Pre trip-March 9th: Meeting at the Yamnuska Offices, our group met our guides and we had a meeting to discuss the trip objectives and to check gear. We also split up some of the food we had to carry and made sure everything was set and ready to go for the next day. Our plan was to head to the Peyto hut for 2 nights, the Bow Hut for 1 night, the Balfour hut for 1 night, and the Scott Duncan Hut for 1 night. Let's go!
Day 1-March 10th Peyto Lake to Peyto Hut (2500m/8200ft) The first real day of the trip, we met at the office at 7am and were on the road from Canmore to the Icefields Parkway to be dropped off at a small parking lot past the main Peyto Lake area. After a quick beacon check and some photo-ops, we descended an icy luge run through the trees to the Peyto Lake. Looking back, this may have been the sketchiest part of the trip. Full packs, tight turns and little room for error! Finally at the lake, we donned the skins, crossed the lake and started ascending. Steep sections meant mastering the uphill kick turn, and avalanche prone areas meant crossing one at a time. Finally out of the trees and into the alpine, we had to take off our skis at one point because of an area of exposed gravel. Hiking up hill in ski boots with our skis strapped on our packs, we realized quickly that the gravel wouldn't last too long and we were back on snow. We skinned down to an old glacier research station and finally onto the glacier itself. The slog up the glacier took time-we sucked the air and every 10 steps or so had to stop to suck in an extra breath. Looking up over to our left we finally saw it! The Peyto Hut lies over 2200ft higher than the Peyto Lake and 4000ft higher than Canmore. I was sure glad to get to the hut that night! A delicious chicken curry dinner was just what we need to fill our bellies and enjoy the 18 person hut all to ourselves.