This is a challenging but very fun and rewarding itinerary.
Day 1: Meet us at our office in Canmore at 8:00am for introductions, trip review, equipment check and to pack gear. After distributing group food and gear amongst guests, we will drive 1.5 hours north to Bow Lake, where our journey begins! After an avalanche safety session, we commence the climb to Bow Hut which is located at 2300m on a shoulder adjacent to the toe of the Bow Glacier, this can take anywhere from 3 to 5 hours of skiing. We cross frozen Bow Lake then ski up the canyon which leads to the amphitheatre below Mounts Olive and St. Nicholas. After a final steep section we reach the welcome warmth of this spacious hut. We travel 6km and climb 610m. If time and energy permit we can head back out and get some powder turns on the headwall of the Bow glacier above the Hut.
Day 2: With an early start we will leave the comforts of the Bow hut behind and gain the Wapta Icefields Neve. We will continue traversing across the icefield under the beautiful Mt Collie and Mt des Poilus before an easy descent to the toe of the des Poilus glacier. This will be our home for the night. A winter bivi at the toe of the des Poilus glacier will be an excellent way to get a sense of our remote location and will be a great introduction to winter camping. Expect a full day with 13 km travelled and 600m gained.
Day 3: Crossing Isolated col is our objective today and is one of the cruxes of the trip. You have a good view of the col from the campsite and a short ski will put us under the 300m accent. Once we arrive at the col we will be treated to an amazing view into the Little Yoho Valley which is commanded by the President and Vice President peaks. An excellent ski descent will bring us to the historic Stanley Mitchell hut. There may be a chance to explore the area surrounding the hut if time and energy permits. Minimum travel will be 5 km and 300m of elevation gain.
Day 4 and 5: Our reward for the previous days of hard work will be to explore and enjoy this rarely visited area. In "Summits and Icefields", Chic Scott continues his description by saying: "The Little Yoho Valley in Yoho National Park offers some of the best backcountry skiing in the Canadian Rockies. The terrain is excellent - there are long and uniform descents and some bad weather glade skiing below treeline. Situated along the great divide in what is called the Yoho Snow Belt, the valley gets deep and consistent snowfalls. Finally, the presence of the beautiful Stanley Mitchell Hut makes for a perfect combination." The Presidents and Mt McArthur will be on the tick list but many other options exist depending on conditions. Light packs, enjoying a beautiful area and looking for amazing powder turns are the goals of this part of the trip.
Day 6: We will be starting early in order to travel out to Field, BC and the end of a great trip. Expect a full day as we slide out the 25 km to the road and descend 760m past the famous Takakkaw Falls and the slopes of Mt Field.