Wapta Icefields Hut-to-Hut Ski Traverse
– 5 Days
Icefields are located near Banff, Alberta, along the
Continental Divide of the Rocky Mountains, and is one
of the most easily accessed groups of glaciers for ski
touring in Canada. Join Mountain Ascents Canada this
spring on a five-day hut-to-hut ski traverse of this
This is ski touring Canada style.The trip begins in
the northern section of the Wapta Icefields and continues
south towards the town of Lake Louise, AB. On route
traverse glaciers, climb summits and ski untracked powder
slopes. Look forward to nights spent in cozy alpine
huts with delicious meals, entertaining stories, and
a place to dry gear ready for the next day. Enjoy this
winter wilderness adventure in the heart of the Rockies!
Day 1 – Meet in Canmore; drive
to trailhead and ski to Bow Hut.
(A safety talk and avalanche transceiver exercise
will be done on route.)
Day 2 –Day-tour in the Bow Hut area. Options
include a ski ascent of Mt. Gordon or carving ski
turns on the glacier above the hut.
3 – Ski to Balfour Hut (4 hours). Options include
Mt. Olive or powder skiing down the slopes below Mt.
Day 4 – Ski over Balfour High
Col to the Scott Duncan Hut. Options may include ascending
Mt. Balfour (highest peak in the area) or carving
turns on the Balfour Glacier.
Day 5 – Ski back down to valley
bottom by mid-afternoon. Replenish with a well-deserved
beer and late lunch in Lake Louise. Return to Canmore
by early evening.
If these dates do not fit your schedule
please contact Mountain Ascents Canada about a privately
arranged trip. Normal trip length ranges from
3 to 6 days.
$975.00 Cdn (includes food, accommodation,
guiding service, and 6% GST).
Car pool from Canmore, AB, to the trailhead
at Bow Lake (approximately a two-hour drive).
We will meet in
the morning of the first day of your trip ) at 7:00
am MST at the Rocky
Mountain Ski Chalet in Canmore. This hotel is
clean and comfortable, and offers competative rates.
For your convenience, we recommend you spend the night
prior to the trip at this hotel.
here for link to Rocky Mountain Ski Lodge.
We will be staying at alpine huts run
by the Alpine Club of Canada. These huts have dorm
style bunks, propane lights and propane stoves. Sleeping
mattresses and all cookware are provided. These huts
are rustic but comfortable (perfect after a day of
ski touring Canadian-style).
Participants must be strong intermediate
skiers and in good physical condition. You will be
carrying overnight packs and can expect to be out
skiing at least six hours per day. Previous backcountry
skiing experience is required. Mountain Ascents Canada's
Powder Ski Week or the Wapta
is better suited for those with minimal or no
backcountry skiing experience.
Please talk to us if you have any hesitation
about your ability to participate in this program.
return to top
with climbing skins
enough to carry all your gear plus extra room
underwear (tops and bottoms)
weight pile pants
weight pile shirt
weight pile coat
gloves (two pair)
season sleeping bag
(rated to 0 C or 32 F)
*Mandatory Safety Gear
The following gear is mandatory. If
you do not have these items please contact us about
rental or borrowing arrangements.
transceiver (457 kHz single frequency only
harness (worn when skiing on glaciers)
Type of Skis Are Best?
The type of terrain that we will ski
is termed "ski mountaineering." Although
we will not necessarily be skiing really steep slopes,
we will be skiing on glaciers and steeper slopes to
the top of ski-able mountain runs, and in snow conditions
ranging from perfect powder to wind crust (that’s
ski touring in Canada). It is important that everyone
has appropriate ski equipment. There are two types
of skis that are suitable for this trip.
Alpine touring skis
with hard-shelled ski touring boots. These are essentially
downhill skis with a special touring binding that
allows you to walk uphill, and then lock your heel
in place for downhill turns.
telemark skis with a sturdy (either leather
or hard-shelled) boot. If you have not telemarked
before but are an intermediate-level downhill skier,
then the alpine touring skis would be best for you.
With either type of ski you require
climbing skins that will allow you to walk up hill
– ski grip wax will not work in this type of
terrain. If you require rental equipment (skis, boots,
skins), Mountain Ascents Canada will help arrange
this in Canmore.
Gear Rental Shops
here for link to recommended gear rental shop
in the Canmore area.
more information or to register: click