Peak Rimwall (2685m) is a large clean face you can't help but stare at when driving on Highway 1 into Canmore.


Routes on the face have an alpine feel with generally limited to no bolts for runners or anchors. However access is close and if you top out its an easy walk off the backside. Rock quality is reasonably good by Rockies standards.


Drive along the Smith-Dorrien Spray Trail from Canmore for about 22km once past the Grassi Lakes day use area. Park at the obvious pullout for Spurling Creek trail. Hike up the obvious trail to the col between Rimwall and Windtower gaining around 500m elevation.



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A fantastic all-trad route following major corner systems up the climber's left hand side of the face. Rock quality throughout is pretty good however there are some suspect sections on a few pitches including one of the crux pitches. Retreat would require leaving gear and it would be hard to retreat high on the face after the traverse. Pitches are generally 40-50m long.

Traverse along the base of the face until you reach the first prominent right facing corner system.

Gear - We carried a standard rack to 4 inches with doubles to 3 inches. A second 4 inch cam would be useful in places.

P1 - climb the corner to a belay (40m 5.9).

P2 - Continue up the corner to ledges (40m 5.8).

P3 - Stay in the corner using the left hand of 2 cracks. Continue up to a mossy ledge (55m 5.9+).

P4 - Traverse left around the arete and move to the base of the next corner system (20m, 5.4).

P5 - Climb up a grove/corner to a steeper crack with great jams past one ledge to a ledge with a piton. Continue above and belay on the next ledge (55m 5.10a).

P6 - Traverse hard left with minimal gear to a steep wall. Climb the wall to a ledge below a roof (40m 5.7R).

P7 - We felt this was the crux pitch. Traverse right to a groove and climb initially on poor rock into a chimney. Awkward moves into the chimney lead to a roof. Pull the roof then step left into another wide groove. Continue up to a steep slab with poor rock but a beautifully solid crack above. Climb this to a ledge and belay (5.10a 55m).

P8 - Climb short shallow corners traversing left then downclimb to a belay about 20m below a rotten roof. (30m 5.7).

P9 - Climb out left up a wide crack then left up a steep slab with some friable rock and intermittent cracks. Climb to a roof then step left for a semi-hanging belay (55m 5.9).

P10 - Step up and right and pull through a small roof atop a groove. Work you way to the top of the wall (30m 5.8).

FA: George Homer & Jon Jones, 1972

200m right of Pinko under a system of corners which run almost the entire height of the face. Unsure if this route has ever seen a repeat.

P1 - Climb the corner and traverse left to a belay (50m 5.7).

P2 - Climb into a steep parallel-sided groove to a good ledge (45m 5.9).

P3 - Move left a climb a right facing corner. Continue up a second corner for 5m before traversing right onto a ledge (40m 5.9).

P4 - Move right along the ledge to a left facing corner. Climb for 5m before traversing left to a ledge. Move along the ledge to climb a short off-width. Continue left then back right to the base of a loose left facing corner (45m 5.9).

P5 - Traverse back down and left to climb a left facing corner to reach a ledge. Continue up a second blind left facing corner on the ledge of the ledge until it is possible to traverse right along a break for 10m to a belay. (40m 5.9).

P6 - Climb the corner to a bolt, move up and left to a ramp system into a large left facing corner. Climb the corner to a good stance. (50m, 5.10c).

P7 - Continue up the corner past a ledge to a second ledge at the base of another left facing corner (50m 5.10).

P8 - Climb the corner for about 35m before traversing right to a second corner which you follow to a ledge. Belay on the right of this ledge (50m 5.10).

P9 - Traverse right along the ledge until below a short steep crack leading to a ramp (80m 5.4).

P10 - Climb the crack with difficult to a ramp climbing up the ramp for 10m to a steep wall. Climb down and right then up the steep wall continuing up and right to a jam crack. This pitch is dangerously run-out. (50m, 5.11a R).

P11 - Go up and left to a loose crack and ramp. Climb up and left on the ramp to a ledge (45m 5.9).

P12 - Pull onto a ledge and climb a slab to an overhang before traversing left until possible to move up and over the overhang to the summit (30m).

FA: S DeMaio, Choc Quinn & J Sevigny, 1987

Rock is reported to be good though compact with a selection of pitons required for both runners and belays. Approach as for Candle in the Wind hiking along the NE face until 30-40m right of the prominent wet streak.

Gear - full rack to 3 inches including micro cams. 6 pitons, mostly knifeblades and 60m ropes. The first 6 pitches are set up for rappel.

P1 - Climb a left facing corner before heading left to under a roof then right to a small ledge at a left facing corner. (55m 5.6).

P2 - Climb a series of small corners and belay on a ledge at the base of a right facing corner (50m, 5.10-).

P3 - Climb the corner to reach a curving crack out right before heading back left to belay at the base of a scree gully (55m 5.9).

P4 - Move the belay 10m higher then climb a series of right facing corners and a small chimney to a belay (55m 5.7).

P5 - Climb another short chimney and then a large pinnacle. Head right along a ledge to the base of a left facing corner and belay bolt. (50m, 5.6).

P6 - Climb to the left of the corner and belay on a small ledge. (30m 5.10+).

P7 - Work up and left to a 2 bolt belay below a small roof. (20m, 5.10-).

P8 - Climb a short steep slab past 3 bolts before continuing up long angle slabs to a belay. (55m 5.11).

P9 - Climb a right trending slot to a large ledge before continuing up corners to a second ledge. (60m 5.7).

P10 - Head up short corners and slot to reach 3rd class terrain which leads to the summit. (25m 5.10-).

FA: Dana Ruddy & Raphael Slawinski, 2007

This route ascends the prow which separates the NW and NE face on Rimwall.

P1 - start up the prow passing an overhang on the right. Belay back on the crest. (45m, 5.6).

P2 - Climb a small corner just right of the ridge and belay on easy ground. (45m 5.6).

P3 - Scramble up the remainder of the ridge to a slabby area below the steep upper wall. (45m).

P4 - Climb directly up the slab and belay at the base of the upper wall. (45m 5.4).

P5 - Move only slightly left and through an overhang, continuing up a crack including a short off-width section near the top to belay in a corner. (45m, 5.9).

P6 - Climb the corner a few meters before traversing right to another corner to avoid loose blocks above. Continue up to a small ledge before climbing past 2 bolts and a piton on a steep wall towards the left of a large overhang. Belay in a corner with a sloping ledge above the level of the overhang (fixed pin). (35m, 5.10c).

P7 - Continue up the corner over a small overhang to a ledge on the right. (35m, 5.10a).

P8 - Head right to a shallow corner and bolt. Traverse directly right to slightly easier ground before heading up and left to belay ledges. (40m, 5.9).

P9 - Move right to a loose, meandering crack before stepping right at the top to scree covered ledges and a piton belay. (50m, 5.10a).

P10 - Climb a water groove and a mossy crack to ledges. (50m, 5.10a).

Scramble 15m to the top of the wall.

FA: Allan Derbyshire & Jim Visser, 1992


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Author(s): Derek Galloway

Date: 2021

ISBN: 9781777147112

The Bow Valley is known amongst sport climbers as some of the best summer climbing in Canada. The third edition of this comprehensive guide includes the newest crags, as well as the best cliffs that Banff, Canmore and Lake Louise has to offer. Tips on trip planning and rest day activities, info on the local flora and fauna, and tof topos and action shots get you psyched for your visit.

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