A great glacier tour, topped with a fantastic ridge

Statistics

1

day +

1,260

m

1,259

m

20

max┬░

Difficulty

FATMAP difficulty grade

Moderate

Description

This spectacular peak is amongst the most popular on the Wapta.

It can be done in a long day from Bow Lake, or be combined with a stay at the Bow Hut (2330 m). A) TO BOW HUT The tour starts with crossing Bow Lake, provided it's frozen solid - if it's not then follow a trail around the north shore.

Continue across a wide gravel field until you see a canyon ahead of you.

Here the trail branches off left, avoiding the canyon and leading through trees.

Soon the terrain steepens and you will see a large avalanche path above you.

Stay as far right as possible and do not stop here! Head up a hill to the right, and descend a bit on the other side.

Following the creek, you soon enter the second canyon. There are steep walls on either side, and the canyon is a terrain trap.

Travel through it swiftly! The canyon becomes more narrow as you travel on, and soon the route leads up looker's left, traversing on the banks above the canyon. You then reach a wide cirque, which is crossed on its left (east) side, contouring to the base of the final slope to Bow Hut.

There is substantial overhard hazard from the slopes and ice cliffs below Vulture peak.

Again, move quickly through this section.

The final slope to Bow Hot is also avalanche-prone - pick a good line here.

The ascent normally begins looker's left and then traverses to the right.

Bow Hut is a good place to take a rest but if you want to keep going, pass it on the left. B) FROM BOW HUT TO THE SUMMIT At around 2450 - 2500 m elevation you enter glaciated terrain and it is recommended to rope up.

Head onto the glacier, initially heading west, then turning south.

Pass the west flank of St.

Nicholas peak.

There are crevasses on this stretch.

A short ascent brings you to the Mt Olive - St.

Nicholas Col.

Leave your skis near the col, and ascend the ridge.

The climb initially involves some scrambling and bootpacking in snow, and the ridge is exposed in places.

Some will want to have rope protection here.

Later, as you approach the north summit, the terrain becomes easier.

Some parties may want to continue to the south (main) summit 600 m away - involving a bit more third-class scrambling with a short descent/ascent.

C) DESCENT: Scramble back down the ridge.

Ski the N-facing slopes below St.

Nicholas Peak's east face, turning NW at around 2700 m to get back to the Bow glacier.

Follow your uphill track to ski back out.

For timing, keep in the mind that the canyon is particularly prone to avalanches on warm afternoons.