Ski touring and freeride in the powder of British Columbia, Canada
Canada’s best powder snow is mostly found in eastern British Columbia and western Alberta. Here the average snowfall is a little less abundant than on the Pacific coast, but on the other hand the snow is drier, the real powder.
From January to March is the ideal period for off-piste skiing and snowboarding, in the famous Canadian forests (tree skiing) and open slopes, at altitudes on average between 600 and 3000 m.
Here we propose four travel programs, which will be definitely build according to the needs of the group. We organize a mix of activities: freeride with use of lifts, heliskiing, cat-skiing, and ski mountaineering; but we can also offer a program dedicated exclusively to just one or two of these activities.
Another parameter to be set as to arrange the best tour is the choice between a full itinerant trip, with many locations being visited and obvioulsy a lot of travelling, and a trip in which we mostly stay in the same location, with little travelling around.
As for accommodation, we prefer lodges, but hotels are also available if booked well in advance.
The chosen mix of activities, and particularly the amount of heliskiing days, if any, determines the total cost.
Program A) TOP VERTICAL – 10 days
This tour is dedicated to those wishing to achieve the maximum in terms of vertical skied; it includes 2 days of freeride + 2 days of heliskiing + 2 days of cat-ski. Suggested locations: Golden (with access to the Kicking Horse area and the immense heli-skiing area of the Purcell Mountains), or Revelstoke, and / or Fernie, with arrival and departure to / from Calgary.
Alternatively, further south: Rossland or Ymir, Snowwater, and Fernie, arriving and departing from Calgary or Spokane.
Program B) TOP POWDER – 10 days
2 days of freeride + 2 days of heliski or cat-ski + 2 days of ski mountaineering; we propose a tour that includes the locations of Revelstoke and Golden. Arrival and departure to / from Calgary.
Program C) TOP TOURING – 10 days in total
6 days of ski mountaineering based in Golden or Lake Louise, to visit the Roger Pass area, the Bow valley, the wilderness of Yoho National Park, and the areas of Kootenay or Kananaskis. Arrival and departure to / from Calgary.
Program D) POWDER ROVERS – 16 days
This program is for those who, in search of the best powder snow, are willing to spend several days travelling to different areas.
The tour includes 12 net days on site, in various locations according to the mix of activities. We generally start from Calgary, visit Golden and Roger Pass, then move south to visit the Bugaboos mountains along the Columbia River, or the Monashees, Selkirk and Valhalla via Revelstoke and Trout Lake, until we reach Castelgar, Ymir and Fernie. Returning to Calgary, a spectacular circuit is created between Alberta and British Columbia, for a total immersion in the great canadian wilderness. Arrival and departure to / from Calgary.
NOTE. The actual program is established in relation to the weather and snow conditions, the state of the roads, the requests of the participants.
VARIATIONS OR EXTENSIONS ON REQUEST
> We offer customized programs, in other beautiful locations in British Columbia, including: Invermere – Panorama, Nelson, Snowwater, Red Mountain, Sicamous, Revelstoke, Vernon, Galena, Meadow Creek, Valemount, Crescent Spur, Atlin; on the Pacific coast: Bella Coola, Terrace, Stewart, Smithers, Whistler-Blackcomb; Lake Louise and Jasper in Alberta.
> Heli-skiing weeks based in the lodge.
Other ski touring trips in Canada:
-> Rocky Mountains: Yoho National Park, Wapta Icefield and Columbia Glacier (Bow Valley, Alberta)
-> Expedition to Mount Logan and Mount St. Elias
-> Arctic expedition to Baffin Island
-> Arctic expedition to the island of Ellesmere
-> Raid – crossings in the Coast Mountains: Homathko Icefield, Garibaldi traverse, Lillooet Icefield, Mount Waddington.
-> Consult Avalco Travel for a customized program or a special project.
Trip dates, Duration, Departure
The period of time given in the trip description sheet is indicatively the most recommended for optimun conditions for the planned activities. Different periods are possible, especially during season with special climate situations. Duration is referred to the “standard” programme as per description sheet, however it could change according to the local conditions and/or the team’s requirements. If the trip is included in the Scheduled Trips list (yearly planner), the departure date is the one given in the planner; otherwise it will be decided according to the requests we have received. In any case we suggest to contact us for more precise information. In customized trips, departure date and duration are established according to customer’s request
By means of the scores given in the trip decsription sheet we wish to provide an indicative assessment of the challenges to be expected, divided in the following three categories:
Grade 1: adult performing a minimum sport activity (4-8 hours/week), or teenager in medium fitness conditions
Grade 2: adult performing sport activity (8-16 hours/week) or teenager in good fitness conditions
Grade 3: adult performing regular sport activity (16-20 hours/week) or teenager in very good fitness conditions
Grade 4: adult only, regularly performing sport activity and intense training (more than 20 hours/week)
Grade1: no prior experience in the activity is required, just a natural predisposition
Grade 2: prior experience in the activity as beginner to medium level
Grade 3: prior experience in the activity at medium to high level, with regular practice since min. 3-5 years
Grade 4: excellent technical skills with long experience in the activity (more than 5 years)
Grade 1: no prior experience in adventure travel id required, just a positive attitude to adapt
Grade 2: prior, yet limited, experience in adventure travel, with a strong attitude to adapt and determination
Grade 3: prior experience in adventure travel including remote area and wilderness, or extreme wheather, or uncertainty in route finding
Grade 4: prior experience in adventure travel including remote area and wilderness, or extreme wheather, or uncertainty in route finding, strong determination to overcome unforeseen events
The type of accomodation as planned is indicated in the trip sheet (hotel, lodge, tents, etc..).
The means of local transfers are indicated as planned (flight, bus, 4WD vehicle, ferry, etc.). Some changes are possible in relation to the actual availability on site and/or the terrain and wheather conditions.
Service included and Prices
We do not have a price list. Quotes are sent on request only. Details of services included, excluded, or optionally available, will be specified in the quote and confirmed at the time of booking. Prices depend on number of participants and on the specific requirements of the group. They will be definitely set at the time of booking after definiton of all trip details and confirmation of dates. Special prices can be granted according to number of participants, and/or for pre-established groups, clubs and associations, guides with own clients, active athletes, tour operators and travel agents, journalists, physicians, rescue operators, schools, staff of organization running an humanitarian or research project.