Sarah Hueniken

Ice Climbing Atlas Project

The Ice Climbing Atlas Project is a collaboration between Avalanche Canada, our ambassador Sarah Hueniken, and Grant Statham, a visitor safety specialist in Banff National Park. The intention of the atlas is to provide an overview of historical avalanche observations from popular ice climbs in the Rockies. It is a work in progress and will be updated as information from more climbs is collected.

Avalanche observations are collected through surveys of local climbers conducted by Hueniken, a pro climber and alpine guide. Our hope is that by sharing historical data, climbers can better understand the avalanche hazard that exists on these popular climbs. We strongly encourage all ice climbers to always carry avalanche safety gear—transceiver, probe, and shovel.

Ranger Creek

Ranger Creek is a popular venue for early season ice climbs. There are three main ice climbs here that are one to two pitches in length, as well as a few obscure mixed climbs that rarely form. It is some of the first reliable ice to form in Kananaskis country and therefore becomes very popular and busy.

Professor Falls
Four photos of Professor Falls. The left shows the full Professor's avalanche path. Second from left shows the avalanche start zones. The third shows a close-up of the ice climb. The fourth is a detailed, annotated route of the climb.
Grant Statham

First climbed in 1974, Professor Falls can be easily seen from Highway 1. It is approached from the Banff town site by either a bike ride or a 1.5-hour walk. It consists of several tiers of short steep pillars and curtains, and culminates in a crux WI4 pitch at the very end. It consists of eight steps, which allows many parties to climb the route at the same time relatively safely.