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Mount Norquay is an iconic mountain in the Banff National Park. It has everything from wedding venues and events to outdoor activities like hiking and skiing. The Mount Norquay Via Ferrata is one of the many activities that can be experienced on the mountain. It’s the perfect summer outdoor activity for a group of adventurous friends. We ended up doing this hike for Mattson’s birthday and were able to get 8 friends all together in one group. We chose to challenge the Summiteer route which was a 6-hour tour.
Time Required: 6 Hours
Location: Just north of Banff
Distance: 3.2km round trip
Highest Elevation: 2450m
Elevation Gain: 360m
Difficulty: 5/10 – Heights and exposure
Season: June to mid-October
Additional Requirements: A tour reservation
From Calgary: Take the Trans-Canada (Hwy 1) west to Banff, take the second Banff exit onto Mt Norquay Road and turn right (away from Banff) and follow Mt Norquay Road until you reach the resort.
WHAT TO BRING
- Comfortable Footwear: Hiking shoes with good grip and lots of support. If you don’t have a good pair they can supply hiking boots. Make sure your shoes are broken in prior to tackling this hike to prevent unexpected blisters.
- Water: This hike has lots of elevation gain to reach the summit. Be sure to bring enough water.
- Snacks: A bag lunch is provided with the 6-hour tour but if you have specific diet needs or wants bring your own snacks!
- Weather appropriate clothing: You will be exposed to the elements throughout this hike. Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly.
- Sunscreen: If it is sunny and you’re like Mattson, who easily burns, bring sunscreen!
- Insect Repellent: Insect repellent can greatly improve your hiking experience.
- Camera: There are numerous photo opportunities you won’t want to miss.
Leave No Trace: It is important that we enjoy the outdoors responsibly and sustainably. Some key principles to consider when hiking to “Leave No Trace” are:
- Plan ahead and prepare: Proper planning allows adventurers to hike safely while minimizing damage to the land.
- Travel on durable surfaces: Stick to the trail when possible. If there is no trail, or you must travel off trail, stay on durable surfaces to reduce your impact.
- Dispose of waste properly: Pack it in, pack it out.
- Leave what you find: Leave rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them.
- Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed wild animals.
- Be considerate of other visitors: Be courteous to others to allow everyone to enjoy their outdoor experience.
To learn more about “Leave No Trace” visit http://www.leavenotrace.ca
Summary: Every tour is guided so you don’t have to worry about taking the right route or getting lost. The guides a Mt Norquay are fantastic and made sure we were 100% prepared to take on the mountain.
Via Ferrata is Italian for “Iron path” which is the perfect way to describe this adventure. A Via Ferrata is a climbing route up a mountain that has been made easier, and safe, with the use of carabiners, harnesses, cables and iron hand/foot holds that have been mounted into the mountain itself.
Mt Norquay has 4 options for routes:
- Explorer – 2-2.5 hour hike
- Ridgewalker – 3.5-4 hour hike
- Skyline – 4.5-5 hour hike
- Summiteer – 5-6 hour hike
Each hike has its own highlights and attractions from ladders to suspension bridges. This adventure requires a reservation so be sure to call or book online.
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU
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Have fun out there!