Introduction To Canadian Ultra Summits

- by John Stolk

This is an introduction to my efforts for creating a resource for Ultra summits in Canada that might be climbable by mere mortals such as you and me and many of the folks chasing the list of 57 “south of the border”. British Columbia and Alberta contain some of the most beautiful mountain scenery I have encountered and some of the climbs I have done there offer a sense of wilderness that is increasingly rare or absent in the lower 48.

Among the resources available on the internet, Robin Tivy’s website at deserves prominent mention. Although he charges a fee to access the more useful areas of his site, it contains a wealth of information and is well worth the price of admission for anyone serious about doing some climbing north of the border or even just for some great armchair mountaineering…..

Another useful resource is the Backroad Mapbook series produced by Mussio Ventures Ltd. Their website is They are the rough Canadian equivalent to the DeLorme Gazetteer series that many of us rely on. In my descriptions I will try and reference the appropriate mapbook and page number. I assume the mapbooks can be purchased through the website although I have purchased my copies at book retailers in British Columbia.

In addition to the beautiful paper topographic maps produced by the Canadian government, detailed Canadian topographic maps on CD can be purchased from Fugawi maps. I don’t have their contact information at hand but I know that entire sets of maps of large regions can be obtained at a moderate cost, much as the USGS maps for individual states can be purchased on CD here.

It is my hope to generate some interest in the Canadian Ultras. Obviously many, if not most are major undertakings requiring skills and a time commitment beyond most peak-baggers. Fortunately a few are quite approachable and with some determination and longer term effort I suspect it might be possible to visit the summits of at least a couple of dozen.

In that light I will try and provide basic information on some of the most likely candidates. I will begin with those peaks I have climbed or attempted and have first-hand knowledge of. Hopefully I can eventually solicit input from Grant Myers as well, since he is the has visited several summits that I have not.

I’ll try and provide enough information to give folks an idea of the relative difficulty and time required. It won’t always be a style blow-by-blow description of mileages, waypoints and the like; rather my intent is to allow an interested party a good idea of what they can expect. Exact mileages etc... on approaches and GPS waypoints are not my forte. Perhaps in the future someone else can add this information. That said I’ll do my best to provide a basic description of the approach and route I have taken.