|The route and terrain described here is capable of producing avalanches. Safe travel requires the skills and equipment to assess and mitigate avalanche hazards. A professionally taught training course is highly recommended.|
The sort of skiing were talking about here is free from crowded slopes, stuffy lodges, hot neon body suits, obnoxious ski school kids, and of course lifts. Just think of it as skiing the old fashioned way, before some lazy kook decided he needed a machine to get up the hill.
Every year backcountry skiers are killed by avalanches in BC. Don't be the next one. Most of the trips listed below involve travelling in avalanche terrain. It is essential that your party have the skills to assess snowpack stability, travel safely in avalanche terrain and perform an avalanche rescue. The basics are best learned through a 2 day introductory recreational avalanche course. The VOC arranges one of these every year, and they are also offered by most winter guiding outfits. Also, check out the avalanche resources available on the web links page and the VOC wiki avalanche safety tips page
Some good areas for daytrips
Of course, all of these can be done as overnighters as well if you want to do some yo-yoing.
- Diamond Head
- Mount Sproatt near Whistler
- Mount Rohr off the Duffey Lake Road
- Cayoosh Mountain off the Duffey Lake Road
- Needle Peak at the Coquihalla summit
- Zoa Peak at the Coquihalla summit
- Three Brothers Mountain in Manning Park, aka Fat Dog Creek
- Mount Harvey from Lion's Bay
- Mount Baker touring from the downhill ski area
- Mount Laughington
- Cloudburst Mountain
- Metal Dome
- Telemagique Ridge
- Beverley Creek
- Gin Peak
- Rainbow Mountain near Whistler
- Caspar Creek off the Duffey Lake Road
- Steep Creek off the Duffey lake Road
- Mount Baker 1 day ski ascent in Spring, weekend or longer mid winter
- Black Tusk
- Cayoosh Mountain
- Ipsoot Mountain
- Tetrahedron Plateau
Long weekend/week trips
- Revelstoke National Park near Revelstoke
- Rogers Pass (Glacier National Park) along the Trans-Canada Highway, between Revelstoke and Golden
- Rocky Mountains who doesn't know this vast area of beautiful mountains?
With long nights winter nights and often poor weather, mountain huts provide a natural base for backcountry skiing. Some good huts to visit for backcountry skiing are:
|Hut Name||Location||Access ATES Rating||Access ski Difficulty (in/out)||Access Length||Yoyo Difficulty|
|Brian Waddington Hut||Phelix Creek||Simple||difficult||5-7 hours||difficult|
|Burton Hut||Garibaldi Lake, Garibaldi Park||Simple||moderate||4-6 hours||moderate-difficult|
|Keith's Hut||Cerise Creek, Duffey Lake Road||Challenging||easy||2-3 hours||moderate-difficult|
|Wendy Thompson Hut||Marriot Basin, Duffey Lake Road||Simple||easy||3-4 hours||moderate-difficult|
|Elfin Lakes Shelter||Diamond Head, Garibaldi Park||Simple||easy||3-5 hours||easy-moderate|
|Himmelsbach Hut||Russet Lake, Garibaldi Park||Challenging||moderate||2-4 hours via Whistler Mountain ski lifts||moderate-difficult|
|Brew Hut||Mount Brew||Challenging||easy||5-7 hours||easy-difficult|
Like most things in life, ski traverses come in large and small variations. Some can be done over a weekend, others may take a month or more.
- Garibaldi Neve Traverse usually takes 2-4 days
- Spearhead Traverse usually takes 2-4 days
- Squamish - Cheakamus Divide Traverse 3-5 days
- Ashlu - Elaho Divide Traverse usually 3-5 days
- Bridge - Lillooet Divide Traverse 4-7 days
- Shulaps Range Traverse
- Bonnington Range Traverse 4 days, Northwest of Nelson (Selkirks)
- Wapta Icefield Traverse 5 days, Northwest of Lake Louise (Rockies)
Trips to and traverses of big icefields are usually reserved for the spring, but sometimes undertaken mid winter. The following have been done by club members in recent years.
- Pemberton Icefield up to 1 week
- Misty Icefield 1.5 week
- McBride Range 1-2 weeks
- Lillooet Icefield 2 weeks
- Homathko Icefield 2 weeks
- Waddington Icefield 2-3 weeks
- Monarch Icefield 2 weeks
Most of the Heli Skiing companies around here try to avoid conflicts with backcountry skiers. It helps if you call them in advance and tell them where you are going so they can plan ahead to go somewhere else that day.
- Whistler Heli Skiing Office: 604.932.4105 or toll free 1-888-435-4754: Rainbow Mountain, Spearhead Range, Ipsoot, Brandywine, Mt. Fee, South Creek, Mt Sampson, Hurley River, Tenquille Lake, Noel Creek & Lone Goat Creek
- Coast Range Heli Skiing 604.894.1144 or toll free 1.800.701.8744: North Joffre Creek, Place Glacier, Van Horlick Creek, Blowdown Creek, Snowspider, Mount Currie, Owl / Fowl Lakes, Mount Ronayne, Bastion Range, Lizzie Creek Battleship Lakes area.
- Blackcomb Helicopters 604.938.1700 or 1.800.330.4354
- TLH Heliskiing 250-558-5379 or toll free 1.800.667.4854: Slim Creek, Gunn Creek, Lillooet Icefield, South Chilcotin Mountains.
- Black Tusk Helicopters based out of Squmaish. 604.898.4800: Cloudburst, Sky Pilot, Ashlu-Elaho Divide.