Photo by Dow Williams
|Best months for climbing:||Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep|
|Nearest major airport:||Calgary|
Thanks to Bruce Ramsay for adding this peak.
East Mount Rundle’s (EEOR) summit is located on the border of Banff National Park and Kananaskis Provincial Park. Banff National Park is one of four connecting national parks that make up the heart of the Canadian Rockies. Kananaskis Provincial Park encompasses over 4,000 square kilometers of foothills and mountains bordering Banff National Park to the east. EEOR is the unofficial name of the east end of the 15km Mount Rundle massif. Its short gain from Goats Creek trailhead and proximity to Canmore make it a popular objective.
EEOR has many published routes of varying difficulty besides the common scramble. Its north face consists of a long 500 meter cliff overlooking Canmore.
Although several of the routes boast above average rock to climb on via Rocky Mountain standards, the natural rock fall from above presents a serious hazard on EEOR. There is also a traverse of the entire Mount Rundle massif that is typically performed east to west but is not a typical objective by any means. In fact beta on the route is almost non-existent.
EEOR is directly north (across Spray Lakes Road) of Ha Ling Peak, another common scramble objective with north face trad routes.
From the Canmore Nordic Center, ascend the Spray Lakes/Smith Dorrien road (gravel) through the switchbacks to the Goats Creek Trail head past the dam and reservoir. You are almost guaranteed mountain sheep on the Spray Lakes Road. I have even been charged by a ram as I was running up the road (long story). Watch for hazardous rock fall on the switchbacks above Canmore. At times this road will be closed due to rock and/or mud slides. There are restrooms at the Goats Creek Trail head parking area.
There are no permit requirements to enter, climb and/or park in Banff National Park or Kananaskis Provincial Park. This is active grizzly country however. Take bear spray. There have been numerous 2005 trail closures in Banff and Kananaskis due to mountain lions and grizzlies. Therefore it would be prudent to check recent notices posted on the park's website(s).
When To Climb
As with most climbs in the Canadian Rockies, the driest time is from June through September. One can scramble EEOR most any month out of the year depending on conditions. I scrambled EEOR in June several different years. One year I got pelted with hail and visibility was near zero at the summit. There are no published backcountry ski routes on EEOR.
The closest camp site would be back in Canmore at the town campsite at the information center off of the same exit for Harvie Heights. The Alpine Club of Canada national office is located in Canmore and also serves as a hostel, a recently renovated one at that. You cannot camp outside of the marked specific camping areas in Banff National Park or Kananaskis Provincial Park. Refer to the park website(s) for more information regarding backcountry camping.
The Kananaskis Provincial Park website is a very thorough park website, including trail conditions or closures, wildlife notices, weather conditions, avalanche conditions, camping permits, whitewater conditions, etc. It is an excellent source if you are going to spend any time here and comparable to any National Park website I have used. Outside of the parks web site, Canadian Avalanche Association is also useful, particularly for winter travel. Canadian Alpine Accident Reports is also extremely relevant. There are 26 accident reports to date regarding Mount Rundle and several involve the trad routes on EEOR.