Canmore Kananaskis

Between its Olympian ski slopes, towering mountain peaks and year-round festivals, Canmore genuinely deserves the title of Alberta's brightest hidden gem. You could divide its history into four timeframes: the creation of its geological wonders, when tectonic shifts crafted a beautiful landscape from fossizilied limestone 200 million years ago; the First Nations tribes who, in 4500 BC, hunted bison along what we today call Bow River; the European settlers who founded modern Canmore in 1884; and its contemporary boom, after the 1988 Winter Olympics shone a spotlight on what was then a quiet 3,000-person town. Since then, people have begun flocking to Canmore, causing its population to more than triple and its tourist industry to flourish.  

Why Canmore Kananaskis?

As the legend goes, the name "Kananaskis" is derived from the name of a Cree warrior named “Kin-e-ah-kis” who became famous after getting slammed in the head with an axe—and surviving—in a fight to win a woman's affection.

So it sounded to us like a pretty tough place. 

While tourists visit Canmore for all sorts of reasons—the exquisite cuisine, the crisp mountain air—Team Outpost was drawn to the rugged adventure. We're hiking across the rocky Yamnuska Traverse, exploring four kilometres of prehistoric caves and chasing adventure by ski and snowboard. But make no mistake: at the end of the day, we're relaxing in downtown's hippest restaurants and finest brewery.  

The View

In Canmore Kananaskis, we're not just searching for a spectacular view while tackling mountains—although the 2,232-metre-tall Yamnuska Traverse will certainly offer one. We're also digging deep into Rat's Nest Cave in Grotto Mountain to capture an inside look at geologic formations unseen anywhere else in the world. And each evening, we hope the clouds part to offer us a picturesque view of the three peaks—called Three Sisters—that define Canmore's skyline. 

The Team

TEAM Canmore

MEC Gear Spotlight

Canmore Kananaskis clothing

Form-Fitting Function

From the mountain to the mountain town and back again, this lightweight mid layer is made of warm, compressible fleece and the perfect addition to any hike where you might find variable conditions. With a flattering form fit, this jacket is more than a pretty face—it’s also practical. With hand-warmers, elastic sleeve bindings and a fleece-lined wind-blocking collar, you’re sure to stay cozy.  

Pictured: MEC Coaction Jacket (Women's)
From MEC's women's jacket line

MEC T1 Merino Wool Sweater

An Essential Base Layer

Merino wool is the essential fabric for base layers. The T1 long-sleeved crew is light enough to wear on its own under the sun, and fits comfortably and snuggly to the body when layered. Lightweight, moisture-wicking and vibrant, it weighs only 151 grams, but still manages to pack a punch and keep you warm. 

Pictured: MEC Merino T1 Long-Sleeved Crew (Women's)
From MEC's women's jacket line

MEC Pin-It-To-Win-It 2 Jacket

Ready for Anything

Ain’t no weather conditions gonna get us down! This water-resistant jacket keeps you warm and dry high in the alpine, no matter what weather happens to befall you. Warm and sunny? Crack a vent. Puking wet snow? Zip that hood. With new avalanche-proof technology, the jacket is equipped with a RECCO Rescue System reflector, an avalanche safety provision (to be used in addition to avalanche skills training), beacons and more—all used to help sky patrol and mountain-rescue teams find you in the snow. 

Pictured: MEC Pin-It-To-Win-It 2 Jacket (Coming Fall 2016)
From MEC's women's jacket line

MEC Sandbagger Pants

Let Your Legs Breathe Easy

If there’s one thing you need in the backcountry, it’s a good pair of soft-shell pants. Not weatherproof, but water-shedding and wind-blocking, these pants are designed to breathe when you’re sweating uphill and move with you when you’re pushing hard. 

Pictured: MEC Sandbagger Pants (Women's)
From MEC's Hiking and Climbing Clothes

MEC Burton Splitboard

Glide Like the Wind

Butter. This board cuts through snow like a knife on butter. When you’re looking to explore the backcountry and rugged terrain, the Burton Anti-Social Splitboard cuts the weight and includes a tapered shape, giving riders a smooth uphill glide when skinning up steep slopes and allows them to float over deep powder. Assembled in a flash so you can disappear in a flash, earning your turns just got easier. 

Pictured: Burton Anti-Social Splitboard (Women's)
From Burton's Snowboard Collection


Durable and Versatile

The Canadian Rockies dish out their fair share of temperamental weather. Rain, sun, snow, wind and a quick change in temperate are all fair game in the mountains surrounding Canmore Kananaskis. This sometimes means postponing adventure plans—that’s why the MEC Centre Point Jacket is one the best outlayers on the market. Durable, water-repellant and featuring built-in insulation, the Centre Point is perfect for those variable-weather days that can detract from experiencing life to its fullest. Include the Centre Point and you’ll feel confident to explore any time of year. 

Pictured: MEC Centre Point Jacket (Coming Fall 2016)
From MEC's men's jacket line


Trekking With Confidence

The Canadian Rockies are all about the mountains. Steep, rugged and beautiful, the Rockies inspire both visitors and locals to step out of their cars and houses and onto the trails. And whether you are hiking the steep trails of Ha Ling, the rounded summit of Lady Macdonald or the rugged slopes of Mount Yamnuska, the Merrell Capra series has got you covered. Durable construction, effective water protection and incredible comfort are the bedrock of Merrell’s Capra series. Equip yourself with the Capra Bolt or Capra Mid Sport and there will be no telling where your feet will take you. 

Pictured: Merrell Capra Mid
From the MEC Capra Mid Collection

Gear List

We'll be skiing, caving and hiking through the Canmore Kananaskis region, which means we'll need to be packing a lot of diverse gear. As always, since our most important demands are quality, durability and ease of use, we're sticking with MEC as our supplier of choice.


Day Packs

Hiking Shoes

Hiking Boots

Hiking Socks

Snow Helmets

Snow Jackets



Ski Boots






Snow Sports First Aid

Climbing First Aid




Hand and Toe Warmers








Our Canmore Kananaskis Expedition Map


Dispatches From Canmore

Canmore Kananaskis Festivals 2016 What's On In Canmore

Mountain biking, adult summer camp and an ultra marathon through Olympic trails: Here's a rundown of great festivals and events happening in Canmore in late 2016. 


Canmore Kananaskis On Leaving Canmore

Dispatch #19 from Team Outpost in Canmore Kananaskis: "My bags are packed. My notebook is full of numbers, email addresses and the names of friends I didn’t come here with. I’m leaving with an energy I didn’t arrive with, too."


Canmore Kananaskis Last Man Standing

Dispatch #18 from Team Outpost in Canmore Kananaskis: "What do I do now? I should probably rest, but even after seven full days of tripping around the Canmore Kananaskis area, there are still so many things left undone."


Canmore Kananaskis Among the Clouds

Dispatch #17 from Team Outpost in Canmore Kananaskis: "Within minutes we were flying—although it felt like floating—high above Canmore, headed west toward Mt. Assiniboine."


Canmore Kananaskis A Breath of Fresh Air

Dispatch #16 from Team Outpost in Canmore Kananaskis: "She moved toward two rock walls that appeared to touch, and disappeared. There was a thin break in the walls; I could see the bottom of her hiking shoe shimming forward then out of sight. I had to follow her."


Canmore Kananaskis In Praise of the Nordic Centre

Dispatch #15 from Team Outpost in Canmore Kananaskis: "On any given day, you could be skiing alongside an Olympic medalist like Sara Renner or mountain biking behind a full family of four."


Canmore Kananaskis Canmore's Delicious Side

Dispatch #14 from Team Outpost in Canmore Kananaskis: "A lot of Canmore residents are extremely active—which also means they have big appetites."


Canmore Kananaskis Canmore, City of Athletes

Dispatch #13 from Team Outpost in Canmore Kananaskis: "It’s no wonder Canmore draws in professional athletes and adventurers like moths to a flame. They flock here."


Mount Yamnuska Return to Yamnuska

Dispatch #12 from Team Outpost in Canmore Kananaskis: "The base of the mountain is a steep hike that passes through aspen groves, dwarfed spruce trees and a classic Rockies scree field. It has been, and continues to be, one of my favourite mountains."


Canmore Kananaskis Calm After the Storm

Dispatch #11 from Team Outpost in Canmore Kananaskis: "We took a few moments to finally stop moving—holding a single position along this 'secret' creek—and let the water wash across our hands."


Canmore Kananaskis Standing Up to the Elements

Dispatch #10 from Team Outpost in Canmore Kananaskis: "I never thought I’d find myself on a SUP board; in fact, I didn’t think I’d see that strange sport ever again."


Canmore Kananaskis An Ode to Gear

Dispatch #9 from Team Outpost in Canmore Kananaskis: "The Rockies didn’t just hand us a mixed bag of weather over the last few days—it handed us a mixed bag by the hour." 


Canmore Kananaskis Just One More Run

Dispatch #8 from Team Outpost in Canmore Kananaskis: "We bury our faces into the sleeves of our coats and lift our hoods even tighter over our heads as the snow begins to freeze our skin."


Canmore Kananaskis Weathering Heights

Dispatch #7 from Team Outpost in Canmore Kananaskis: "From fog to clear skies to snowstorm and back again, we had four days of weather in one."


Lena Desmond On Digital Travel Storytelling

Dispatch #6 from Team Outpost in Canmore Kananaskis: "Social media has been responsible for most of the countries on my bucket list."


Canmore Kananaskis At Home in the Outdoors

Dispatch #5 from Team Outpost in Canmore Kananaskis: "This culture of enduring the outdoors has changed over time; it has become as much about love as it has about fortitude."


Canmore Kananaskis Embrace Your Fears

Dispatch #4 from Team Outpost in Canmore Kananaskis: "My fears reflect my passion for adventure, my desire to live life fully and my willingness to step toward the unknown."


Canmore Kananaskis The Road to Canmore

Dispatch #3 from Team Outpost in Canmore Kananaskis: "The drive north to Canmore remains one of my favourite single-day road trips of anywhere in North America."


Canmore Kananaskis 3 Facts About Canmore

Dispatch #2 from Team Outpost in Canmore Kananaskis: "To research a travel destination without dissolving the mystery of it: it’s a risky endeavour. For a travel writer, it's dangerous." 


Cliff Bar Adventures

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