On May 28, we summited Mount Rundle near the town of Banff. That's seven peaks completed towards the goal of 20 Peaks in 2023. This was the highest climb and longest distance so far this year. It was a lot of work but it was worth it.
This is a popular scramble because it is so easily accessed from the town of Banff and it is such a visible, iconic mountain. We have driven past this mountain so often but had never climbed it before. It definitely feels good to tick this one off the list.
Being a popular climb, the route is well defined with a clear trail up most of it.
This route up Mount Rundle is rated F 2nd class in the Alpine Grading System.
The trail starts wide and easy, heading up through the forest in the Spray River Valley.
Soon you take a left turn onto a smaller trail. This takes you up the hillside on the forested lower slopes of Rundle.
The first part of the Mount Rundle ascent trail goes up gently through the forest.
The gondola up Sulphur Mountain is visible across the valley.
After a few kilometers of rising forest trail, the switchbacks start.
A view of the summit in the distance. I wondered how the route would get above all the cliffs. It cleverly traversed across the mountain to the right and ended up going along the top of the cliffs.
out and back
The trail starts and ends at the parking area for Bow Falls in the town of Banff. You start by crossing the Spray river on a bridge.
Our path up to the summit and back down recorded on the FATMAP app on my phone. We topped out on Rundle 1.
A National Park pass is required to park in Banff National Park. Find out more here: https://parks.canada.ca/pn-np/ab/banff/visit/tarifs-fees
So thrilled to be on this route, my seventh summit of 2023. This one went really smooth.
That's seven peaks done. The last three were rated F 2nd class. We are ready to try a route rated F 3rd class. On our list are Mount Chester, Ribbon Peak, Mount Kidd and Mount Fable. We are planning for Mount Chester next. It is very popular and the route should be easy to find.
UPDATE: We couldn't get to Mount Chester because the trail to Chester Lake was closed until the end of June. We decided to go for Mount Hood instead. It is also F 3rd class.