Climbing Conditions

3 photos

Peyto Hut descent option

Peyto Hut to Bow Lake

Climbing Conditions

Since the log bridge exiting the Peyto Hut washed away years ago, the Peyto Lake exit has been tricky in summer. It requires crossing Cauldron Creek and the Peyto Glacier runoff--both of which can be dangerous if not impassible at high water. Every year the Peyto Glacier melts more and the morainal lake increases in size, making that exit pretty much a thing of the past.

Exiting the Peyto Hut these days usually requires hiking out past the Bow Hut which is likely the way you hiked in. A neat variant is described below:

The King Ledges is a summer exit off the Wapta that descends between Portal Peak and the Onion and then uses the Iceberg Lake trail to reach Bow Lake. It could also be used to access the Peyto Hut. All coordinates are NAD 83.

1) Descend the toe of the true Bow Glacier on the skier’s right (near the Onion) by walking off diagonally above a crevasse field.
2) Once on the rock flats, hike up the talus slopes visible to the east (cairns)
3) Upon cresting the hill at GR 3456 2165, drop down the other side onto a huge flat bench and cross it in a SE direction aiming for a large cairned boulder near the edge of the precipice.
4) Find an easy ramp (GR 3470 2153) to the skier’s left of a second boulder and follow it, angling down right over a small step and onto a good ledge that leads left back to another good ramp that angles right down to the crux (all cairned).
5) At GR 3472 2155 an exposed 10 m, 4th class down climb in a corner leads to a good ledge. A two-bolt rap anchor can also be found on the wall to the skier’s right.
6) Scramble down off the good ledge, another 2 m to grassy ramps/ledges and walk right until walkable slopes break through the cliff below.
7) Follow ledges back left about 50 m until another nice ramp leads back to the right at GR 3476 2157
8) Follow cairns down, traversing back left until on the flats below.
9) Head north towards the obvious moraine that blocks views of Iceberg Lake, and handrail along the moraine, contouring on a side slope to reach another flatter section.
10) At about GR 349221 you have the option of either climbing onto the crest of the moraine and following down along it’s spine (exposed but recommended) or dropping into a loose gully (shown on the GPS track) and then angling north to reach treeline.
11) At GR 3512 2258 pick up the cairned Iceberg Lake trail leading into the woods with some short scrambly bits that leads to a cool ledge at GR 3521 2267 which cuts skier’s left under the cliff to reach a trail down the moraine at the NW end of the ledge.
12) Once down at the creek you may cross at GR 3531 2296 to regain the regular Bow Hut trail at the mouth of the canyon or, contour west around the moraine to cross the Bow Falls drainage. The river is shallowest in the flats immediately below the falls. Then pick up the Bow Falls viewpoint trail which avoids the big chockstone crossing.

GPS track:

On The Map

These observations and opinions are those of the person who submitted them. The ACMG and its members take no responsibility for errors, omissions, or lapses in continuity. Conditions differ greatly over time and space due to the variable nature of mountain weather and terrain. Application of this information provides no guarantee of increased safety. Do not use the Mountain Conditions Report as the sole factor in planning trips or making decisions in the field.