Scrambling to the summit of Mount Cory is reserved for experienced hikers and scramblers. This steep trail is a grind from the start, taking hikers from the valley floor to the peak of Mount Cory. This scramble is exhilarating and provides incredible high alpine views without a long approach. If you are ready to use all fours, this scramble is for you.
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Route Description for Mount Cory
To scramble the south ridge of Mount Cory, you will need to have a good idea of where you are going as there are no signs on the route. This is a scramble route with other climbing routes on the mountain. Parks Canada has no signage, and you’ll need to be confident with your approach.
From the pullout on the road, head into the woods on a faint trail. From here, you will gain elevation quickly on the steep ascent of the rib. You’ll want to stick to the easternmost rib of Mount Cory on your ascent, and as many scrambles do, there will be various trails to follow. Follow the most intuitive option and continue to gain the ridge.
The trees will open up and slowly disappear as you hike on the trail into the alpine. Views of the river and Bow Valley below will be prominent. You’ll see the incredible Vermillion Lakes with Sulphur Mountain and Mount Rundle above.
Continue gaining the ridge until you come to some hands-on scramble sections. The false summit will present itself beyond some technical sections that you’ll be able to see straight ahead. Work your way up the rock bands to the false summit, and you will be able to see the true summit.
Continue onwards, gaining the true summit. From the summit, you will be able to see 360-degree panoramic views of the valley. After basking in the staggering vistas, return the way you came.
Insider Hints for Mount Cory
- Be extra careful if taking this trail. It is very easy to go off route and end up in a dangerous location. There are known cases where Mountain Rescue had to help hikers down the mountain.
Getting to the Mount Cory Trailhead
From the Town of Banff, take the Trans-Canada Highway westbound and take the exit for the Bow Valley Parkway (1A). Turn right off the exit and continue on the parkway for 1.9 km until you come across a small pullout with a shoulder that has space for a few vehicles. Do not park at the Fireside picnic area like you would for Cory Pass. You will park the bottom of the most eastern rib of the mountain.
Mount Cory Elevation Graph
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