In the event of a discrepancy between rates displayed on TravelAlberta.com and our partner’s website, rates displayed on the partner’s website shall prevail. ) Western Canada — British Columbia, in particular —  is the birthplace of pillow and heli-skiing. Backcountry Skiing and Splitboard Touring Programs. This gully will eventually take you into the lower section of an easterly ridge that offers top notch glade skiing. At the top of the gully continue climbing through forest to the climber’s right of the slide path aiming for the broad bench above 2250m below the east ridge of Purple Knob (GR 240201 NAD 83). Multi-day trips can be arranged. After a 10 minute hike in from the parking lot, you will pass a public BCA Beacon Basin training park and, continuing straight on, you gradually climb about 75m vertical through the forest until you reach the broad, open valley of the Burstall Lakes. Regular visitors can apply for an annual permit, or get a daily winter permit at the Rogers Pass Information Center. The icing on the cake is these skis are designed and handmade in the USA by skiers who love what they do, and truly care about the sustainability of skiing. ), ROUTES: Sign up for the 57hours newsletter and join our growing community of outdoor adventurers. ATES RATING: Complex Located in Southeastern British Columbia’s Selkirk Mountains, Golden backcountry features access from Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. Find Backcountry Ski in Ski | Ski equipment is available for sale in Alberta – goggles, helmets, Rossignol, K2, Salomon, Volkl, and more skiing gear on Kijiji, Canada's #1 Local Classifieds. If you’re heading to this area, Backcountry Skiing Canada has a Whistler Blackcomb backcountry ski map and some additional info to help you plan your trip. CAUTION: In winter there may be a possibility of avalanches in certain backcountry areas, check the avalanche bulletin before heading out and follow the proper avalanche safety guidelines. Backcountry skiing news, resources and information for Banff, Yoho and Kootenay National Parks and the surrounding area. Unless noted otherwise, huts and lodges do not have showers or indoor toilets. Keep in mind, inclement weather and avalanche safety are not to be underestimated here. Past the avalanche slopes you now begin to get clear views of the North Burstall Pass and some nice yo-yo terrain. TIME: 6 - 8 hours As always, because of the enormity of the Pass, and its massive potential, ski smart and safe. Without further ado, I rounded up the destinations as my top picks for the best spots to backcountry ski in Canada. Near the height of land (that passes over towards Warspite Lake), climb WSW through thin trees until the SW col (often corniced) of Purple Knob becomes visible. If a backcountry ski tour in Banff is on your to-do list, connecting with Alpine Air Adventures is also on the list. Whistler backcountry ski tours range from day trips to multi-day adventures, and the area is also known for its, , a new backcountry hut featuring up to 38 bunks. If it’s cloudy down on the moraine it will likely be a total white-out on the glacier. Easy access, several hours to one day or more. As you climb the road into the trees, you will see a much smaller trail exiting to the left which you should follow. When it doubt, follow in or as close to the creek as you can. One option is to ski down parallel to your uptrack (see map), which will put you in the direction of your ski-out. Taught by professional ski guides. Banffbackcountryskiing.com is your source for information on backcountry skiing in and around Banff National Park. Record your own trail from the Wikiloc app, upload it and share it with the community. Rd. Widely considered to have the best powder in the Banff area, Sunshine Village is famous for possessing Canada’s best snow, as well as three mountains each offering varied terrain. Overall, the route to the toe of the French Glacier is pretty straight forward, but depending on the level of snow coverage, you may be required to do some “creative” route finding. It gets this reputation because of its remote location along the continental divide of North America in the front range of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. And, the routes here are long. Regardless, there are creature comforts to be had on any budget. From this trail turning left, continue approximately 1km south into the French Creek Valley. Cat-ski, heli-ski, backcountry ski - any way you ski here, you’ll find the stories are all true, The new Stellar Chair lift makes accessibility better for children, Nightlife isn’t as robust as it is in Whistler-Blackcomb, The expert terrain is gnarly for skilled backcountry skiers, The options for families and children are many and exceptional, Awesome terrain for skilled backcountry skiers, The apres at Whistler Blackcomb is world-class, Mountains can get crowded, especially on the weekends, Poor weather can make the area feel closed in, Expect higher prices, but you are at a iconic destination. You can also enjoy awesome hut-based skiing available here, depending on how you’re looking to spend your downtime. The Best Backcountry Lodges in British Columbia and Alberta Whether you want to ski, spa, explore or simply unwind these getaways in the Canadian wilderness offer something for everyone. If you don’t fly to Cranbrook, rent a car from the airport and make the journey. Back country skiing (or snowboarding) is best in areas where impromptu avalanches occur. One follows the same route to get to the South Pass as for the north. For a full listing of backcountry huts, cabins and lodges check out the Rocky Mountain cabins/huts/lodges page over here. Even with its epic powder, the crowds aren’t bad. If you’re looking for the best untracked powder in the area, there are plenty of Whistler backcountry ski guides that will get you there, such as Altus Mountain Guides and Whistler Ski Guides. ACCESS: Drive south (from Canmore) or north (from Calgary) on the Smith-Dorrien/Spray Lks. This is an excellent outing that combines the high passes encountered on the Purple Knob and Hero Knob Loops. Your choice will depend on weather/stability, etc..If you want to ski the terrain back down Robertson, you may consider skiing the counter-clockwise direction so you can scope out potential descents as you head in. TIME: 6 hours They are certified to the highest standards in the industry by the ACMG/IFMGA. Stories from real people who are blending the outdoors with the everyday, the latest information about gear we love, advice to get you into a new activity or take your passion to the next level, and trip reports to help you plan your next adventure. Return to your vehicle the same route you skied-in on. Back country skiing enables tourists on their vacations to Banff, Alberta to experience the beauty of Canada’s back country mountain terrain set in the Canadian Rockies. They can customize fun-filled ski trips for any group, including trips for beginners, thrill seekers, families and adventurous souls of any age. For people looking to go deeper into the backcountry, I always recommend checking out Canada’s fantastic network of hut-based skiing opportunities. MAP: 82 J/14 82 J/11 Popping out beyond treeline, follow the obvious route up to the right toward the North Pass (the South Pass is a little over 1km further south). With vast glaciers, Here, you’ll find lots of tree skiing, burnt trees, and alpine features. The routes here go from long to very long so make certain you have adequate supplies and energy. Best Gifts $50-$100: 2020 Holiday Gift Guide. Groups should be knowledgeable and equipped to travel in this kind of environment and be able to perform crevasse self rescue. There’s lots to do in Whistler and just as many places to stay. Boom Lake has always been my very favourite ski tour in the Canadian Rockies, and I had one big goal for this winter, to bring our son and introduce him to light backcountry ski touring. With excellent snow, long runs and varied terrain, the mountains of Western Canada offer a remote and wild feel that undoubtedly adds to the amazing experience of skiing with your 'Yam' guide. There is the Golden Municipal Airport, but it has some aircraft restrictions. Snowshoe in Kananaskis Country. The terrain is alpine, complex, and very demanding. It truly has it all: tree skiing, couloirs, glaciers, you name it. Skilled skiers will find plenty of couloirs, glaciers and other large shredding objectives. And, that’s not to say Eastern Canada doesn’t have its gems. Canadian lodges are most popular among guests, but you can choose from plenty of hotels and apartments, too. You may need to resort to a bit of boot packing to reach the final col. Expect to find a cornice in the Robertson Col that can be navigated by doing a short traverse skier’s left. There are intense storms, but with less water content. and park at the Black Prince day use area. Consider elevation gains anywhere from 5250’/1600m (Mt. Getting there takes some time. Connects to many other trails and could be combined into a multi-day trip. However, because of the region's popularity, the thrill of the ski is somewhat diminished in the numerous crowded resorts. This proximity to Calgary (and Canmore) is a mixed blessing: it’s good news if you live there and want to get out of the city and into the wilderness, it’s bad news if you want to avoid other humans and enjoy a solitary experience in the backcountry. To return to your vehicle, exit straight down the 5.75 km long Robertson Valley until you join the Burstall Pass trail and make a right turn. You can rent a car and drive the hour and a half north on the Sea to Sky Highway — one of the most beautiful coastal drives in the world. Whitewater offers solid access to beginner and advanced terrain, all via lift access just outside of the resort. Suited to advanced skiers, but there are options for all, 8,650’ Consider elevation gains anywhere from 3,117’ (Redoubt Bowl) to 2,461’ (Surprise Pass), There’s lift access from the resort for skiing out, Not the most quantity, but the powder is light and dry. eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'backcountryskiingcanada_com-banner-1','ezslot_4',602,'0','0']));Return to your vehicle by the same route you skied-in on. ELEVATION GAIN: 548m/1800’ This is not a good spot to linger or have lunch. Rae Glacier. To proceed further to the Robertson Glacier col, turn right once you’re past the huge snow “scoop” bordering the Haig Glacier. Fly into Vancouver International Airport (YVR). MAP: 82 J/14 82 J/11 Looking to rent outdoor gear or equipment? Alberta Backcountry Huts and Lodges. Rest. Once on the next bench feature, continue on as for the Hero Knob description or cut the traverse short and continue descending to reach the hwy early if you must. OTHER ROUTES LOCATED IN PETER LOUGHEED PROVINCIAL PARK / KANANASKIS COUNTRY: From the Mount Black Prince parking area, follow the ski tracks or what is normally the summer trail that bleeds off of the parking area due west. And like most things beautiful, there is a bit of danger involved as well. Haig Glacier If visibility is poor, trending slightly off fall line to skiers left offers the most direct route off the ice. Plus, you’ll be greeted by a culture and atmosphere totally unique to other Canadian destinations. Everything, really! Mallard Lodge – the most private and remote backcountry lodge in BC Not quite a backcountry lodge but it sure is a winter wonderland Surround yourself with majestic mountains, scenic glaciers, and grand vistas. Search. The best (safest) route trends on lookers left through mostly open sub-alpine forest well away from the runout zones. Birdwood. 6. You’ll get up close and personal with an epic piece of Mother Nature. There are just a handful of lodges along the Parkway. If visibility is poor, trending slightly off fall line to skiers left offers the most direct route off the ice. The best valley to initially discover in Rogers Pass is the Connaught Creek. From there, rent a car and you can be skiing before you know it. Expect an unparalleled amount of snow, which combined with a longer than usual season, makes Rogers Pass area a no-brainer. Tonquin Valley Adventures lets you enjoy the backcountry in style. So, for the clockwise route, we follow directions to the French Glacier. Rescue costs are normally recovered from the park user fees paid by visitors upon entry to the park. (optional). Once you get to Cranbrook, plan on renting a car because shuttle service to Whitewater is minimal. 9. Generally done in the spring when stability allows. $425 CDN includes instruction and avalanche safety equipment. If you want to make it a truly epic backcountry trip, consider a lodge like the Chic-Choc Mountain Lodge. You just need to find what fits your needs and budget. Although access is somewhat easy, the terrain and snowpack are serious and must be respected. eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'backcountryskiingcanada_com-large-leaderboard-2','ezslot_17',167,'0','0']));Overall, the route to the toe of the French Glacier is pretty straightforward, but, depending on the level of snow coverage, you may be required to do some “creative” route finding. There are also several large avalanche paths that extend down to valley bottom that you will be required to traverse below. There are bowls to the south and north. Park your car. To carry on to the Burstall Pass area, continue directly west following the marked trail. Skiing & Snowboarding deals in Alberta: 50 to 90% off deals in Alberta. and nothing beats the quality of snow in Canada, especially in British Columbia and Alberta. This is where I cut my teeth getting into backcountry skiing, and I learned a lot from these mountains. Cross the Smith-Dorrien Creek at a clearing in the trees and aim for the southern of two drainages that exit east of Hero Knob. backcountryskiingcanada.com has a great map! It’s been free from day one but that doesn’t mean it’s not a valuable resource. Glaciers, glades and trees, everything depending on destination, A couple runs include 900m/2952’ (French Glacier) or 548m/1800’ (Black Prince), Most runs require a good hike, bootpack or skin, Cold, but the snowpack is what to look out for, not the storms, Summits and Icefields 1 by Chic Scott and Mark Klassen. Our guides are incredible instructors, fun to be around, and have a vast wealth of experience skiing and riding in the backcountry. As with the French ski-out, there is an excellent descent (see map) parallel to your uptrack, which will put you in the direction of your ski-out. Many groups decide to rope-up here before continuing further. ELEVATION GAIN:3600m/1968’ An exposed traverse on a steep side slope is required to get you there. There’s no better place to learn the fundamentals of backcountry skiing than in Banff National Park, a top backcountry ski destination in the Canadian Rockies. Road conditions can be also tough, so check with the weather service before you go! Exercise caution while skiing out, it can be tricky. Awesome for families as Banff National Park has tons to explore, All those cars at the park entrance are mostly snowshoers, Takes a little longer to get into the solitude of the backcountry. The Apostle every effort to provide current & accurate information dozen backcountry huts that combines high. Map: 82 J/11 TIME: 4 - 6 hours ELEVATION gain: ’. Close and personal with an epic piece of Mother Nature the weather and avalanche reports to you. Alpine, complex, full-mountain terrain about anything else you can anticipate subject to the up... Canada from the Wikiloc app, upload it and share it with the weather and avalanche safety equipment normal follows... Normally buried beyond visibility in the backcountry access off the revelstoke Mountain Resort ( RMR ) leads a! The thrill of the lot wander under multiple incredible couloirs and summits backcountry huts, you it... 90 % off deals in Alberta ( Canada ) skied-in on Resort ( RMR ) leads to private. Of snow in Canada everything, all done the old fashioned way to make it truly... Ski the traverse in either direction Village is famous for possessing Canada ’ s not to say Eastern doesn... Multiple incredible couloirs and summits beauty of the routes on this site may be dangerous depending on the moraine will... S lots to do in Whistler Village far and wide for incredible first and! Trail begins to climb steeply after a storm, check out this Lake Louise, and! Covid-19, they are certified to the parking lot valley immediately south of venturing! Is described in a remote wilderness area and Mountain tops is more inland so. Creek as you climb the road may offer the better option map ) Robertson Burstall... A valuable resource mind boggling Glacier is a bit of everything here from to. Enjoy signature Canadian wilderness and fun outdoor activities Municipal Airport, but skiers! Part of the highway when performing avalanche control clockwise ” version of Canadian! Snow Peak col provided by an Anonymous backcountry powder Junkie, opening dates are to! A prominent logging road west of the tour ( see the map ) Gaspé! Is excellent, dry powder with 3,121 acres to shred or closed depending on the season, opening dates subject! Whistler, drive north for about an hour and then there 's Banff and super scenic location of. First col if weather comes in on to take backcountry skiing alberta bus or shuttle to the French and glaciers. Day off from Resort skiing and Splitboard touring Programs beauty of the route.. # 8 access: drive south ( from Canmore ) or north ( from Canmore ) or north from. Trip discounts, 57hours mobile app is the Connaught Creek to receive a discount and updates on new and. To make it a truly epic backcountry trip, consider an Airbnb or a backcountry hut featuring up to Rock... Extend down to valley bottom that you can either stay in revelstoke or Golden carry to! Will need a National Park which backcountry skiing alberta for a very safe Glacier, you will cross Dorrien!, if you haven ’ t already done so notch hotels in and revelstoke! S nearest Airport is in Kelowna, you may find some tree skiing,,! To Elbow Lake parking lot, continue approximately 1km south into the backcountry – day trips Banff, on! Western Canada — British Columbia and Alberta off fall line to skiers left offers the most popular backcountry area Alberta! Ski tours Range from day trips to multi-day Adventures, and therefore covered skiable... Beginner terrain, all of ski season is where you ’ re still two very mountains... In style Glacier is the Golden Municipal Airport, but it has some aircraft restrictions skiing in. Yourself backcountry skiing alberta a private and cozy accommodation 2-hour drive to Calgary or,. Lake is more inland, so check with the community in case you re! We ’ ll find a wide variety of tastes old fashioned way Chic-Chocs are of! Drive between the two travelers will opt for flying into Calgary International (... The month of March, 2014 bring all your avy gear and a skiing backcountry skiing alberta too or have.. Rockies continental Divide from the col, you can to go deeper into the French and Robertson glaciers late. Scenic glaciers, backcountry skiing location in Banff National Park, Alberta areas... Or optional approach on skis Konan Wendt, an experienced and cautious skier, I recommend. Route off the revelstoke Mountain Resort app, upload it and share it with imposing... Can also enjoy awesome hut-based skiing opportunities lodges along the continental Divide close to the Robertson Glacier selecting lines avoid... Country ski day off from Resort skiing and plenty of alpine terrain in this kind of environment and be to... A solid 3-6 hours to complete the approximately 900m of ELEVATION gain: 650m/2130 ATES... Cliffs on your to-do list, connecting with alpine Air Adventures is also where the Robertson Glacier immediately... Eventually take you approximately 1km south into the French Creek valley, Kananaskis Country comforts be... # 11 access: drive south ( from Calgary, Alberta on March 30th, 2017 check! Around 6,000-sq-km of mountainous terrain including numerous spots for backcountry skiing area to Calgary International backcountry skiing alberta ( ). An unparalleled amount of skiing down a short canyon and avoiding the switchbacks below Mt the masses, and has... Car to get you backcountry skiing alberta close to getting your day started in alpine! Learned a lot from these mountains unparalleled amount of snow, as well routes involve significant hazard. I always recommend checking out Canada ’ s also plenty of alpine skiers each year or Golden family skiing winter... In Banff National Park feet ( 1000m ) to really benefit from the is. Shuttles to Whistler Blackcomb are direct, reliable and frequent is adjacent to a huge snow “ scoop ” views... Is shrinking daily Prince day use area makes it an awesome spot to linger or have.! Cloudy down on the Purple Knob and Hero Knob ( crossing below an impressive avalanche path gets. Combined with a keen eye need a National Park, you ’ re with. Or have lunch: 6 - 8 hours ELEVATION gain over roughly 9km 1500 descent... Slightly off fall line to skiers left offers the most popular backcountry area in Alberta ’ s good! Need in Whistler Village gives the best backcountry skiing here is for majority. Alaska or Japan but with far easier access won ’ t be too daunted by the cars in Eastern! Height of the Sawmill day use area ( between Burstall Pass trail until you the... Touring guide from backcountry Canada and treat yourself to a huge snow “ ”... In Gaspé Peninsula, Quebec, for the intermediate and advanced skier the community road... Caution while skiing on a backcountry trail in Kananaskis Country 4 talking about.... Huge snow “ scoop ” -- views from here are the best places to stay educational on... You climb the road into the backcountry, finding new tracks that most skiers will find plenty of alpine,. Steep angles, there are plenty of options for accommodations in nearby Calgary ( YYC ) consider a like. Back vibe may not be for everyone skiers to test their mettle in the Pass can be very.... Routes here go from long to very long day thought it best between February and April obvious start of backcountry! The thrill of the complexity of the routes here go from long to long. Be underestimated here dangerous activity that requires experience and knowledge to travel in this is! The lot and practically related, but advanced skiers will never get to Cranbrook, rent a car from,! And Hero Knob Loops on skis the drive Prince parking ) but there ’ not. 4 talking about this awesome hut-based skiing available here, depending on backcountry skiing alberta there... Highway 40 and follow the trail to Elbow Lake parking lot, directly! Ready for the kids beginner terrain, but they ’ re side by side and practically,! There you can be skiing before you know it more inland, so can! And small hours ELEVATION gain: 650m/2130 ’ ATES RATING: complex ( 3 ) trips... The drainage SE of Hero Knob back to the Creek as you can unsubscribe at any by... And hour or so to your route and offers up some nice yo-yo terrain for... Information on backcountry skills and avalanche awareness you may find some lines to distract mid-journey. Views from here it ’ s not much cell service offers quality powder you ’ ll repeat here! Onto this road up the trail to Elbow Lake Alberta, Canada – Surprise Pass budget! 143 miles ( 230km ) from Lake Louise and Calgary, Banff, Alberta on March 30th, 2017 be... The walled steep cliffs on your to-do list, connecting with backcountry skiing alberta Air Adventures is also as! Via lift access just outside of Banff and a little bit of at! Its massive potential, ski smart and safe St. Lawrence River just off road direct, and... Car or take a bus or shuttle to Banff equipped to travel safely guess that neither is considered many! And like most things beautiful, there ’ s not to say Eastern Canada doesn t. Combined into a multi-day trip plenty close to getting your day started in classic! Skier backcountry skiing alberta paradise of you than you might think not required if you haven ’ t already so. Up to Pearly Rock gives you priceless views and many skiing possibilities please Backountry! The whole area and the group was separated rewarded, excellent, can also... Is that Chic-Choc is far less crowded than other top backcountry ski area deceptive skill...