Back due to popular demand! Prior to the pandemic we ran a number of trips on the Bow Yoho Traverse. These were very successful with strong positive reviews from the participants.
Note that the dates are subject to change. The ACC hasn’t released their reservations for April yet due to covid. Hopefully we’ll be able to confirm the dates over the next few weeks! Meanwhile, deposits will be fully refundable until Jan 8.
A Guided, Catered, hut-to-hut crossing of the Bow-Yoho Traverse located in Banff and Yoho National Parks.
A separate registration is required, Tom will contact you once you’ve signed up for this section trip with details. If you have any
questions about this trip you can contact Tom at [email protected].
This 7-day itinerary is longer than most other Bow-Yoho trips offered, giving us more time to explore the incredible ski mountaineering available instead of putting our heads down and charging through the traverse.
What’s included: ALL accommodation (6 nights including one night at the lovely Truffle Pigs Lodge, and 5 nights in Alpine
Club of Canada backcountry huts), ALL meals, porter service (food and equipment will be waiting for us at the Bow Hut!), guiding, some items are available to borrow at no additional charge subject to availability (e.g. beacons, probes, shovels, ski crampons) — ask me well in advance for availability.
What’s not included: Equipment, transportation, alcoholic beverages
Price: $1995 CAD, $1750 for Vancouver ACC members!
The spectacular Bow Yoho Traverse runs roughly east to west across the continental divide from Bow Lake to the Yoho Valley. We will spend our nights in Alpine Club huts, including two nights at the ACC’s modern Richard and Louise Guy Hut, a state of the art flagship hut perched on a high ridge between the Yoho and Des Poilus glaciers. We will spend our days travelling and shredding April Powder.
The first documented crossing of the Bow-Yoho Traverse was made in summer, 1910 by the renowned Austrian guide, Conrad Kain. Kain guided the route in six days from Laggan (present day Lake Louise) with pack horses to Bow Lake and included a first ascent of Mont des Poilus on July 31, his 27th birthday. (ACC)
A NEW WAPTA CLASSIC!
For decades, the Wapta Traverse has had a legendary reputation as a destination for ski mountaineering. Really, it has it all: an excellent hut system, perfect terrain for traverses, and easy access to excellent ski mountaineering objectives. The best time of the year is late March to late April when the snowpack is settled and you can still count on dry powder runs; this trip is right in that perfect window.
A near neighbour, the Bow-Yoho Traverse, crosses the Wapta at about a 90 degree angle. It is just as good, but it has only gained popularity in recent years with the addition of the Wapta’s most technologically advanced hut, the Richard and Louise Guy Hut. Situated between Bow and Stanley Mitchell Huts it turns a daunting 12+ hr day into two short days.
This new hut also provides a staging point for objectives around the Des Poilus Glacier zone: Mt. Collie, Mt. Des Poilus, and Yoho Peak are a few of the options that previously required either very long days from huts, or a high camp. Now you’ve got the state-of-the-art Guy Hut to return to at the end of the day! We will spend our first nights at the Bow Hut, two nights at the Guy Hut, and a final two nights at Stanley Mitchell Hut.
Our traverse begins in Field, B.C. with a gourmet dinner at the famous Truffle Pigs Bistro, as well as a hotel stay – both included in the trip price! I’ve found that this is a great way to set the tone for my Wapta trips and a great chance to mingle with the group before the tour begins.
This itinerary is longer than some other Bow-Yoho trips offered, giving us more time to explore the incredible ski mountaineering available instead of putting our heads down and charging through the traverse.
Day 1: Truffle Pigs Bistro & Lodge, Field, BC
6:00 pm — Introductions over dinner in Field, BC at the “Truffle Pigs Bistro” (dinner is included in your trip fees). In case you haven’t heard of it — this is one of the finest restaurants in the Canadian Rockies! After dinner it’s back to your rooms where your guide will pay you a brief visit for an equipment check and distribution of group gear and food.
Day 2: Bow Hut
8:00 am — a leisurely breakfast, again at the Truffle Pigs cafe. Bagged lunches will be provided by Kicking Horse Lodge. Make sure your backpacks and ski gear are packed and ready to go.
9:00 am — depart for the trailhead at Bow Lake (Num-ti-jah Lodge parking lot)
The ski from Bow Lake to Bow Hut takes anywhere from 3 to 5 hours depending on conditions and group speed. There should be time left at the end of a day for a quick lap on the awesome slopes above Bow Hut at the end of the day.
Day 3: Guy Hut
Traverse day. We’ll set our course west for the Guy Hut, traversing over the Gordon-Rhondda pass, over the Yoho Glacier’s gnarly icefall, below the spectacular Mt. Collie, and a short distance down to our hut below Yoho Peak.
Day 4: Guy Hut
Peak bagging day. The Guy Hut is not only the premiere hut on the Wapta, it’s also an excellent staging point for many of the great ski runs in the area including Yoho Peak N and SE faces, Des Poilus SE face, the subpeak to the north of Des Poilus, Mt. Collie, to name the plums of the area! Most of the objectives are for fair weather, but there’s one tree run that you can access surprisingly easily from the hut that provides great storm skiing believe it or not!
Day 5: Stanley Mitchell Hut
There are two ways to get to Stanley Mitchell Hut, both pretty darned exciting. The first, over Isolated Col, is steep and relentlessly exposed to avalanche hazard on both the north and south sides. The second is over the Whaleback, which has less avalanche hazard and which in the right conditions offers a good ski descent through a lightly treed avalanche path to the valley bottom and then a trudge up-valley to the famous and ancient Stanley Mitchell Hut. In the winter of 2018 — all three times! — avalanche hazard was low, so we dropped our loads at the top of Isolated col for a hot lap on the outstanding 300 m north facing side (back towards Des Poilus) for an outstanding powder run, and completed the day in style with a long descent down the south side. This old log structure has been shelter to thousands of skiers since the early days of mountaineering in the Canadian Rockies.
Day 6: Stanley Mitchell Hut
If you’re in the Little Yoho Valley with the wood stove crackling then you will definitely want to stay for at least one more night…. So that’s our plan. Our last full day of adventure offers opportunities at bagging the Presidents, Mount MacArthur, Isolated Peak, Mt. Kerr, or doing some cool loop trips or storm skiing on the Vice President trees or glacier.
Day 7: Trip conclusion
The ski out from Stanley Mitchell Hut is best if you can head up over the Iceline trail and out via Yoho Pass and Emerald Lake Lodge. This requires good stability and cool conditions, so we might have to slog out via Takakkaw Falls road. Either way, we will aim to be back in Field by 2 pm at the latest. This is the end of the trip. You have the option of kicking back by the shores of the Kicking Horse for another night (extra charge applies) or jetting back home.