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Climb Mt. Edith Cavell's East Ridge

Jasper, Alberta


Added by Tam McTavish

With an supposedly easy grade of YDS 5.4 this climb may not look like much of a challenge, but the constant exposure and vertical with more than 800 metres of exposed 3rd, 4th and 5th class scrambling makes this huge peak a big challenge. This route is famous for it's quartzite, and unusually descent rock for a Rockies alpine route. 

From the Edith Cavell Trail Head work your way along the well marked trails heading upwards above Angel lake. 

The trail is strait forward until you get to a junction. There are two trails, one heading strait south, the other heading southwest into the talus marked climbers trail. It's a trap. The trail quickly disappears and you will have to navigate through lot's of ankle rolling talus. Instead take the trail that follows directly beside the talus. Use this as a guard rail as you gently ascend. Eventually the trail peters out in the talus. From here things get very steep. There is normally a snow slope that can be zig zagged up that is much easier than the talus. Without the snow its a case of working your way up the talus and scree. It's tricky and steep, but manageable. 

Once you gain the Col there is a very good vantage point of the route. There is a little bivvy shelter, though apparently the pack rats are awful, so not the best spot for a bivvy. If you brought along the print or Select Alpine climbs guidebook, you will notice now that the line basically goes nowhere. Take a second to get an idea from this angle of the line you are going to take. I took the immediate climbers right of the seepage. 

From here climb up 3rd and occasional 4th class. After a 350 hundred meters you make the first shoulder. From here the climbing gets a little spicier, most of it being 4th and 5th class climbing. Keep the ridge. Often there are some challenging blocks to work around, but normally the easiest way is to go up and over them. 

Head upwards until you gain the second shoulder. Often there is snow here, and for that reason it is always recommended to bring ice axe and crampons as you can't normally see this angle from bellow. 

Just where the shoulder starts to steepen you get into the technical section. About 100 metres of 5th class takes you to the 5.4 crux. This section is fairly strait forward, though very exposed. There is a little bit of gear, but the holds are good, mostly sharp ledges, and jugs. 

Just past the crux there is about 50 metres more of 5th class, and past that it gets much easier, mostly 3rd class. And from here you walk along the fairly wide ridge to the summit. 

The descent offers you too choices. The West Ridge Scambling route. The ground is easier, and has some simple down climbing followed by a scree bash into the valley and then 7km of hiking on a path out. Or you can retreat back down from where you came up. This is pretty arduous as the going is slow, and there is really on the one rappel. I found the constant descent very tiring on my knees. But once you're off the ridge it's a pretty simple wander back to the car. 

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Rock Climbing
Easy Parking
Picnic Area

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