Trip Dates

April 27-29, 2018

Price

$1400/person

Group Size

2 guests/guides

Skill Level

Intermediate to Advanced

Related Trips

Mount Waddington
Ski Traverses
Ski the European Alps

Mount Columbia

Adventurous experience in the heart of the Canadian Rockies...

At 3747m, Mount Columbia is the tallest summit in Alberta, and second highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. This classic ski mountaineering peak is located across the majestic Columbia Icefields.

This 4 day trip is a like a mini expedition in the heart of a remote region, it is best suited for intermediate to advanced ski mountaineers. We also offer a 5 day summer ascent programs on foot for intermediate mountaineers.

Itinerary

The weather and conditions will have a direct effect on our exact itinerary, please note we can not guarantee specific timing and objectives due to the unpredictability of mountain weather. Here is a sample itinerary:

  • Participants will meet the guide(s) at 4pm at Lake Louise. We will go over last minute changes (weather & avalanche conditions) and logistic for the following day(s). We will also sign a liability waiver.
  • Day 1:  After an early start, we will drive from Lake Louise to our trail head at the toe of the Athabasca Glacier. We will then ski up the glacier and across the Columbia icefields to our high camp
  • Days 2 & 3: Depending on the weather, conditions and participants, we will use the best possible window of opportunity to ascent
  • We may ski out after our attempt on day 2 or day 3 depending on timing & conditions

Prerequisites

This is an intermediate to advance ski mountaineering program.  You must have prior overnight winter camping experience and be an advanced intermediate downhill skier.  Guests are responsible to self evaluate their skills as groups need to be matched together based on prior experience and ability. Prior experience with Summit Mountain Guides helps you anticipate the difficulty and style of our program. It is an asset. Please contact us to discuss your background.

Equipment

Weather

The Rocky Mountain weather is generally cold and dry.  In winter you expect temperatures to be from -25C to –10C in the day while in spring daily temperatures could rise to zero.  Visibility may be poor or whiteout conditions when snowing heavily or clear on bluebird days.  Ensure you are dressed for all variations as temperatures, wind and precipitation can change within the day. 

Location

Mount Columbia and the Columbia Icefields are located in the heart of the Canadian Rockies along the British Columbia-Alberta border. We will access this pristine mountain wilderness area by vehicle from highway 93 North between Lake Louise and Jasper. 

The nearest international airport for this trip is Calgary. From there to our meeting location in Lake Louise it is a 2.5 hour drive. From Lake Louise to the trail head it is another 1.5 hour by vehicle.

Services Included

  • Pre-trip planning support
  • Fully certified IFMGA guide service
  • Winter camping equipment (tents, stoves and cooking supplies)
  • All Breakfast and Dinners while on trip
  • Group safety equipment (satellite phone, ropes, rescue kit, first aid, GPS, maps)
  • avalanche safety equipment (transceiver, probe, shovel)
  • Alternative plan based on current conditions

Not included in price:

  • Your lunches, snacks
  • Transportation to meeting location
  • Accommodation before and after the field portion of the trip
  • Personal equipment (personal ski & safety gear, sleeping bag, overnight gear, etc.)
  • additional costs for accommodation, transportation etc.. due to itinerary change due to weather
  • Trip cancellation insurance, adventure travel insurance, medical insurance

FAQ

Alpine Ski-touring or Telemark gear? Which should you use?

If you are a downhill skier then you should use Alpine touring gear. Only if you are already an advanced Telemark skier should you use Telemark gear.

Spring skiing the high alpine environment offers variable snow conditions. On one particular run things may go from perfect powder to challenging breakable crust and or variable wind affected snow.  When compounded, the variable snow conditions, the long ski touring days and the large day packs all call towards the use of an easier skiing set up like alpine touring.

Skiing across the Columbia Icefields provide a fantastic mountain travel experience. The skis become a traveling medium in the greater goal of getting from A to B. Alpine touring makes for fast and efficient travel hence contributing to a safer and more successful experience.