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BOW HUT ROUTES

The Bow Hut is the second hut on the Wapta Traverse which is a classic Canadian ski traverse located in the heart of the Rockies just outside Lake Louise Alberta. There are four huts along the way to make the journey more enjoyable — the Peyto Hut, the Bow Hut, the Balfour Hut and the Scott Duncan Hut. Backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering objectives around Bow hut are glacier based so you need good white out navigation skills and crevasse rescue skills. Within a short ski tour you can access Mt. Rhondda, Mt. Thompson, Mt. Gordon, Mt. Olive and of course Crowfoot Mountain.

ROUTES:
1. Mt. Rhondda South
2. Mt. Gordon
3. Crowfoot Icefield

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For a full listing of backcountry huts, cabins and lodges (including all of the Wapta Traverse huts) check out the Rocky Mountain Lodging page over here. For all the details on how to complete the Wapta Traverse have a look on the Wapta Traverse page.


Backcountry skiing is an inherently dangerous activity that requires experience and knowledge to travel safely. Any of the routes on this site may be dangerous depending on conditions. You are responsible for your own safety in the backcounty—the team behind backcountryskiingcanada.com disclaim any responsibility for any injury resulting from people travelling on routes described on this site.  To read our Terms of Use and get all the details, read HERE. 


MT. RHONDDA SOUTH

From the Bow Hut Mt. Rhondda is only slightly farther than from Peyto Hut and slightly more of a climb at about  2,300ft instead of 1,650ft and 6km instead of 5. Leaving the Bow Hut you would ski tour to the west and north of St. Nicholas Peak to gain the Wapta Icefield after almost 1000' of climbing. Once on the flats of the Wapta Icefields you will get a good view of Mt. Rhondda provided the weather is in your favour. Head due west to the base of Rhondda's shoulder and climb up to the south summit. The safest route down Mt. Rhondda South is back the way you came, down the gentle shoulder to the flats of the Wapta Icefield which will provide a nice 1000' shot.

Bow Hut Backcountry Skiing Routes

ROUTE: Mt. Rhondda South
ACCESS: From Bow Hut on the Wapta Traverse.
MAP: 82 N/10
TIME: 3 - 5 hours from Bow Hut
ELEVATION GAIN: 700m/2,333ft 
ATES RATING: TBD

 

 

 

 

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MT. GORDON

The Summit of Mt. Gordon can be reached from the Bow hut in about 3 -5 hours if you have good weather and there is not much trail breaking. From Bow Hut head west, staying north of St. Nicholas Peak to gain the Wapta Icefield after almost 1000' of climbing. Once on the flats of the Wapta Icefields you will get a good view of Mt. Gordon off to the south behind St. Nicholas Peak and just to the right or West of Mount Olive on the same ridge line. Continue trending around the back side of St. Nicholas and head straight for the gentle ramp that will lead you to the summit of Mt. Gordon in a south westerly direction. Once on the long flat summit of Mt. Gordon you can ski back down the gentle (and safer) ascent route, or venture farther south down the ridge to access steep terrain. If the later is your choice be sure your bearings are correct as you will likely want to hit the large tongue that provides a less steep ski down to the Wapta Icefield. Any descent routes further down the ridge are much steeper and prone to avalanches. From the base of Mt. Gordon you can head back to the Bow hut, complete another lap or head east to the St. Nicholas Peak-Olive Col and bag the summit of Olive as well, no skiing on this one as it is a boot pack.

Bow Hut Backcountry Skiing Routes

ROUTE: Mt. Gordon
ACCESS: From Bow Hut on the Wapta Traverse.
MAP: 82 N/10
TIME: 3 - 5 hours from Bow Hut
ELEVATION GAIN: 850m/2,800ft
ATES RATING: TBD

 

 

 

 

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CROWFOOT ICEFIELD

The Crowfoot Icefield runs the length of the west site of Crowfoot Mountain and is a well kept secret within a reasonable proximity to the Bow Hut. YOu need to descend from the Bow hut a few hundred feet on the same trajectory as if you were leaving the wapta icefield for the Highway 93. Once on the flats below the hut you will want to skin up and head dead east while maintaining your elevation and distance from the steep slope on your right which is a potential avalanche hazard. You will need to place a couple of swithbacks in up the steep slope to your left once you have the safety of the trees above you. From the top of the trees you will have a good view of the Bow Hut sitting on the cliff band to the west and the route you will ascend to the South - East. From here you will need to meander around some rock out croppings  as you make your way up the Crowfoot Icefield until it begins to level out and you have unobstructive views to the south. The ski down is basically the way in which you came up and provides some fun rollers and steep shots to get you back below the trees where you can switch over, skin back up and do it all over again.

Bow Hut Backcountry Skiing Routes

ROUTE: Crowfoot Icefield
ACCESS: From Bow Hut on the Wapta Traverse.
MAP: 82 N/9
TIME: 3 - 4 hours from Bow Hut
ELEVATION GAIN: 390m/1,300ft
ATES RATING: TBD

 

 

 

 

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