On Top
Up to 8 hrs/day on skis
Big backpacks
Glaciated terrain
Intermed. skiing
Gentle descents

Custom Trips:
Any Duration!

Scheduled Trips:
5 days of Touring & Evening Pre-Trip Meeting

Feb 9- 13
Feb 16 -20
Feb 23-27
March 10 - 14
Mar 13 - 17

March 23 - 27
April 3 -7*
Apr 6 - 10
April 13- 18**
April 27 - May 1
April 26- May 1
May 3 - 7
May 11 - 15
May 18 - 22

*Easter Weekend
**6 Day trip

5 Day Wapta:
CD$ 1190

6 Day Wapta:
CD$ 1390

plus 5% GST

Discounts available for group bookings and custom trips

Guide, Guide Expenses, All food, Hut Expenses, Parks Fees, Avi Gear Rental. Transport to trail head can be arranged.

Min. 3 clients, max. 7 clients per guide

Roger's Pass
Haute Route
Fairy Meadow
Sorcerer Lodge
Kokanee Glacier Cabin

Wilderness Traverses

Rainer's report of his 2006 Wapta
Ben & Mike's 2008 Video on YouTube

Dave Stephens Site
Wapta Video


Wapta Icefields Ski Traverse
Canadian Rockies, Banff National Park

Hut-to-Hut Ski Traverse
5 Days along the Glaciated Continental Divide
- THE classic ski traverse in Canada
- Network of 4 fully equipped huts
- Ascent of 6 glaciated peaks en route
- Breathtaking scenery / big glaciers
- Very reliable snow conditions
- Quick access from Calgary Airport

Click here to return to 'The Wapta Ski Traverse' Trip Page

The Wapta Ski Traverse: Day-to-Day Itinerary

Day 1:
Meeting in the late afternoon in Canmore AB (1.15 hrs from Calgary International Airport) or for custom trips, we can offer alternative locations. Review of trip itinerary, distribution of rental equipment, food and equipment check. Depending on final timing of the meeting / arrival time of participants, we also do a first avalanche safety exercise in order to expedite the departure the next morning. Airport pick up at Calgary International Airport can be arranged.

Day 2:
Drive via Lake Louise along the Transcanada Highway and Icefield Parkway to Peyto Lake (1.5 hrs). After a short downhill ski, we traverse the frozen Peyto Lake - one of the famous postcard images of the Canadian Rockies. A steep ascent (usually requires some boot packing) leads onto a moraine ridge from where a short descent on skis leads us to Peyto Glacier. With harness on and often roped on, a mellow climb gets us to the newly renovated Peyto Hut (a.k.a. Whyte Hut) at 8400ft = 2560m. 10km horizontal, 1804ft = 550m vertical, usually 8 hours travel time. The Peyto Hut approach usually turns out to be the most strenuous day of the trip. Hence arriving a day early for a warm up ski tour is not a bad idea!

Day 3:
Traverse day to Bow Hut. We traverse the Wapta Icefield towards the south and climb Mt. Ronddha North (10020ft = 3055m), a beautiful view point that shows the vast expanse of the Wapta Icefield. A beautiful descent leads down to the Wapta Saddle and after a short climb we get to ski down the steep headwall of the Bow Glacier right to the door of the Bow Hut (7700ft = 2347m), the largest of the four Wapta huts. I time allows, we often drop our backpacks and do another lap on this awesome slope before dinner!

Day 4:
Traverse to the Balfour Hut. We reclimb the head wall underneath the steep walls of Mt. Saint Nicholas onto the Wapta Icefield. After caching our packs, we continue to the summit of Mt. Gordon (10505ft = 3200m) which, aside from a beautiful, north facing descent, offers great views of the remainder of the traverse and further south all the way to the Bugaboos. A short climb leads us to the Olive - Nicholas saddle (option to climb Mt. Saint Nicholas or Mt Olive), from where we ski to the newly renovated Balfour Hut at 8000ft = 2440m. 15km and 2950ft = 900m climb. Depending on arrival time and energy level, there is the option to ski the beautiful Diablerets Glacier, which northern aspect slope often preserve excellent powder well into May.

Day 5:
Crux day - traverse to the Scott Duncan Hut. The steep ascent on the heavily crevassed Waputik Icefield underneath the north face of Mt. Balfour make this day the most exciting of the whole traverse. From a backpack cache at Balfour High Col at 9905ft = 3020m, we have an option to climb Mt. Balfour, at 10725ft = 3270m the highest peak on the Wapta Traverse. A long, mellow descent gets us to the Scott Duncan Hut (8900ft = 2710m), the highest and smallest of the Wapta Huts. 13km with 3380ft = 1030m vertical gain.

Day 6:
Home run. We traverse from the hut into Niles Saddle where a long, adventurous descent leads us to Sherbrook Lake. After crossing the frozen lake, we connect with the hiking trail on the southern end. A narrow and windy forest trail eventually spits us back out into civilization at West Louise Lodge, close to Kicking horse Pass on the Transcanada Highway. We usually arrive there around noon. Depending on driving arrangements, we might still have to pick up a vehicle at the Peyto Lake trailhead. Return time to Banff / Canmore is around 3 PM For those with a tight schedule, an Airport drop off in Calgary can be arranged for the same evening.


1-800-506-7177 or (001) (403) 678-2717 -  email:info@ontopmountaineering.com
Canada: 340 Canyon Close, Canmore, AB T1W 1H4, Canada
USA: 119 S. Sherwood, Fort Collins, CO 80155, USA

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