Sunrise on the Peyto Glacier

Reiner and I tried to do the Wapta traverse yesterday and got shut down on the final climb.  A bit of a bummer but we realised that we weren’t going to be setting any records with the trailbreaking we were doing.  Our goal was the fast and light one day push in less than 10 hours, not outrageous on race gear, but the weather decided it wasn’t our day.  After a long technical climb up to the Balfour high col and down to the Daly glacier we were forced to turn around in a complete whiteout and follow our ski tracks home….. turning the 60 km day into an 80 km day.

Olive/St Nic Col

It was a great trip though.  The weather was phenomenal all morning and we felt quick and unencumbered with erroneous gear.  One aspect of skimo racing that really speaks to me is the direct crossover to fast and light traverses and peak bagging.  If climbing one peak is fun then climbing 3 is more fun right?

I’ve heard through the grapevine that a skate skier from Canmore did the whole traverse in 7 hours, but a few 1 day pushes a season are not uncommon.  Anyone heard of a fastest time record for the Wapta?  I think the Wapta traverse is to the Selkirk/Rockies skiers what the Spearhead is to the Coasties. 

Our lessons learned

  • The weight of enough water won’t slow you down as much as a not enough water
  • Conditions are everything for speed ie. good travel usually means poor skiing
  • Race suits rule

4 Responses

  1. So sick with the Rando Race suits!!!! Well done for rocking those, they add more speed, and are so Euro. Dope!

  2. Nice! For sure the first to be on the Wapta in rando tights! How did the Trabs treat you over 80k Ian? Sorry I missed it 😦

    • I’ve been really stoked on the trabs so far, it was wicked to have such a light ski that day. Not ideal conditions for the skinnies though, we wallowed in places. We’re going back in April for another attempt, I’ll keep you in the loop.

  3. Awesome guys.
    I did Wapta in 2004 – in 4 days.

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