Wapta Traverse

One of the Iconic Ski Tours of North America

Wapta Traverse

One of the Iconic Ski Tours of North America

A Traverse So Good We Had To Build a Hut Network

Tackle This Everchanging Icefield With Experienced Guides

“Quintessential Canadian Rockies Ski Experience”- Chic Scott

Is This Camp For You?

Intermediate

No previous mountaineering experience is required, however, you must have backcountry skiing/splitboarding experience and be able to comfortably ski the equivalent of blue/intermediate runs at downhill ski areas in variable conditions (powder, crust, icy etc.) with a heavy pack. Familiarity with touring equipment and the use of avalanche transceivers is also essential as is good all round fitness. You need to be capable of skinning uphill for several hours with a 35-40lb pack.

If you have any concerns about your suitability for this camp please contact the office before registering.

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Details

Before registering, please review our Trip Waivers and Liability, and Cancellation Policies.

Camps are subject to minimum enrollment in order to run.

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Trip Description

Crossing frozen lakes, high passes and a vast glacial expanse, the Wapta Traverse is a journey in the truest sense of the word. This Adventure gives you the opportunity to travel hut-to-hut across the length of the Wapta and Waputik Icefields with the opportunity to climb ski mountaineering summits and cut deep powder turns along the way.

Conditions on the Wapta are notoriously changeable. Our knowledgeable ACMG ski guides will ensure you get the most of your four days on the Icefield whilst maximizing safety. Nutritious and lightweight food perfect for the backcountry, will keep you fueled to you maximize your enjoyment of this iconic icefield!

Let us take care of everything from the huts, to the guiding, to the catering and join us on a true ACC Adventure this winter!

Guides

Guide Selection Pending

Guides for this trip are still being confirmed.

Our ACMG certified ski or full mountain guides will ensure your adventure is both safe and enjoyable. Our guides will be welcome to answering questions about the region as well as everything from ski technique to gear.

The ACC hires guides certified by the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG). Visit the ACMG website to learn more about what they do!

*Guiding Staff for a trip sometimes have to be swapped out due to unavoidable circumstances. In this event ACC staff with contact you as soon as possible to update you on any changes to trip staffing

Objectives

Within the overall objective of completing the famous Wapta Traverse there is great deal of flexibility in the itinerary.

Specific ski-mountaineering objectives include Mounts Rhondda (3015 m), Mt Thompson (3084 m), Mt. Hable (3073 m), St. Nicholas (2822 m), Mt. Olive (3130 m), Mt. Gordon (3203 m), Lilliput (2908) and Mt. Balfour (3270 m) and many more. Depending on the conditions the traverse can even offer fantastic powder skiing, for example on the Diableret Glacier close to Mount Balfour.

Although not primarily a skills camp, our guides will also be open to teaching or reviewing important skills – whether it be on roping up for glacier travel, crevasse rescue practice or tips and tricks on hydration and layering.

Day-by-Day Adventure Itinerary

Day 1
Meet at 7 AM (MST) at the Canadian Alpine Centre in Lake Louise, where you will go over paperwork and gear, organize your car shuttle, and start the trip. Your traverse will start at Peyto Lake which you will cross before ascending the moraines, traveling up the glacier with a final climb to Peyto Hut; overnight at Peyto Hut.
Day 2
Travel to Balfour Hut via the Olive or Vulture Cols depending on the conditions and ambitions of the group. Either way, you are guaranteed a beautiful descent down to Balfour Hut and the possibility of more turns from summits such as Vulture Peak, overnight at Balfour Hut.
Day 3
The most adventurous day of the trip over the infamous Balfour High Col, this is the highest and most exposed point of the traverse. We’ll need the right conditions to negotiate the crevasse and serac hazard safely; a new vista opens up as you pass over the col and a beautiful descent down to the Scott Duncan hut when you will overnight.
Day 4
Descend back to civilization via Sherbrooke Lake to the Great Divide Lodge on Highway 1, shuttle cars back to Lake Louise.
Summary
Our traverse will follow the classic Wapta itinerary, from north to south with visits to three ACC alpine huts (one night at Peyto, one night at Balfour and one night at Scott Duncan). Starting at Peyto Lake, you will ascend to Peyto Hut before making your way across both the Wapta and the Waputik Icefields before descending to the highway near West Louise Lodge. At 45km, the Wapta can easily be completed in 3-4 days by a strong party, with lots of chances to experience the world class ski mountaineering objectives on the route!

Food, Accommodation and Rentals

Food

Evenings will be spent enjoying great food, socializing in cozy hut surroundings and resetting for the next day’s skiing. To keep the cost of this trip as low as possible, participants will be responsible for helping to carry the food. There will be a mix of lightweight but nutritious backpacking meals and snacks to keep you properly fueled and hydrated for your adventure. All of our food is provided by specialized backcountry caterers based out of the Bow Valley.

Accommodation

Completing the Wapta wouldn’t be the same without also getting the full ACC hut experience at 3 of our most iconic alpine huts – Peyto, Rob Ritchie (Balfour) and Scott Duncan huts. Staying here is an experience in itself with fantastic views across the mountains and communal and social dining. Guests will be expected to assist the guides with hut duties such as collecting snow for water and cooking and washing up.

Rentals

If you don't have everything on the gear list and aren't ready to invest in your own, there are many awesome local businesses that rent out all of the equipment you will need. Be sure to reserve your rentals ahead of time to make sure everything you need is available for you when you need it.

Coming from the Bow Valley? Check out Gear Up in Canmore. ACC members get 10% off all gear rentals!
  • Coming from Calgary? We recommend renting your gear from MEC, the University of Calgary Outdoors Center, or the Norseman.
  • Coming from the Revelstoke? Give Revelstoke Powder Rentals a try.

Included

  • 4 days of professional guiding at max 6:1 ratios by certified ACMG ski guides
  • 3 nights accommodation at the Peyto, Balfour and Scott Duncan Huts
  • All meals from Dinner on Day 1 to Lunch on Day 4
  • Parks Canada Wilderness Pass
  • Group equipment (InReach, emergency equipment, ropes etc.)

Not Included

  • Transportation to and from Peyto Lake (participants will be expected to use their own vehicles and carpool to Peyto Lake)
  • Breakfast and Lunch for Day 1, and Dinner for Day 4. As well as personal drinks like coffees, tea, juice, etc.
  • Pre and post-camp accommodation
  • Personal gear (see gear list)

Location

Adventure Hazards

We sell Tugo® Travel Insurance suitable for both ACC Adventures and personal trips

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