Euro-style Haute Traverses in the Canadian Wilderness

Europe has some excellent “Haute Traverses” using their excellent hut system to link up amazing terrain. Here in Canada this concept is still in its infancy. The Canadian Rockies has two great Traverses in the Waputik Icefield. The first and original has the unfortunate nickname of the “Walk-ta Traverse”. So it seems to be a well-guarded secret that the Wapta, Vulture, Balfour, Yoho, Des Poilus and Little Yoho zones are home to excellent skiing objectives linked by an excellent hut system managed by the Alpine Club of Canada. While not to the standard of the best European huts they offer comfortable, cozy refuges in the middle of our great, glaciated Canadian wilderness.

57 Hours hosts some great webinars on the “Epic Adventures” series. This winter they featured our Hut to Hut traverses. Check it out by clicking on the YouTube video below. Let us know what you think!

Tom will cover

  • How to prepare for the Wapta and Bow-Yoho traverses
  • The physical demands of traveling on the Waputik Icefield
  • What makes ski mountaineering in the Canadian Rockies so great
  • Accommodation in backcountry huts
  • What weather conditions to expect
  • Day-to-day activities on the trip
  • Stunning photos and videos from his adventures

The Waputik Icefield of the Canadian Rockies has a legendary reputation as a paradise for ski mountaineering. This melding of glaciers along the Great Divide boasts an excellent hut system, perfect terrain for hut-to-hut traverses, and easy access to expansive ski mountaineering objectives. It’s a classic for the country, about as Canadian as maple syrup, moose and Mounties.

In this one-hour session, ACMG and IFMGA Mountain Guide Tom Wolfe will introduce two brilliant stars of Waputik’s snowy constellation: the Wapta Traverse and the Bow-Yoho Traverse.

Both trips chart a course through demanding but dazzling terrain that offers peak bagging and powder skiing galore. But the fun doesn’t stop when the skis are off. After an unforgettable day of hunting turns on vast glaciers, there’s no better way to unwind than in the comfort of a backcountry hut, where a roasting fireside dinner and a toasty drink soothe the weary traveler.

For experienced skiers who are comfortable on black diamond resort runs, hut-to-hut traverses in the Rockies are the next step on their path to serious off-piste shredding. So if you’re ready to take your skiing to the hair-raising thrills of the Waputik backcountry, tune in and hear from a professional guide with decades of experience in the heart of the Rockies.

Tom on Emerald Peak, 2021
Tom Wolfe
Owner / Lead Guide Mountain Guide ACMG/IFMGA