Mount Garibaldi/Diamond Head

A glacier climb on the southern flank of the northern-most of the Cascade volcanoes that is just outside of Squamish in British Columbia, Canada. This route is also the first half of the Garibaldi Neve Traverse, the classic ski traverse in the Coast Mountains in winter and an adventurous carry-over of Mount Garibaldi in summer..

getting there

Drive north on I-5 to the Canadian boarder to Trans-Canadian Highway 1. Head west on the Trans-Canadian Highway. Take the BC-99 exit to Squamish. By-pass Squamish and cross the Mamquam River. In ~0.25 miles after the bridge, turn right on Mamquam Road. Follow this steep, rough road 9 miles to the parking lot (3,234 ft, 980m).


Follow the rough road/trail 7.5 mi (12 km) to Diamond Head and Elfin Lakes. Camping is available in the meadows below the chalet at Diamond Head. Bunks (no mattresses) and propane stoves are available at the chalet and may be reserved.


Climb NNW to the saddle at 5,875 ft (1,780 m) between Columnar Peak and the Gargoyles. Descend 400 ft (120 m) north to a saddle. Ascend a broad ridge north toward Diamond Head to about 6,100 ft (1,850 m), then contour NNE to a ridge that drops steeply on the northeast side to the Diamond Glacier (ridge may be corniced). Find a way down to the glacier and ascend north toward Atwell Peak. Cross over the East Ridge of Atwell Peak at about 7,300 ft (2,215 m). Continue north and then west on the Bishop Glacier to gain the broad saddle between Atwell Peak and Garibaldi. Then continue north between Dalton Dome and Garabaldi to the summit gully on Garabaldi. Start the ascent of the summit tower about 40 ft left of the gully and traverse up and right.

Alternate Route: Approach from Alice Ridge Road. Join the climbing route above the saddle at head of Mashiter creek.


Descend the climbing route.

Trip Profile

Trailhead to Camp 3-4 2,310 ft (700 m)
Camp to Summit 7-11 3,300 ft (1,1000 m)
Summit to Camp 4-7
Camp to Trailhead 2-3


Standard glacier equipment and helmet.


  • Guidebook: Alpine Select: Climbs in Southwest British Columbia & Northwest Washington by Kevin McLane (High Col Press 2001).
  • Guidebook: Exploring the Coast Mountains on Skis, 3rd ed. by John Baldwin (John Baldwin 2009).
  • View the Canadian Avalanche Forecast for the Sea-to-Sky Area.
  • The rock on Garibaldi is extremely rotten. Be aware of rockfall at all times, especially under Diamond Head and Atwell Peak.
  • A handline may be required in the final gully, but may need hardware to put in. Large blocks cannot be trusted. Climbers should ascend in groups of 2-3.
  • Plan this climb over a long weekend because of the driving time and length of climb.
  • Trailhead theft is a severe problem in this area.
  • Elevations are given in feet and meters in this description. Canadian maps show contours in meters, configure your altimeter appropriately.
  • Be aware that changes in glaciation have occurred on this route: leaders should consult rangers and other parties who have done it, to ensure that this route is feasible.

information for leaders

Considerations for travel to Canada

  • Suitable Activities: Backcountry Skiing, Climbing
  • Climbing Category: Basic Alpine
  • Seasons: Year-round
  • Weather: View weather forecast
  • Difficulty: Basic Glacier Climb, M2G Advanced Glacier Ski
  • Length: 23.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 5,500 ft
  • 8,827 ft
  • Land Manager: Garibaldi Provincial Park
  • Parking Permit Required: see Land Manager
  • Recommended Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Route/Place Capacity: 12
  • Clark Geomatics Garibaldi Park
  • CNTS Cheakamus River 92G/14
  • CNTS Squamish 92G/11
Trip Reports

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  • Garibaldi Neve Traverse

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