August 9-14, 2014… Four eager youth and I spent a great week exploring the mountains around Bow Hut on the Wapta Icefields.
We had yet again a stellar forecast and plenty to do.
The first night we hit the ropes and started with the basics. Harnesses, knots and fitting crampons.
The next day we headed to the mighty onion skin via the glacier, first time in glacier travel mode. We made it out to the edge of the onion and had a gorgeous view of where we had hiked in the day before. We finishing the day with a scramble down the rocks. That evening we studied the maps and came up with a route plan and determined the time it would take to get up and down from Mount Gordon (elevation 10,200ft.) 7-9 hours was our goal.
The next day we got up early with the moon still shining and students led the group to the summit. Calm and sunny on top we studied peaks and found them on the map. Eight hours round trip hut-to-hut and we met our goal!
The next day we also rose early and enjoyed a stunning pink sunrise. Feeling the climb of the previous day we made our way to a snow lip and practiced crevasse rescue. Along side those very important skills we studied the glacier and how it formed and flowed from the north side of the Onion. A bonus exploration of some deep rock caves followed.
The next day’s weather was not as pleasant, but we still got up early and got up to a sub peak of Mount St. Nicholas (9,500ft.). With some clouds swirling about it was mysterious as the valley and peaks floated in and out of the view. Not wasting any time we descended to a more protected elevation and built on our skills with lowering and rope ascending in a bit of rain. A hot drink was welcomed when we returned to the cozy hut.
The next morning we had a long-awaited pancake breakfast and speedy walk to the van, rewarded with a quick dip in Bow lake at the end.
Everyone did a fantastic job on this mountaineering training course, put lots of focus into learning, shared outdoor experiences and gained new skills to enter the world of mountaineering. Keep learning, being challenged and above all, having a blast!!
Thanks for a great trip!
Yamnuska Instructor and Guide
You can learn more about our Youth Mountaineering Course from our program page.
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