Part of the Wapta Icefield Traverse, and a great base for summer and winter mountaineering. 6-8 hours from the R.J. Ritchie (Balfour) Hut or from West Louise Lodge. Glacier travel experience and equipment required. Class B+, sleeps 12.
This was the final hut to be established on the Wapta Icefield, a very nice addition to the chain of huts which now makes the Wapta Traverse one of the classiest and most comfortable ski traverses in all of North America! Yes, it is that good.
Most people make the Scott Duncan their final stopover when tackling the traverse, climbing over the Balfour High Col from the Balfour Hut then descending the Schiesser/Lomas route to Sherbrooke Lake after a night at the Duncan. Some folks will approach the hut from Sherbrooke and make it a base for the many objectives in the area, the most common being an attempt on Mt. Balfour via the normal route from the south.
The hut sleeps 12 both summer and winter and is well-equipped with with propane stoves and lanterns, cooking supplies and foamies on the beds.
The approach from the R.J. Ritchie (Balfour) Hut is brutal if the visibility is poor, with very intricate terrain leading to the High Col. This is definitely the crux of the whole traverse and weaves an interesting line through large crevasses and potential avalanche slopes. Wait for good weather and conditions, since the position of this section of the traverse is superb and the scenery will stay in ones memory for a long time. The approach via Sherbrooke Lake also crosses some interesting terrain but can be attempted in poorer weather by parties with good route-finding skills. This approach should normally take about 6 or 7 hours, depending on conditions. Be prepared for a full day, and be sure your party has knowledge of travelling in avalanche terrain.
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