Intro To Mountaineering - Bow Hut




Our Guides have just arrived back from 5 Days on the Wapta Icefields Mountain 1 Expedition with our Partners at Timberline Canadian Alpine Academy. 


The week, based from the Bow Hut, is the conclusion of nearly a month of training for students from all over the world who have travelled to Banff to spend a year in this Private Vocational Institution which gives them foundational skills and experiences from which to enter the adventure tourism industry. We've been proud to be able to work alongside Timberline as a partner for a number of years now and are incredibly excited to be working with them on their 2 year curriculum to launch for the 2020 year. For more information on course offerings and enrollment visit their website and social feeds below:





Conditions Report


Over the duration of the program we experienced excellent travel conditions with snow coverage on the glaciers and icefield proper up to 240cm. Crevasses felt to be well bridged throughout our travelled areas, and a firn line has yet to develop with snow coverage extending all the way down to the toe of the glacier ice above the hut.


Much of the week we experienced unsettled weather, and the focus for us pointed at developing a base of skills during our time there. On ascents in the Mount Saint Nicholas and Mount Olive area, travel along the ridgecrest was variable, and well possible to find supportive snow, the narrow ridges didn't leave much room to make it happen. We didn't experience any overly inspiriing recovery during the nights, but with a good freeze travel would be lightning quick. As it sits now, our team put well trodden tracks in both directions from the Olive / Saint Nick Col and good steps should exist most of the way out and back from the summit. 


Of note, up to 30cm of new (HST) storm snow fell in the evening just prior to our departure. While the new accumulations seemed to be bonding well to the old surfaces below, our eyes were consistently upward on the headwall as we existed. I would suspect with any rise in temperature or solar inputs this might wake up this new snow and provide a bit of loose-wet avalanche activity where the terrain allows. 


With all the precipitation throghout the week, rockfall could be conistently heard clattering down the headwall and from the west walls of Saint Nicholas, which kept us from getting too close to either on the approaches.


It's a great time to get up there right now, solid travel conditions and long days to pack a lot into!


Happy Travels, 


Mike Trehearne
IFMGA Mountain Guide
Cloud Nine Guides



For more information on our Private Guiding Programs & Wapta and Bow Hut Experiences - email our Guest Experience Manger at Or call us: +01.403.707.5877