North American Classic Climbs

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Wiwaxy Peak

SW (Grassi) Ridge

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This climb is a popular classic in one of the most historic areas of the Rockies. The original Swiss Guides brought to Canada by the Canadian Pacific Railroad to promote tourism used Lake O'Hara as a base, climbing the major peaks in the process. The Grassi Ridge is the most popular climb in the area, due to its quality and moderate technical level, and is still a favorite with modern guides. Expect fun steep climbing on mostly solid quartzite with lots of exposure, and some of the best scenery on the continent. Lake O'Hara lies in the background during the entire climb, and it has been called "The most beautiful lake in Canada." That's a big claim, considering the competition. The Park Service is attempting to keep the user impact down for this fragile area by severely limiting access. See the guidebook or the route description below for more information. Named in honor of Park Service warden Lawrence Grassi, who made big contributions in the Lake O'Hara region during his tenure from 1956-1960, including building some of the trails that render the climb accessible.


Alpine rock




Yoho Nat'l Park, Alberta, Canada



I9, G15, W18


III, 5.7


Route Descriptions & Maps:

Click for text description

First Ascent:

B. Greenwood, P. Johnson, D. Vockeroth, 1962


Trip Reports:

Clark 8/99