World Class Hut to Hut Traverses on the Famous Wapta IcefieldA Bucket List Favourite
Join us for this must do experience. The Wapta Icefield is situated in Banff and Yoho National Parks on the Continental Divide in both BC and Alberta. Its approx 1.5 hours drive to the start of the Tour from Golden BC.
Tackle The Wapta Traverse With Us!
The Wapta is a huge 35 km long Icefield with 5 huts strategically placed for the alpine touring enthusiast.
With a long rich history of mountaineering and skiing it is a must do destination for the keen adventure seeking ski tourer and splitboarder. The huts are perfectly set apart for the average person to travel comfortably in one day and allow for skiing or mountaineering along the way.
There are several ways to do this traverse and people can customize it based on previous tours, length of trip and time or how much skiing you want to do along the way. The huts can accommodate large groups and tend to book up for the prime time season of March/April.
We offer private group bookings with custom itinerary and also the Classic Wapta.
The Classic Wapta
Is a 4 night and 5 day Traverse. Over the course of the trip you will walk and ski the entire length of the Icefield and stay at the original four huts along the way. This is an amazing tour with jaw dropping views, enormous vistas, memorable huts and big peaks.
We like to run this trip mid April to make the most of the weather and good coverage on the Icefied.
- Hut fees
- Catering of all meals
- Guiding and Instruction along the way.
- The AAA Elevated Experience
- Books and Maps of the Wapta for keeping
- Transport to and from the Meeting point
Wapta Trip Details
Expect a Logistics package after paying for your tour including meeting place, guide info and policies.
We will meet in Lake Louise the morning of our trip to go over equipment and make sure everything is in order. We will also hand out and group gear at this time.
- This is a hut to hut traverse. You will be carrying a heavy pack 40-50lbs
- The huts are situated in the alpine at the toe of the glacier approx 2200m elevation. 300m-1000m per day and 7-10km of distance
- Glacier Travel Techniques required and covered by the guide
- All mountain conditions possible from amazing powder to spring snow.
- Backcountry Skis and skins, Splitboard and skins
- Poles and 40-50 litre pack
- Avalanche Transceiver, Shovel, Probe
- Ski Crampons
- Glacier Travel & Crevasse Rescue Kit (2 prussics, 2 locking biners, 2 non-locking biners)
We can arrange for you to borrow some of this equipment if needed.
- Base Layers
- Wool Touring Socks
- Neck Warmer
- Wool Hat/Beanie
- Touring Gloves ( Light ) and Ski Gloves ( Heavy )
- Warm “Puffy” Jacket. Down is good but we recommend Synthetic
- Water Proof Jacket and Pants
- Wind proof soft shell jacket
- Sun Hat
- Hut Shoes ( light weight booties )
Regular Additional Touring Pack Contents
- Small Personal Repair Kit ( optional )
- First Aid Kit ( optional )
- Camera ( optional )
The Wapta is at the height of the continental Divide in the Canadian Rockies. Annual snowpack is around 2.5-3 meters settled snow in the Spring months making it an ideal time to do the tour. Skiing can range from deep powder, boot top cold pow on North aspects to melt freeze/corn snow. Temperatures can range from -2 to -10c with the extremes of -20 to plus 5 not uncommon in April.
- Meet at Laggans Cafe in Lake Louise at 8:00 am
- Drop a vehichle for the end of the tour at West Louise Lodge
- Drive to the parking and trail head at Peyto Lake
- Start the approach to Peyto Hut. It takes 4-6 hours to reach the hut depending on conditions and group fitness.
- Ski to the tops of MT Habel and Mt Rhonda then spend another night at Peyto Hut.
Tour over to the Balfour Hut with either a ski mountaineering peak/ski run or both along the way.
Tour over to the Scott Duncan Hut via the famous Balfour High Col. Seen as the crux to completing the traverse its necessary to start early and clear the crevasse field and serac exposed Face of Balfour to reach the col. Other skiing and ski mountaineering options exist if conditions and time allow close to the hut.
Back to Civilization
A short tour and then long ski descent back to the car at West Louise Lodge. This usually takes 4-5 hrs through spectacular scenary back to the trees, creeks, warm spring temperatures. We will retrieve the cars at the Peyto Lake lot then grab a beer in Lake Louise.