Wapta Traverse

April 22, 2013

I partnered up with two Canadian speedsters, Stano and Peter, to attempt a single-day Wapta Traverse. For a one-day push, clear weather on the high route would be critical. Luckily for us, a perfect weather window was forecast during my visit.  With 10-15cm of loose dry snow up on the Wapta and plenty of skiing the previous two days, we wouldn’t be trying for the speed record. With the clear weather we assumed people would be out moving around from the huts and figured we wouldn’t have to break trail the entire distance.


Ready to leave the Bow Summit Trailhead


Ascent from Peyto Lake


Looking up the Peyto Glacier and onto the Wapta Icefield from the research station


Stano leading toward the Olive/St. Nic Col


Cruising down the Vulture Glacier


Stano and Peter at Balfour High Col

Peter finishing the final climb to the Niles/Daly Col

Peter finishing the final climb to the Niles/Daly Col

Stats I recorded: 0 clouds, 26.23 miles, ascent of 7146 ft, and 10h 55min for the classic Wapta Traverse.  

This entry was posted in Backcountry Skiing, Traverse and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Wapta Traverse

  1. Steve Sauve says:

    Geez! At that speed you must’ve melted a path across the glacier. Another amazing accomplishment Jerimy. Congrats.

    • jerimyarnold says:

      Thanks Steve! How was your trip to the Chic Chocs?

      • Steve Sauve says:

        Chic Chocs were great! Above 700m (Mine Madeline, day 1)… bottomless powder.
        Below 700m (day trips from hut, days 2-5)… heavier snow but refreshed nightly by 8-10cm that fell on a very firm base. Made for some great turns and lots of predictable/manageable snow slides. It was not a stellar snow year up there so some of the snow fields we searched for were more like Xmas tree farms, to dense to ski, but there was plenty of snow to be found for those willing to explore a bit.

      • jerimyarnold says:

        Sounds like a very well timed trip. A trip up there is on my list.

  2. Dave Cramer says:

    Very cool. I’ve been up there twice, but have never seen a thing from Balfour High Col. Guess I’ll have to keep trying!

  3. franzbernt says:

    Great job, Jerimy! Seemed to be warmer than last time in ’08?! Skiing there is still one of my all time favorites!

    • jerimyarnold says:

      Sunny and warmer but it was still on the cool side. Snow stayed cold and fast for most of the day, I still remember playing cards in the Peyto Hut while wearing my sleeping bag. Maybe that photo still exists somewhere?

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