Climb the Grand Sentinel

Rate this Adventure 8.6 miles 3612.2 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Tam McTavish

The grand Sentinel Spire is one of the most impressive formations of rock in the Rockies. Towering just over 100m, this thin needle looks impossibly daunting from Sentinel Pass on Mt. Temple. But if you venture away from the crowds this incredible feature has two phenomenal rock routes

The Grand Sentinel has two routs on it. While it is hard to access it is a modern classic with bolted anchors, and Cardia Arete is a Sport climbing route. While I could offer my take on this classic,  Chris Perry' Banff Rock is a far better resource than I.

To access the climb park at Moraine Lake lot near lake Louise. In recent years it has become basically impossible to get a spot past 8 30am, so arrive early to beat the crowds (and the heat).

From the parking lot follow the signs up the trail to Larch Valley, and Sentinel pass. The trail winds up through wide switchbacks to a junction. Again follow the trail uphill towards Sentinel pass. This takes you through the spectacular meadows, and larch groves of Larch Valley. Breaking into the alpine you pass under Mt Temple, and up it's flanks along the steep trail that gains the col. 

From here you get your first look at the spire. It's a real beauty. 

You descend along the main trail to Paradise Valley for about 60m before taking a high route along the scree to just above the spire. 

The spire has two routes on it. The main route, a trad 5.8 of marvellous quality. A single rack with doubles of 1.5 to 2.5 inches is recommended. You'll also want the blue cam on your left side if you lead the third pitch. I would consult Chris Perry's book for all the more detailed Beta.

Cardiac Arete is a 5.10d sport climb on the eastern side of the spire. It's a phenomenally high quality route with the bolts pretty closely spaced. It's another climb well worth attempting.   

Read More


Rock Climbing


Have you done this adventure? Be the first to leave a review!

Nearby Adventures

  • Scramble Mount Temple

    Mount Temple is a stunning iconic mountain in Banff National Park located in the Canadian Rockies. It overlooks the Lake Louise area and stands at a massive 3542m (11,624ft) , making it one of the many sought after 11,000ers.To reach the mountain ...

    12.4 miles 6430.4 ft gain

  • Hike to the Larch Valley

    Starting at the Moraine Lake parking lot take, take the main trail the leads down past the cafe and lodges on the lake shore. A short way down the trail splits, to the left is just the lakeside walk. For Larch Valley take a right, it is clearly si...

    5.3 miles

  • Scramble the Ten Peaks via the Perren Route

    A true adventure with lots of route finding, glacier travel, loose rock and high altitude views. This is not for the faint hearted or first timers.From the Moraine Lake parking lot walk down the east side of the lake along the well maintained trai...

  • Hike to Consolation Lakes

    Once at Moraine Lake, the directions to Consolation Lakes are quite clear. From the parking lot, head northeast past the rockpile, which provides fantastic views of Moraine, then follow the Consolation Lakes Trail for another 2.9 km (1.8 miles) pa...

    3.7 miles 196.9 ft gain