Skiing trips

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Avalanche serious.gif Avalanche Hazard
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.

Check out a map created by VOC folks at http://www.ubc-voc.com/maps/s2s.html. It combines road map data from Open Street Maps, contours from Canadian Digital Elevation data and local ski routes.

Avalanches

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.

Weekend trips

Long weekend/week trips

Huts

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

Ski Traverses

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.

Coast Range:

Interior:


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.

Coast Range:

Heli Skiing

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.