North American Classic Climbs

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Castle Mountain

Brewer Buttress

Beta Images Slide Show

Lying near the intersection of two main highways in Banff National Park, Castle Mountain is one of the most photographed peaks in the Rockies. Thousands of tourist cars pass around two sides of the peak on a typical summer day, and it draws eyes and cameras like a magnet. It was once called "Mt. Eisenhower," but this name is now reserved for the major tower at the east end (the right side in the banner photo.) Brewer is the sharply defined buttress in the exact middle of the photo. The classic route climbs only the upper buttress from a wide geological discontinuity called Goat Plateau, which extends all the way around the mountain. A modern route called "Ultra-Brewers" tackles the lower half at grade III 5.9. The two routes are occasionally linked, which with the approach and descent would make for a very big day.

High quality limestone, good protection, interesting but moderate climbing, and exciting situations lead to a reputation as the best climb of its nature along the Bow River Corridor.


Alpine Rock




Banff Nat'l Park, Alberta, Canada



G15, I9, W15


IV, 5.6+


Route Descriptions & Maps:

First Ascent:

D. Brewer, L. Irwin, 1961


Trip Reports:

Clark 8/99
Bindner 8/98