About the challenge
The Canadian Rockies are justifiably world-famous for their magnificent scenery: the combination of impressive, jagged mountains, bright turquoise glacial lakes and dark green forest is hard to resist. Some steep hills and long days on rugged trails make for a demanding adventure, but with a relatively low tree-line allowing us to savour the views, and no high altitudes to worry about, this natural mountain wilderness is a trekker’s paradise.
Part payment option available with this challenge
Dates & prices
|Departs||Days||Charity||Availability||Registration fee||Fundraising target||Payment option|
|08 Jul 2017||9||Open challenge||Spaces||£399||+||£3850||Or||£1700||Book now|
|02 Sep 2017||9||Open challenge||Spaces||£399||+||£3850||£1700||Book now|
|07 Jul 2018||9||Open challenge||Spaces||£399||+||£3950||£1750||Book now|
|01 Sep 2018||9||Open challenge||Spaces||£399||+||£3950||£1750||Book now|
Magnificent panoramas of waterfalls, rocky peaks and turquoise lakes
Close-up glacier views on the challenging Iceline Trail
Packed with highlights including Lake Louise, Athabasca Glacier and Banff
Day 1-2: Fly London to Calgary; steady warm-up trek on Mount Yamnuska
Day 3-5: Awe-inspiring walking in Icefields region with unsurpassed views of Athabasca Glacier and surrounding peaks
Day 6-7: Move on to beautiful Lake Louise, and discover valleys, waterfalls and strenuous high passes
Day 8-9: Free time in Banff; fly from Calgary back to UK
What makes it demanding?
Rugged trekking in mountain wilderness
Steep trails over high passes
Exposure to all weathers
Trek up to 9 hours each day
Mainly hostel accommodation
Discover Adventure reserves the right to change the route or itinerary for safety reasons should local conditions dictate.
The cost includes all accommodation as well as all flights and transfers, camping equipment (except sleeping bag), all meals except as specified in the itinerary, and permits to any sites visited as part of the itinerary. Experienced Discover Adventure leaders and doctor (depending on final group size) are also included, along with a local support crew of guides, cooks and drivers.
It does not include personal travel insurance, airline taxes if charged by the airline, meals as specified, tips for local crew, or international departure tax. It also does not include any entrance fees for any optional sites you may wish to visit. Remember to allow extra for drinks, souvenirs and other personal expenses. Please note that costs may fluctuate and we have no control over any changes. We strongly recommend you carry a credit card in case of personal emergency.
Group flights leave from London Heathrow or Gatwick, (we regret that we are unable to book connecting flights), and are booked through Discover Adventure Ltd under ATOL licence 5636. By travelling with Discover Adventure you are protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are most likely to fly with Delta Airlines or United Airlines, however, we don’t always fly with the same airline so this is a guideline only. You will usually receive confirmed flight details several months before departure. Our itineraries are always based on current flight schedules and are therefore subject to change by the airline. If you prefer to book your own flights please ask us for a land-only cost.
We stay in hostels throughout the trip. Hostels in the region are great – well-located with good facilities and a sociable buzz. Rooms will be dorm-style, with shared facilities. We have two nights in a remote wilderness hostel, which is more basic, but a very special place to stay in the heart of the mountains.
All food is included except for meals as specified in the itinerary. The food is excellent and very varied, and will give you plenty of energy. Please let us know any dietary requirements well in advance.
Being vegetarian or having other dietary requirements is not usually a problem provided you let us know well in advance. Please do not expect as much variety as you would have access to at home – we will be in a remote area where access to supplies is not easy. If you know there are plenty of foods you cannot eat you may wish to bring extra snacks from home so you can top up your energy supply. Any meals not included are listed in the itinerary and are generally when we are in towns or cities and you are free to explore and try other culinary experiences! There is always something to suit every budget.
Discover Adventure Crew
Your trip will be led by experienced Discover Adventure leaders. Our leaders are selected for their experience in harsh wilderness environments, knowledge of travel in remote areas, friendliness and approachability, sense of humour and ability to safely and effectively deal with any situation that arises. You are in very safe hands with a Discover Adventure leader.All our leaders are from the UK or other English-speaking countries. Most work for us on an ad-hoc basis and have ‘real’ jobs in-between trips! We never send our leaders to the same destination for months on end – we want them to be as enthusiastic about your trip as you are. Although our leaders are trained in expedition first-aid, they are accompanied by an expedition doctor or medic, who is there to look after the well-being of the whole group and deal with any incidents. They help the leaders to ensure the trip runs smoothly and encourage you when things get tough. The number of crew looking after you will depend on the final size of your group, but at Discover Adventure we pride ourselves on our high leader: trekker ratio and believe it leads to greater trip enjoyment as well as excellent trip safety.
Local Support Crew
Our local support crew is made up of local guides, drivers, and cooks. Your local guide knows the local area well, and is a great source of knowledge about local customs and lifestyles. The Discover Adventure crew works closely with the local crew to ensure your trip runs smoothly and safely. Your leader will arrange a collection of tips for the local support crew at the end of your trek. Tipping is not obligatory, but once you see how hard they work on your behalf you will be happy to donate something!
Vehicles take the group to the trailhead and pick us up at the end. All luggage, food, water and camping equipment is carried by mules into the campsite. It is essential that your luggage is carried in either a soft expedition kitbag or soft rucksack. These are easily loaded onto the mules. Hard-sided luggage is completely unsuitable. Ask us about our specially-designed low-cost kitbags if you don’t have one already. You should also bring a small daypack to carry items needed for each day’s trek.
Your safety, and that of the rest of the group, is our highest priority. Our trips are designed and planned with safety in mind. Your crew will be equipped with radios and emergency satellite phones, extensive medical kit and other safety apparatus where necessary. They always have access to our 24-hour emergency back-up in the UK. Our leaders are responsible for safety on the trip, and will make any changes to the itinerary they deem necessary should local conditions dictate. Pre-trip administration – such as compulsory medical questionnaires and travel insurance – is all done with your safety in mind.
Preparing for the challenge
Terrain ranges from wide tracks through forest and alpine meadow, to exposed rocky paths, with some sections of loose scree and shale. Some sections are very exposed, and it can be muddy, or slippery, with exposed tree-roots and uneven terrain. There are many steep inclines, up and down.
At times our route crosses large rocks and boulders and there is some scrambling. If you are unsteady on your feet you will find trekking poles useful. Much of the time we are trekking up or downhill – there is not much flat! This trek requires a very good level of fitness.
This trek is achievable for most people provided they train well in advance on different types of terrain. We supply you with a thorough training guide on registration.
Clothing & Equipment
Be prepared for all weathers and temperatures. Weather conditions can change quickly. We provide you with a detailed packing kit-list on registration, as well as details on useful discounts you are entitled to as a Discover Adventure customer. We are always available if you need advice.
Weather in the Rockies is unpredictable, even in the summer months, so you must be prepared for all conditions. It could be rainy, windy, cold or hot! Temperatures will drop as we gain height, where it is usually more exposed. Average temperatures in the summer months: 8-21°C.
We will be trekking through regions that provide habitat for black bears and grizzly bears. Bears are wary of people, especially those in large, noisy (from the bear’s point of view!) groups, and we are unlikely to see them, but local guides will carry bear spray and are highly experienced in backcountry hiking, with regular training reviews from wildlife specialists. You will be briefed further on bear safety on the trip.
Our challenges attract people of all levels of experience and fitness, all ages and backgrounds. We expect all participants to train hard in advance to achieve this challenge, but we respect everyone’s limits. We design our challenges so that everyone can go at their own pace: this is not a race. For logistical and safety reasons we sometimes need to re-group, so the front-runners will find themselves waiting for the slower ones. Please relax, and remember that this is a team effort that enables people to achieve their personal goals and earn sponsorship.
Passport & Visa
UK citizens do not usually require a visa, but must have a ten-year passport valid for the entire duration of your stay, though we strongly recommend it is valid for at least 6 months from date of entry into Canada. Other nationalities should check entry requirements.
We insist that you have had a Tetanus injection in the last ten years. You should always check with a GP or travel clinic for up-to-date travel health advice as it does change.
Worldwide Sustainable Tourism
Long before ‘Responsible Tourism’ became a recognised phrase, we designed and ran our trips to ensure they made minimum impact on the environment and a positive impact on the local communities we pass through.
Discover Adventure Projects
We are supporting a tree-planting project in Peru and a children’s home in Tanzania on a long-term basis. If you would like to ‘give something back’ please consider donating £5 to our projects when you sign up.
We encourage all our customers to offset emissions connected with their trip. You can offset at any time in the lead-up to departure by visiting Climate Care via our website and making a donation to a worthwhile project supported by them. Alternatively, if you wish to take more practical action in the UK you can volunteer for a day with The Conversation Volunteers and work on an environmental project local to you. Work may include construction footpaths, dry stone walling, creating wildlife habitats or planting trees in your community. Volunteer today at www.tcv.org or call 01302 388883.