Ski Touring in the Southern B.C. Coast Ranges

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The Southern Coast Ranges of British Colombia offer some of the finest mountain ski-touring in the world, asthough prior to the construction of the Squamish Highway in 1961 there was a great increase in mountain touring in Garibaldi Park and environs, particularly by parties from the B.C. Mountaineering Club (BCMC) and the Varsity Outdoor Club (VOC). This increase was aided by the opening of the highway to Pemberton and the proliferation of adjacent logging roads. Groups from both the BCMC and VOC actively explored new areas, and on their trips opened up the interior of the Park, traversing many of the icecaps in the lower Coast Ranges. This surge of activity also provided the impetus for the construction of a number of mountain huts from 1968 to 1971, and ski camps and expeditions became annual spring events for both clubs.

Mountain touring continued to increase in popularity during the 1970's as skiers forsook the crowded downhill areas for the solitude and challenge of the mountains. Most of the increase was concentrated in a few popular, moderate areas (such as Diamond Head), perhaps due to a lack of knowledge about the numerous alternate possibilities offering excellent touring. Indeed, many areas see only a handful of groups each winter, while few of the longer traverses have been done more than once or twice. This guide is an attept to bridge what is perceived as an information gap and improve knowledge of ski-touring routes in the lower B.C. Coast Range.