaw Mountain, HC-035 Tunnel Mountain. There is VE6/HC-206 WhiteHorn Mountain in Lake Louise Ski Resort.
Also close but sort of not is VE6/HC-255 Mockingbird Hill which has a short more direct route.
Guess it’s not the Banff where I live otherwise i would have happily joined you on an easy activation
I activated Tunnel mountain three years ago. Took my wife and two young kids up. We were only staying over night in Banff and from what I could see, it was the only relatively easy summit to do with the family and time that we had. Nice views from the top.
I would echo Malen’s response that Tunnel Mountain and Stony Squaw are the only two easy winter peaks in close proximity to Banff townsite. You might be tempted to try Sulphur Mountain, it has a cable car to the summit ridge, but the actual summit is a couple of difficult kilometers south of the cable car station and in winter requires alpine technique. I am aware of a couple of failed winter attempts.
Whitehorn is within the Lake Louise ski area, and it is possible to take ski lifts to within a 100’ vertically of the actual summit. You do need to be proficient at down-hill skiing to do this as the final ascent is by poma-lift (not by chair-lift) and you will need to do an intermediate ski-run to descend from the summit, as I am sure the ski-run operators will not allow people to descend the ski-runs on foot. Mount Whitehorn is at the far-left of this map
If you are prepared to drive about an hour east of Banff townsite, you will find a number of foothills peaks such as Prairie Mountain, Stony NW3, Deer Ridge (probably easiest), that have far less snow, and are activated many times in the winter.
Please let us know if you would like company on an activation, I am sure we will find a willing companion.
Sorry I did not respond.
We are in Banff. Looked at Tunnel, and may take care of that one. I was up on the Gondola for dinner, and dang… I think I will pass. Twas a tad windy and cold. I am not prepared for such a trip in winter.
I was now looking to perhaps squeeze off a VE7 close by to grab another association while I was here. We ran up to Lake Louise and on to Field, BC and a little of Yoho. Those are some serious peaks.
If anyone is around, let me know. My email is good in QRZ.
I wondered if you would be in Banff, as the weather in the first half of the month was very cold. Good job it has warmed up now!
I don’t think you will find any suitable winter peaks in VE7land, that are less than several hours drive from Banff. There is a LOT more snow on the Pacific side of the Divide, and the valley bottoms are lower, meaning difficult, long ascents. There are some SOTA peaks near Cranbrook, BC that may be OK for you, for example Eager Hill VE7/EK-048
I have posted a note on the local VE6 reflector to see if anyone is planning activations, but you forgot to mention how long you will be in town. We will reply by e-mail if anyone is interested.
We noticed the snow on the Pacific side I am here until Friday Morning, then flying out of Calgary.
Sure glad we missed the brutal cold stuff!!
Thanks for all of your help. You have a beautiful part of the world and SO many summits! I need to get out more in my State of North Carolina.
Kent, Glad to see that you activated Tunnel Mountain today.
Winter activations can be spectacular, or not good at all, I hope you had a good time.
For those not familiar with the Canadian Rockies, here is a pic taken near Banff (VE6/HC-034) a couple of years ago.