The ACC operates the largest network of backcountry huts in North America. This was the final hut to be established on the Wapta Icefield, a very nice addition to the chain of huts which now makes the Wapta Traverse one of the classiest and most comfortable ski traverses in all of North America! Balfour Hut is also a great base for a number of climbing objectives in the summer. See all of our huts here.
Trail distance: 26 km from Bow Lake
Elevation Gain: 610m
Trailhead: Bow Lake or Sherbrooke Lake, Banff National Park
Family Friendly: No
Activities: Backcountry skiing, Ski-mountaineering, Mountaineering
Technical Considerations: Glacier Travel, Avalanche Terrain; ATES Class 3
At the southern end of the Wapta Icefield, the Scott Duncan Hut is the final stopover for most groups traversing the Wapta. Its location allows skiers to more safely descend to the highway in the earlier hours of the day. Most groups access the Scott Duncan Hut from the Balfour Hut. Alternatively, it is possible to access the hut from Sherbrooke Lake and begin the Wapta Traverse from the south.
Hut Location: 51.5282, -116.4027
Staying in a backcountry hut is a shared, rustic experience. Sleeping, kitchen and living areas are communal. Guests area expected to bring their own sleeping bags, food and personal items.
All of our huts are user-maintained, meaning that the custodial work of keeping the hut clean, chopping firewood and shovelling snow is done by the guests. The ACC provides major service and renovations to all of our huts each year to ensure they are in good repair.
There are no transition days between bookings. Guests are responsible to sanitize before and after use of the huts.
Download our hut cleaning and sanitation guidelines here.
This was the final hut to be established on the Wapta Icefield, a very nice addition to the chain of huts which now makes the Wapta Traverse one of the classiest and most comfortable ski traverses in all of North America! Yes, it is that good.
Most people make the Scott Duncan their final stopover when tackling the traverse, climbing over the Balfour High Col from the Balfour Hut then descending the Schiesser/Lomas route to Sherbrooke Lake after a night at the Duncan. Some folks will approach the hut from Sherbrooke and make it a base for the many objectives in the area, the most common being an attempt on Mt. Balfour via the normal route from the south.
The hut sleeps 12 both summer and winter and is well-equipped with propane stoves and lanterns, cooking supplies and foamies on the beds.
The Wapta Icefield is home to four ACC huts. See Whyte (Peyto), Bow and RJ Ritchie (Balfour) huts.
Summer (May 1 to October 30)
**Bookings are open for single or multiple night reservations with no schedule and no minimum number of nights.
There are no “transition days” in between bookings. All parties are responsible to sanitize the hut on arrival and before departing.
There are no COVID upgrades at these facilities. Guests should bring their own hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies, etc.
Sleeping Capacity: 12
Bedding: Mattress pads provided, bring your own sleeping bag
Cooking: Propane stovetops (propane supplied). Pots and pans, dishware and cutlery are provided.
Lighting: Propane lighting – propane is supplied
Water Source: Snow melt
Access to the Scott Duncan Hut is most often done from the Balfour Hut. It is possible to access the hut, and begin the Wapta Traverse from the south.
From the Balfour Hut: Over Balfour High Col and down the glacier toward Mt. Daly.
From West Louise Lodge: The route follows the east side of Sherbrooke Lake and follows Niles Creek.
Quick Description: From the North via the RJ Ritchie (Balfour) Hut or from the South (West Louise Lodge on the #1 Highway).
Approach Description: Printable PDF
ACC Members may make reservations up to 6 months in advance. To access this benefit, please LOG IN to your membership account and follow the prompts.
If you are not an active member, you may SIGN-UP to join a community of alpine enthusiasts.
Non-Members are welcome to make reservations up to 3 months in advance.
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