Day 1: An early morning meeting at the staging area 20 minutes west of Golden. We then drive up the logging roads to the helicopter staging area. The helicopter ride takes you to the upper rim of the spectacular Icefall canyon. This is a spectacular geological feature that is one of a kind. It is an oval-shaped canyon with sheer cliffs on all sides and only a narrow exit where the river exits. There are dozens of waterfalls from all directions tumbling over cliffs up to 600m (2000′) high. Above this are some of the highest peaks in the Canadian Rockies, with tumbling glaciers reaching down to the edge of the canyon. You will spend some time taking pictures and exploring the rim of the canyon, then hike up to the Mons Hut.
Day 2: Traverse from the Mons Hut to the Lyell Hut. Sitting at 2900m (9400′), this is one of the highest huts in Canada and offers superb sunset views of Mt Forbes right out the front window. This is a big day that involves crossing the massive Lyell Glacier. An early start will be required in order to cross the glacier before the snow becomes too soft. From the Mons Hut, there are two options; taking the most direct route or traversing high along the crest of the Great Divide. This is the border between BC and Alberta and also the border to Banff National Park. There are several easy summits over 3000m (10,000′) that offer great panoramas. The route travels along the broad ridge of the Continental Divide, passing through numerous fossil beds. This high route is generally left for clear weather.
Day 3: Traverse from the Lyell Hut to Icefall Lodge. It is a gentle downhill walk with some detours around crevasses to reach the White Ledge. This short traverse is the most technical and exposed section of the trip. There are bolts and a cable handrail for this section. After crossing the small Tivoli Glacier, you gain the much easier trail. The trail travels through lush alpine meadows with wildflowers and small streams. Enjoy the comfortable Icefall Lodge and be treated to the sauna and shower.
Day 4: The next day, we enjoy a later start and then a hike up to Ice Pass or Alien Peak, where you are treated to a view of Rostrum and Icefall Peaks. These feature the spectacular Icefalls which gave the area its name. Return back to staging by 3 pm.
This is a guided, catered, hut-to-hut traverse. You will be travelling through high alpine glacier terrain surround by some of the highest peaks in the Canadian Rockies, carrying only a light pack. The scenery is dramatic and varied, everything from tumbling glaciers and vast icefields, to wildflowers, old-growth forests and clear rushing streams. This tour is designed for hikers with no previous mountaineering experience. The route traverses above the Icefall canyon, a 600m (2000 ft) chasm ringed with waterfalls and seracs.