Vulture Peak GR:368193

elevation: 2,957 m. height gain: 1,244 m.
area: Wapta Icefield,AB map 82 N/9

Ref: Dave's Place
heading to bow

Heading to Bow Hut.
Ski mountaineering: RT 5.5; 3.5 up (from Bow Hut). After coming here last week to ascend The Onion and having such a good time, we really wanted to come back. The high-pressure ridge prompted us to return sooner than later. We didn't hold back for this first-of-the-year trip, booking the hut for one night and taking our hounds to Lisa's Bed and Biscuit. The ski in to Bow was pleasant, it wasn't brutally cold yet. Although clouds engulfed the icefield, a definite cooling trend with clearing sky was on its way. We shared the hut with a couple of groups, it was cozy and very humid inside as the temperature plummeted to -20 celsius outside. The sky also cleared, we observed the Milky Way from the deck; priceless. During the night, the moonlight cast shadows in the dormitory, I knew it was going to be a good day. We left the hut before sunrise. While climbing on the glacier, the sun beamed on the surrounding mountains and the temperature rose. A well-established track accelerated progress. Once at the col, we decided to rope up for the plod to the base of Vulture's ascent slopes. The trail breaking was easy and fast (height loss). Back on rock, we left rope and gear behind for the final 150 meters. The snow was very shallow; scraping the skis on descent was a concern. At noon, we reached the top; to our surprise, the wind was light and the thermometer indicated -6 celsius. WOW, I started to imitate crow/vulture sounds while flapping my arms wildly!!! The highlight of the descent was the ski run back to the hut; the snow was light, over boot-top, fantastic. After picking up our things at the hut, we made our way back down quickly. On the lake, Fab turned back and yelled "it's - 32"; unbelievable inversion. Once at the parking lot, Fab dropped everything to start the car. It puffed and sputtered until the battery died. Luckily for us, a couple of skiers from Canmore, also returning from Bow, arrived soon after us. They kindly gave us a boost. Thanks to Tamara and Ryan for ending our trip on a good note!

At treeline, Saint Nicholas and the hut come into view.

leaving the hut

The following morning, leaving the hut in -20 celsius.

saint nicholas

The sun is about to hit the top of Saint Nicholas.

our objective

The objective, Vulture Peak.


Mount Collie, numerous crevasses are visible.


Nearing the top of the popular ski run.


We followed a good up-track to the Saint Nicholas/Olive Col.

looking back

Looking back towards clustered Mounts Rhondda, Habel and Baker.

saint nich col

Saint Nicholas/Olive Col.

at the col

At the col, we rope up and leave the set-track.

last 150 meters

The final ascent, shallow snow on rock.


Mount Balfour and the High Col in the sun.

last bit

Summit ahead, Fab's thermometer is indicating -6 celsius.


Mount Olive and our approach from the col.


Summit cairn, Mount Crowfoot in the background.

north-west view

The popular ski run above Bow Hut is in the shade.

saint nicholas

Saint Nicholas appears very steep from the col.

awesome ski run

Pumped legs after this most awesome run.

very cold

Back at the dead car, it's bloody cold.
Back to home page