3 Night Wapta Traverse (now one night, one day out of Mosquito Creek) - Saturday, Feb 18, 2023

PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED: Once you've reviewed the event details, and decided you'd like to join us, you MUST sign up at the bottom of this page.

You are STRONGLY encouraged to read this page in its entirety before signing up.
The Basics:
Event Type: Skiing 
Event Location: Wapta Icefields 
Date(s) & Time:   Saturday, Feb 18, 2023 08:00 AM (Carpool Departure: 07:00 AM @ TBD (Lake Louise, but see info below))  
Registration Cut Off:   Wednesday, Feb 01, 2023 12:00 AM  
Event Duration: 1 night, 1 day 
Difficulty Rating:   D2 - See Conversion Chart  
Trip Coordinator(s):   Kate Snedeker
Barend Dronkers

Participant Info:
Who's Invited:   Members Only  
Attendee Screening:   Attendees are Pre-Screened
Maximum Group Size: 8
Minimum Group Size: 3
Number Registered So Far:   6 (View sign-ups, waiting list)
Are Dogs Permitted:   No


Changed due to avy/weather conditions - Friday night at Mosquito Creek Hostel and Saturday skiing

Three-night Wapta Traverse: Bow Hut -- Balfour Hut -- Scott Duncan Hut


This trip will be a three-night version of the classic Wapta Traverse aimed at folks who have skied fairly regularly in the backcountry & will have been skied a number of days prior to the trip, but are newer to hut based trips.  Preference will be given to active participants in the BITS  program in the last few years who meet the prereqs.

Our aim will be to travel at a moderate pace, and provide a chance for participants to gain knowledge about packing/preparing for hut-based trips via at least one pre-trip meeting/Zoom meeting.  If there are participants who have not skied roped up before, we will try to do a pre-trip day (or evening in the city) to go over rope/crevasse skills.

All three huts are ACC huts with propane cooking facilities and outhouses.  At Bow Hut, there is a separate 30 person bunk room and a wood burning stove for heat & melting snow.  The other two huts are single room with propane stoves & lights.  Everyone is expected to share chores - melting snow for water, stocking wood, chopping kindling, preparing group meals etc.

Cooking facilities are limited (especially in Balfour & Scott Duncan) & we will be sharing the huts with other groups, so the intention is to do group dinners (dehydrated).  Please let the coordinator know if you have any allergies/limitations/sensitivities.  Participants are responsible for their own breakfasts, lunches & snacks.  Breakfasts should be easy & quick to prepare - boil in a bag or one dish (oatmeal etc.).

There will be four spots open for participants and one for another trip leader/experienced hut trip skier.

Skiers and splitboarders are welcome, but note that this is a traverse, so splitboarders should be competent/efficient in skiing split & making transitions.


AST1 (AST 2 is great, but not required)

Crevasse rescue course

Sufficient ski skills to ski with a multi-day pack for four days in a variety of terrain and while roped up (the fun begins!).

Very strongly suggested to have your own gear -- if you have to rent gear, this should NOT be your first time on the gear for the season.  You need to have all gear properly fitted/adjusted prior to the trip -- broken or ill fitting gear is a safety issue for the whole group.


We will need to leave at least one car at the end point (Sherbrooke Lake trailhead), and leave bright and early for the hutThus it is strongly suggested that the group stay in Lake Louise the night before.  Availability is already quite tight at the hostel, so let me know your preference as soon as you sign up (cancellations for hostel beds can be made up to 2 days in advance).

Conditions permitting, we will depart bright and early on the 18th for Bow Hut, allowing for plenty of time to get to the hut, good choice of bunk spaces and the possibility of a bit of skiing in the afternoon.  Or relaxing in front of the wood burning stove in the hut!  Departure time will depend on whether we need to set up the shuttle that morning or can do it Friday evening.

The trip will only run if the weather/avalanche conditions are appropriate to the group.  The leader(s) will make the call by the evening of February 16  (or earlier to allow hostel cancellations if the forecast is clearly looking non-compatible that far in advance).


$145 - includes three nights of hut bookings/backcountry permits.  Any hostel or other accommodation in Lake Louise (or elsewhere) will be extra.

If you are interested, please sign up for the waitlist.  If you have not skied with the coordinator in the last year, please send a brief ski resume (BITS participants should know how to do this!) to the coordinator (kgsneds@mac.com).  Acceptance to the trip will be at the discretion of the coordinator, not first come first served.  Once you have been accepted, you will receive notice to pay - and once payment is received you will be confirmed.  Please read the cancellation info carefully.

Required Items to Bring:

Splitboard/skis, poles, skins

Avy gear (3 antennae beacon, probe, shovel)

Proper clothing (NO cotton, spare socks)

Gore-Tex (or equivalent) jacket and pants

Hut clothing

Hut booties (highly recommended)

hat, mitts/gloves

neckwarmer or buff (highly recommended)

toilet paper, personal care supplies (i.e. toothbrush, toothpaste etc)

Sleeping bag (down to at least 0c, colder depending on forecast and your sleep comfort)

Repair gear for your ski or split set up

Harness/ski mountaineering harness

Mountaineering/ski mountaineering axe

Glacier kit (3 prussiks (2 long, one short) or purcell prussiks, pulley, 3 lockers (one should be a triple locker if possible), 2 non lockers, other glacier gear as preferred - we can discuss in advance)

Goggles/glacier glasses

Sunscreen/lip stuff with SPF

Group gear will be discussed - this includes first aid kits, repair kits, inReach/SPOTs, ropes, radios etc)

Water bottles (at least 2L capacity - no bladders as these freeze in the winter)

Blister kit

Pack of sufficient size to carry gear, food and group gear/food

Recommended Items to Bring:

Sun hat (brimmed hat)

Hut booties

Baby wipes

Leatherman/pocket knife

How to Get There:
Carpool Departure Time:   07:00 AM
Carpool Location:   TBD (Lake Louise, but see info below)
Carpool Directions:  

We will need at least two cars (three if we can't squeeze 6 people and gear into both).

We will aim to stay in LL (or elsewhere) on Friday night to allow for positioning of the shuttle.  We will aim to leave the trailhead no later than 7:30-8am (based on conditions, plowing etc), so if we cannot do a shuttle Friday, we will need to meet earlier in Lake Louise.  Anyone who does not stay with the group on Friday must leave enough time to meet the group at the designated meeting spot (likely in Lake Louise) promptly.

Parking at the Sherbrooke Lake end has been more problematic since the Great Divide parking lot was shut to the general public.  So we would aim to leave one or two cars there, and allow extra time in case we need to find an alternate parking location.


No smoking of any kind (huts and hut decks are smoke free)

We will abide by any COVID protocols in effect in AB/BC at the time of the trip.  Participants are very, very strongly encouraged to be fully vaccinated and boosted to ensure the health of all participants.  Participants will not be participated to attend if they are COVID positive, have COVID symptoms not related to a pre-existing condition (or other diagnosed condition) and should withdraw if they have been in close contact with a COVID case in the week prior to the trip.  We are sharing huts with other groups & folks, so lets keep everyone as healthy as we can!

Payment Options:
  • Member $145.00 CAD
Cancellation/Partial Attendance:
Please review our participant responsibility guidelines!

The ACC does not give refunds for hut bookings for any reason including road/trail closures and high avalanche risk.  As such, once participants have paid, no refunds will be possible.  If you are unable to make the trip after paying, please let the coordinator(s) know ASAP.  You are responsible for finding a suitable replacement - the coordinator can help if there are persons on the wait list, otherwise you are responsible for putting suitable replacements in contact with the coordinator.

Please not that if conditions deteriorate on the trip, there is the chance that the group may be forced to turn around and ski out.  No refunds will occur for unused hut nights in this instance.

*Cancellation Policy*: If a participant is unable to attend a paid course or trip, there will be no refund unless the participant finds a suitable replacement that is acceptable to the trip coordinator. Acceptable waiting list candidates will have priority. It will then be the participant's responsibility to recover funds from the replacement. If the coordinator cancels an event, participants get a refund (less any non-recoverable costs). Note that ACC National does not refund hut fees due to weather, delay, closures, or any other reasons. The Calgary Section of the ACC is a not for profit club and we only charge attendees what it costs us to provide courses or trips.

Trip Feedback
If you have any feedback, positive or negative, concerning this trip or any other, we want to hear from you!
Click here to be directed to our "Contact Us" page and contact the appropriate Chair person or the Section Chair. This is also a simple way to make your section executive aware of any praises, suggestions or problems you may have with any area of the Calgary Section of the ACC.
Thank you for your response.

Registration for this event closed on Wednesday, February 01, 2023 at 12:00 AM.