Explore Backcountry Skiing at the Burnie Glacier Chalet

Any level
8 days
All ages
1–5 people
Overview

Tempted by the big lines and adventure of backcountry skiing? At the Burnie Glacier Chalet in British Columbia, you'll have tons of memories of incredible runs, wonderful food, the magic of lodge living. Welcome to catered living and big mountain skiing.


Guided backcountry skiing at the Burnie Glacier Chalet

There’ll be lots of cold, deep snow and get ready for lots of skiing in the trees this time of year. It’s not rare to have conditions that allow for some big alpine trips, too. The terrain appeals to stronger skiers as it has many demanding, glaciated lines, rugged peaks and excellent tree skiing for stormy days. Big, stable snow packs are the norm from December to May.

The warm, brightly-lit lodge is a wonderful base after a big day of backcountry skiing. The meals are top-notch, too.

Other things to keep in mind

Rental skis, skins, ski crampons, beacons, probes and shovels are available, but we recommend you bring your own as we may not have your size.

We will weigh your luggage. It can’t be heavier than 15 kg (33 lb.), excluding skis, snowshoes, or snowboards. Bring ski clothing and a set of comfortable clothes to change into. See the equipment list below.

Avoid bringing a large ski bag with lots of stuff in it. Those bags are awkward to fit into the Dash-8 airplane that serves Smithers and will be the first to be left behind. Use a small ski bag only, or use Air Canada’s plastic wrap.

We recommend that you bring ski crampons, particularly if you come after the middle of March. We have some available, but not for all bindings and sizes.

A little information about the lodge

Many friends and I built the mountain refuge in 2001. It is on the Kwees house territory of the Tsayu clan of the Wet’suwet’en, who graciously gave permission. Everything had to fly: the wood beams and timbers, the concrete, the windows, the furniture, the roofing, everything down to the last nail. The nearest road is 20 km and two mountain ridges away. The lodge sleeps eleven guests, two guides, and one cook. The lodge is heated with wood and has running water in addition to a small hydro turbine fed by a nearby mountain spring.

Travel details
  • Daily flights from Vancouver on Air Canada Jazz
  • Passenger service on VIA Rail
  • Drive 4 hours from either Prince George or Prince Rupert on Highway 16
  • Check Air Canada’s schedules and fares well before you plan to travel
  • No need to rent a car when you get to Smithers. We get you from the airport to the Chalet!

It is just a short taxi ride across the town of Smithers to the Stork Nest Inn. It’s in easy walking distance of bars and restaurants. The Silver King Helicopters hangar is at the airport.

We recommend that you fly in the night before and stay in Smithers. In the event some of your luggage arrives late, there won’t be any problems. You can easily catch the evening flight out on the afternoon of your departure. The afternoon flight from Vancouver to Smithers is also easily reached if you come from overseas and arrive in Vancouver by early afternoon.

Where we are
Class Location
British Columbia
Meeting Location
Burnie Glacier Chalet
What's included
  • Flight to and from the lodge
  • All meals and snacks
  • Your accommodation at the lodge
  • Bedding is provided
  • Harness (available)
  • 1 locking carabiner (available)
  • 1 normal carabiner
  • Transceiver, probe, shovel (available)
  • Light ice axe (available)

Not included in the price:

  • Airfare to Smithers, BC
  • Your stay in Smithers
  • Alcoholic beverages at the lodge
  • Your personal equipment
  • 12% Harmonized Sales Tax.
Equipment
  • Please leave your ski bags at the hangar or the hotel in Smithers. They take up a lot of space and are unnecessary
  • Large day backpack (at least 30 litres) and duffel
  • 2 sets ski underwear - merino or poly, no cotton
  • 2 pairs of socks
  • 2 light fleece sweaters
  • 1 pile or fleece jacket
  • 1 shell jacket with hood (water resistant and breathable, hard or soft shell)
  • ski pants and gaiters if necessary
  • light down jacket or puffy
  • personal first aid kit and medications
  • glacier sunglasses
  • ski goggles
  • warm hat or toque, balaclava
  • sun hat, sun protection for skin and lips
  • good warm ski gloves, thinner gloves for climbing, warm mitts
  • thermos bottle
  • map and compass (optional, 1: 50,000 93 L/5 Burnie Lake, a 1:25,000 map is available at the lodge and at Interior Stationery in Smithers)
  • camera, toothbrush, sponge, soap etc.
    slippers or camp booties, snow boots
    headlamp
  • casual clothes for wearing at the chalet
  • skis, skins, ski crampons, ski strap (available)
  • harness (available)
  • 1 locking carabiner (available)
  • 1 normal carabiner
  • transceiver, probe, shovel (available)
  • ski mountaineering boots
  • light ice axe (available)
Why book through 57hours?

We’re an adventure loving, rock climbing, tech company that loves all things outdoors-y. Why spend days looking for the right guide and adrenaline rush, when we can (and already did) do it for you? Want a serious guide for a challenging backcountry tour? We know a bunch. How about a guide to show you around the Alps? Check. Maybe your kids want to ski and won’t stop going on about it until you book them a trip. Yes, we know guides who are great for beginners, too. Oh, yeah, every guide we know prioritizes SAFETY and FUN. Book with 57hours, we’ve done your work for you. You’re welcome.

Guides running this program

Christoph Dietzfelbinger

Christoph loves skiing, climbing and being in the mountains. This has been his passion since he was 15. His excitement is as keen as it always was, only now with 35 years of experience to share.

In the 1980s, Christoph was lucky enough to climb and guide many of the great rock and ice routes of the Alps: the north face of Lalidererspitze and the southwest face of Marmolata, the Brenva Spur on Montblanc and the northeast face of Piz Roseg.

Lured to northern Canada by the promise of wilderness and ever-new vistas, he guided Denali (Mt. McKinley) three times in the 1990s and spent much time in remote places like the Stikine Icecap and the Saint Elias Mountains.

In the northwest region of Canada where he lives, he expanded into fields where there was little local expertise available.

Chris developed and ran avalanche safety programs for mines and roads. He is now a Qualified Avalanche Planner consulting with any industry on their avalanche safety plans.

Christoph has also spent several winters heliskiing.

In 2001, he built the spectacular Burnie Glacier Chalet in the Howson Range with wood from local forests and the help of many dedicated and skillful friends.

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