OverviewMt. Olive is located on the Wapta Icefields which straddles the continental divide extending into both Banff and Yoho National Parks. This mountain, first ascended in 1927, is climbed year-round and is a popular outing for climbers staying at the Bow Hut (ACC). The approach to the mountain ca vary slightly depending on the season, however the mountain is commonly ascended by its NW ridge. The main summit provides stunning views of familiar peaks such as Mt. Hector, Mt. Balfour, Mt. Victoria, Mt. Stephen, Mt. Goodsir, Mt. Chephren, White Pyramid and Howse Peak just to name a few. A ridge can be traversed to the south summit of Mt. Olive affording and additional visual treat looking into the Yoho Valley. On our summit day we could actually identify some peaks in the Bugaboos such as the Howser Towers and Bugaboo Spire thanks to the clear skies! Mt. Olive is a highly recommended day for those staying at the Bow Hut.
Getting ThereFrom Calgary head west along the Trans-Canada Highway into Banff National Park. Continue along the Trans-Canada for a couple of kilometres passed Lake Louise and exit onto the Icefields Parkway, which will eventually take you to Jasper National Park. Continue north on the Parkway until you reach Bow Lake (about 30 min. after leaving the Trans-Canada). Park in one of the two parking lots at Bow Lake and find the trailhead near Num-Ti-Jah Lodge. The trail goes around the lake and will eventually (~8km) takes you to Bow Hut (see approach for more details). The Bow Hut is a popular base camp for excursions onto the icefield.
Red TapeYou will need a National Parks pass. This can be obtained at the park gate (long lines), at the parks offices in Banff or Lake Louise, or at a kiosk at the beginning of the Icefields Parkway. To stay in the Bow Hut you must book through the Alpine Club of Canada.
CampingYou will likely stay in the Bow Hut, but for some climbs further away you may need to bring a tent to camp on the icefield closer to your objective. I believe that a backcountry permit would be required for this.
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