The Alpine Club of Canada

Glacier Discovery Bow – Peyto

Visit two Classic ACC Huts and Experience a Journey on the Wapta Icefields

As a hiker, you’ve probably seen glaciers from afar. This trip gives you the chance to get up-close-and-personal with the Wapta icefield with a 3-day trip on one of the biggest icefields of the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

If you’ve seen pictures from our spectacularly set alpine huts and want to check them out for yourself, this program is for you. The second day is full day of exploring the glacier on your way to Peyto Hut, going over new skills and if the weather permits, summiting a small peak!

All of our trips are led by ACMG-certified guides. We provide the guide to make up the mountain skills and experience that you might be lacking (glacier travel skills, steep snow, scrambling, navigation, use of mountaineering gear) and the hut booking to get you in to one of our most popular facilities. You bring your personal gear and food, your sense of adventure, and your camera.

ARC'TERYX supports our Mountaineering Program and we thank them for their assistance.
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AUGUST: 4TH – 6TH, 2023

Price: $800 + TAX

Before registering, please review our Waivers and Liability page.


Please try to register online before calling. If you are having issues please try to have your emergency contact information and course questionnaire filled out before calling.

OR Call: (403)-678-3200 ext 213

Rockfall and icefall
  • Rockfall and icefall can be caused by natural forces, or by people travelling through the terrain (Climbing/Scrambling/Hiking)
    What are the risks
  • Impact from a falling rock or ice can result in injury or death and can also damage equipment such as ropes.
Hazard Mitigation
  • Our ACMG certified guides have experience and training to manage this risk
  • Your guide will ask you to put on a helmet when in the mountains
  • Avalanches can occur in the terrain you will be entering. Caused by natural forces, or by people travelling through the terrain
    What are the risks
  • Anyone caught in a avalanche is at risk of personal injury, death, and or property damage or loss
Hazard Mitigation
  • Our ACMG certified guides have experience and training to manage this risk
  • Daily risk assessment processes
  • Guest training if avalanches are a risk on your trip
  • Cornices
  • Crevasses
  • Trees, tree wells, and tree stumps
  • Creeks
  • Rocks and Boulders
  • Variable and difficult walking terrain
  • Impact or collision with other persons or objects
  • Encounters with domestic or wild animals
  • Contact with poisonous flora or fauna
  • Loss of balance or control
  • Slips, trips, and falls
Hazard Mitigation
  • Our ACMG certified guides have experience and training to manage this risk
  • Radios and/or other communication devices
Falls and belaying
  • Mountaineering and ice climbing present the risk of falling from the wall causing the climber to collide with the wall or ground
  • There is also the risk of a belay failure, which can contribute to a ground fall
Hazard Mitigation
  • Your guide will review best belay practices with you or will control the belay
Communication, rescue, and medical treatment
  • Communication can be difficult and in the event of an accident rescue and treatment may not be available
  • Adverse weather may also delay the arrival of treatment or transportation out of the field,
  • Alpine weather conditions can be extreme and change rapidly without warning making travel by helicopter, snowmobile, snowcat, dangerous
  • If an injury occurs in challenging terrain movement to an evacuation point may be slow
Hazard Mitigation
  • Your guide is trained in both backcountry first-aid and rescue techniques
  • Emergency response plans
  • Satellite communication tools
  • Slips trips and falls indoor or outdoor
  • Infectious disease contracted via direct or indirect contact, including but not limited to influenza or Covid-19
  • Equipment failure
  • Negligence of other persons, including other guests
  • Negligence of the guide Including failure to take reasonable steps to safeguard or protect you from or warn you of risk, dangers, hazards, while participating in ACC activities
Hazard Mitigation
  • Your guide is trained in both backcountry first-aid and rescue techniques
  • Satellite communication tools

This program is designed to open up our incredible hut network to people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to access the more technical huts. Maybe you’ll gain a newfound sense of appreciation for Canada’s alpine environment. Maybe you’ll be able to reach places and travel in environments you never thought that you’d visit. Maybe the taste of what’s possible will inspire you to continue your mountaineering journey and acquire the skills to reach these places independently. Either way, our Glacier Discovery program will provide a unique and memorable experience.

You’ll hike to the Bow Hut, perched just below the toe of the Bow Glacier on the Icefields Parkway, on the first day. From there, you’ll review the basic rope skills that you’ll need to tie in and travel on the glacier.

The second day you will head out onto the Wapta Icefield on a traverse to Peyto hut. Crevasses are present on the icefield, and navigation can be extremely challenging in whiteout conditions. Having an experienced ACMG alpine guide to lead this trip means that you can focus on the scenery and your own enjoyment while getting an introduction to glacier travel and techniques.

The real treats of this trip are getting to access places that are normally only possible for mountaineers: the side trip to the top of the Onion (conditions permitting) provides spectacular views of the Wapta icefield in all directions.

Day 1 AM:
Meet at 8AM (MST) in Bill Peyto’s Café in Lake Louise. Your guide will go over the itinerary, collect waivers, and arrange for car shuttling. Hike in to Bow Hut.

Day 1 PM:
Snow school: learn the techniques you’ll need for safe travel on the glacier.

Day 2:
Wake up bright and early, head out onto the Wapta Glacier to learn about glacier travel and get up close and personal with the crevasses. Followed by a traverse to Peyto hut. A trip up the Onion Skin for a view of the Icefield may be possible if the weather is good.

Day 3:
Review of skills learned before hiking down from Peyto Hut back to the cars.


This program is designed for people who want to experience a stay in an ACC backcountry hut but don’t yet possess the skills in alpine travel required to get there independently and safely. No previous mountaineering experience is necessary, although you will require a good basic level of hiking fitness and experience.


To keep the cost of this course as low as possible for participants, food will not be provided as part of the course. Please bring 3 lunches 2 breakfasts and 2 dinners as well as your favorite snacks!


The Bow Hut is fantastically scenic, perfectly situated and is an excellent base for exploring further onto the Wapta Icefields in winter or summer. It is the easiest and most natural route onto the Wapta and gives access to the Peyto Hut to the north, and the Balfour and Scott Duncan huts to the south. The peaks of the Wapta are an attraction for summer mountaineering as well and many climbers have learned or honed their glacier travel and crevasse rescue skills within sight of the hut. The hut itself is bright, spacious and fantastically scenic. It is the largest, best equipped and most accessible of the four huts on the Wapta.

You will also be visiting the Peyto Hut, a popular destination on the Wapta providing access to a range of classic Rockies mountaineering objectives. Providing a view you may not have seen before the chance to see Peyto Lake with a birds eye view.


Our guiding ratio will be a maximum of 6:1 to give you plenty of one-to-one learning time with our excellent guide. This camp is guided by ACMG-certified alpine guides.

The ACC hires guides certified by the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG). Visit the ACMG website to learn more about what they do!





If you don’t have everything on the gear list and aren’t ready to invest in your own, there are many awesome local businesses that rent out all of the equipment you will need. Be sure to reserve your rentals ahead of time to make sure everything you need is available for you when you need it.

  • Coming from the Bow Valley? Check out GearUp in Canmore. ACC members get 10% off all gear rentals!
  • Coming from Calgary? We recommend renting your gear from MEC, the University of Calgary Outdoors Center, or the Norseman.
  • Coming from the Revelstoke? Give Revelstoke Powder Rentals a try.

“Thanks for helping me to reach such a stunning location. What I really enjoyed was picking up little bits of knowledge to do this kind of thing on my own. And the hut itself was everything I expected and more!”

“It was an introductory adventure, reasonably priced and went to a spectacular hut. I can understand why it was a hit!”


We sell Tugo® Travel Insurance suitable for both ACC Adventures and personal trips:


  • 3 days of professional guiding at max 6:1 ratios by certified ACMG alpine guides
  • 2 nights accommodation at the Bow and Peyto Hut
  • All Group Gear


  • Transportation to and from the trailhead
  • Food for your trip (2 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners, and snacks!)
  • Personal gear (see gear list)


  • Local Knowledge – based out of Canmore, AB, we know the Rockies region and the best local caterers, guides and porters
  • Dedicated resources – full-time office staff, ACMG guides and group equipment on-hand to ensure your trip runs smoothly
  • Not-for-profit – any money we make on camps and courses is reinvested into providing services for our members and the mountain community