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Wapta Icefield

Wapta Glacier
Wapta ice fields
Map showing the location of Wapta Glacier
Map showing the location of Wapta Glacier
Wapta Glacier
Map showing the location of Wapta Glacier
Map showing the location of Wapta Glacier
Wapta Glacier
Map showing the location of Wapta Glacier
Map showing the location of Wapta Glacier
Wapta Glacier
LocationAlberta, Canada
Coordinates51°38′22″N 116°31′35″W / 51.63944°N 116.52639°W / 51.63944; -116.52639
The Wapta Icefield from Mistaya Mountain

The Wapta Icefield is a series of glaciers located on the Continental Divide in the Waputik Mountains of the Canadian Rockies, in the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta, [1] in Yoho National Park in the Canadian Rockies.[2] The icefield is shared by Banff and Yoho National Parks and numerous outlet glaciers extend from the icefield, including the Vulture, Bow and Peyto Glaciers. Runoff from the icefields and outlet glaciers supply water to both the Kicking Horse and Bow Rivers, as well as numerous streams and lakes.

The icefield is one of the most studied in the Canadian Rockies and all evidence supports the conclusion that the icefield is shrinking in area, especially near the lowest altitudes of its outlet glaciers, including Peyto Glacier, in which the glacier has become both shorter in length and thinner in thickness. In the 1980s the icefield covered an area of approximately 80 km2 (30 sq mi).

The glaciers popular with climbers[3] accessible in both summer and winder. Both ski trips in the winter and glacier hiking trips in the summer often combine a traverse of this icefield with a trip across the Waputik Icefield directly to the south.

The Burgess shale animal Waptia takes its name from these features.[4] Their meltwater feeds the nearby Wapta falls.


Wapta Icefield and Bow Lake seen from Cirque Peak

These are the glaciers that are part of this icefield:

The Crowfoot Glacier which was once connected to this icefield is no longer part of the Wapta Icefields.


There are five huts which provide accommodation to mountaineers on the Wapta Icefield that are operated by the Alpine Club of Canada.

See also


  1. ^ "Unknown". Retrieved 2023-11-18.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ "BCGNIS Query Results".
  3. ^ "Wapta Icefields Ski Mountaineering/Touring". Archived from the original on 2006-05-20.
  4. ^ Gould, S.J. (1989). Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History. W.W. Norton & Company.[page needed]


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Wapta Icefield
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