Wapta Traverse

Following the Alberta-British Columbia border, the Wapta Traverse stretches 30 miles through the heart of the Canadian Rockies, earning comparisons with Europe’s iconic Haute Route. While it’s become a classic in the region due to a comfortable hut system and spectacular wilderness, that doesn’t mean there isn’t danger—brutal weather, treacherous glacier travel and avalanches are as real as anywhere.

Words: Leif Whittaker

The secret to fitting a pound of bacon and a one-liter carton of cabernet sauvignon into your backpack is to leave your tent, stove, and white gas in your pickup.

Thanks to a trail of alpine huts strung along the toes of the sprawling glaciers that riddle Canada’s Wapta Traverse, the latter items are unnecessary. When temps reach -20 degrees and you’re five days into a six-day trip, the former are as essential as your harness. Slide the wine in next to your avalanche probe and stack the meat on top of your rope. It’s an enticing juxtaposition—a little taste of luxury paired with a healthy dose of risk and, if you’re lucky, finished off with knee-deep powder…

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