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Winter trip planning · Tue. Nov. 9th - Thu. Mar. 31st

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Organized by: Cassandra Elphinstone.

Start: Tuesday, Nov. 9th
End: Thursday, Mar. 31st


I have received a lot of questions recently about planning winter backcountry trips. I thought I would make a list of the main resources I am aware of so people planning and going on VOC trips will be better prepared.

If you have other suggested links, please post them on the message board so others can use and learn from them too.

I put this on the trip agenda, so people could sign up if they are interested in spending an evening (likely in January) going over some of these resources.

- Enjoy the snow!

Mountain forecast is one of the weather apps for the mountains:
Note the different elevations and freezing levels. Use the map on the right or google to find the mountain closest to your trip.

Make sure to check the Avalanche forecast before your trip:

AST1 Course:
- the VOC will post this course soon

Quiz to test your current knowledge:
Tutorial to learn/review before/after doing AST1:
2nd tutorial:
3rd tutorial:
More info:
ACC Slideshow:

Snow conditions
Wondering what the snow depths and coverage are in the mountains?
Snow satellite imagery: Sentinel Hub Playground,B02,B03&maxcc=20&gain=1.0&gamma=1.0&time=2021-05-01%7C2021-11-08&atmFilter=&showDates=false
Snow depth sensors:
River levels:
- check for flooding if you have a river crossing planned

Social Media Condition Reports:

Food and fuel amounts:
- these links gives very rough food/fuel estimates and suggestions for backpacking trips
- don't bring food with a lot of water in it - it will freeze
Looking for some dehydrated recipes?
- please add your own food suggestions here

Gear lists:
- make sure to bring the gear listed here
- NO Cotton - it does not dry quickly
VOC gear rental:

Wondering what apps/devices/tools people use to stay on track in the winter when the trails are under snow?

GAIA gps :
- can be downloaded on your phone and is a great navigation app, make sure your phone is fully charged before heading out
- great for designing maps that can be uploaded to a GPS, has lots of base layers
- note the slope angle shading which can be useful for route planning through avalanche terrain
Google Earth (kml/kmz files):
- this app allows you to view 3D terrain features and plot routes, satellite imagery is out of date though

Paper navigation tools:
The book "Exploring the Coast Mountains on Skis" by John Baldwin (can be found in the clubroom) has many ski trip descriptions for the area around Vancouver.
Paper maps are available for most of the popular destinations, including Backcountry Whistler, Coquihalla Summit, and Duffey Lake (John Baldwin) and Garibaldi Park, Manning Park, and Callaghan Valley (Clark Geomatics).

Driving conditions:
- if there is snow in the forecast, make sure to bring chains
Forest Service Road updates:

Be prepared for an accident:
- Carry a SPOT or InReach on your trips as there is no cell reception in many places
- The VOC will also advertise a discounted Wilderness First Aid at some point this year.

Posted: 2021-11-08 21:01:11
Last modified: 2021-11-11 10:24:29