Camp Highlights

  • Learn key skills from ACMG alpine guides at a max. 5:1 ratio
  • Explore the Wapta Icefields from the comfort of the Bow Hut
  • Reach classic mountaineering summits such as Mt. Olive (3,126m)
  • Portering services provided to reduce pack weights

Dates & price

  •  July 1st - 5th
  •  August 16th - 20th (FULL)
  • $1,295 + Tax / Person

Arc'teryx supports our Mountaineering Program and we thank them for their assistance.

Take Yourself to New Heights with our Beginner-Friendly Mountaineering Program

Whether they’re the first summits of your mountaineering career or the first summits of your season, come join us on the Wapta Icefield for five days of skills training and peak bagging. You’ll learn new mountaineering techniques and knowledge and get hands-on practice applying what you've learnt right away.

The challenge: taking your first steps into a new vertical environment under the supervision of an ACMG-certified guide. The reward: the 360-degree view over the Wapta Icefield from peaks like St. Nicholas, Mt. Olive, Mt. Gordon, Mt. Rhondda, and many others.

Camp Objectives

The objectives of this camp are two-fold: first, teach you the skills to embark on your own independent alpine career, second, get you up some cool summits!

Skills covered include: 

  • Roped glacier travel
  • Basic knots
  • Crevasse rescue (situation-appropriate)
  • Snow & ice travel
  • Use of a mountaineering axe and crampons
  • Navigation (introduction to reading topographic maps, bearings, trip planning, and electronic navigation devices)

Climbing objectives on this course are grade II alpine climbs. They are snow and ice mountaineering objectives, involve a relatively straightforward glacier, and may involve some short sections of scrambling (either roped or unroped) to get to the summit. If conditions are favourable you can expect to be on the summit of some of the following peaks:

  • St. Nicholas (2,938m)
  • Mt. Olive (3,126m)
  • Mt. Gordon (3,161m)
  • Mt. Rhondda (3,062m)
  • Mt. Thompson (3,089m)
  • Portal Peak (2,926m)
Day by Day Adventure Itinerary 
  • Evening 1: Meet at 7:00pm at HI Lake Louise or HI Mosquito Creek Hostel for pre-course meeting, briefing and gear checks.
  • Day 2 - 4: Drive to the trailhead at Bow Lake, hike to Bow Hut. Explore the peaks in the area with overnights at Bow Hut, see what a sample day could look like below.
  • Day 5: Maybe sneak in a final peak before lunch and hike back to trailhead at Bow Lake, return to Lake Louise.
  • A sample day on the camp:
  • Mountaineering means getting up early! Take advantage of the easiest and safest snow travel conditions. Enjoy a continental-style breakfast (food always tastes better when our porters carry it in to the hut for you) to give you the energy you need to start the day. 

    Rope up, and head up the toe of the Bow Glacier to the Wapta Icefield. From there, your destination (Mt. Olive) is only 3km away. Don’t be fooled by the distance, though: the 3km includes a walk over the icefield, 770m of elevation gain, and the crux: a short but steep snow section. To overcome all of these, you’ll put your new glacier travel and snow mountaineering skills to use. After you kick steps into the snow up the crux, self-belaying with your mountaineering axe, it’s a straightforward scree ascent to the top. Take in the view, relax, and enjoy your lunch.

    On the way back, your guide will coach as you test out your new navigation skills. Practice identifying features on a topographic map and taking bearings off of the surrounding peaks to identify your position.

    Back in the hut, you’ll have a chance to socialize with your fellow newly-minted mountaineers. Everybody pitches in to prepare dinner and clean up: a tasty appetizer and soup are followed by creative entrees that you’ll hardly believe are backpacking food (braised pork with white wine mushroom sauce, anybody?), with dessert and tea to finish off your meal. 

    In a short, hour-long evening instructional session, you learn how to create and follow a trip plan. The next day’s objective is introduced and discussed. Afterwards, everybody heads to the bunkroom to get some well-deserved rest.
Is this Camp For Me?

This camp is suitable for hikers with no mountaineering experience, or mountaineers wishing to refresh their skills.  All skills (roped glacier travel, basic knots, snow and ice travel) will be taught from a beginner level, and you will have plenty of opportunity to practice.  You should be comfortable carrying an overnight pack (30-40lbs) for 5-6 hours a day; comfortable gaining elevation and travelling uphill, and able to find your footing on loose ground.

Food, Accommodation and Guiding


Once at the trailhead, all of the logistics are taken care of to allow you to focus on the climbing. Porters carry your group’s food into the hut to keep packs light on the ascent. You can expect nutritious continental-style breakfasts, packed lunches and 4 course dinners with soup, appetizer, meat-based entrees (with vegetarian option) and a scrumptious dessert. Check out our sample menu for full details of catering on ACC Adventures camps and courses.


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 with a wood burning stove!


Our guiding ratio will be a maximum of 5:1 to give you plenty of one-to-one learning time with our excellent guides. The small groups also mean that you can split up based on objectives and pacing, and get the individualized attention needed to tackle more challenging alpine rock routes.  

This camp is guided by Association of Canadian Mountain Guides-certified Alpine and Apprentice Alpine guides.

  • "Our camp this year was led by Peter Amann, a long-time Alpine Club of Canada trip leader and guide who has also been chosen as the Patron for this year’s Mountain Guides Ball. We navigated our way over crevasses and onto ice slopes with some low-technical scrambling on our way to the summits of Mount Olive, Mount Gordon (for Canada Day!) and The Onion. It was a fantastic group and we lucked out with great weather save for one small shower on the way across the glacier on day three."
  • “This was my first experience in the Rocky Mountains and the camp was a blast! By far my best Canada Day.”
  • “I enjoyed the great views, good laughs and new friends.”
- Past Camp Participants-

Adventure Map

more information

  Email us
   403 678 3200 ext. 213

  Gear list

Organizing Fantastic ACC Adventures For Over 100 Years

  • 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

Cancellation policy and travel Insurance

Please be sure to review our cancellation policy before registering for ACC Adventures:
Cancellation Policy
We sell Tugo® Travel Insurance suitable for both ACC Adventures and personal trips

Travel Insurance


  • 4.5 days professional guiding at max 5:1 ratios by certified ACMG alpine guides 
  • 4 nights accommodation at the Lake Louise Alpine Centre and Bow Hut
  • All meals from breakfast on day 2 to lunch on day 5
  • Portering of group food to reduce backpack weights
  • All group gear

Participants Must Provide

  • Transportation to and from Bow Lake parking lot
  • Dinner on day 1 and dinner on day 5
  • Personal gear (see gear list)

Your Guides

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