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You can never go wrong with a heli-accessed lodge in the western (read: deeper!) side of the Canadian Rockies. British Columbia needs no introduction when it comes to its deep powder, but it gets even better when you know ski days are guaranteed—even if the weather plays tricks on you, you’ll always have plenty of terrain options. Based in the Mistaya Lodge, either enjoy a week of backcountry skiing or use your days to upgrade your skills to AIARE Level 2—it’s up to you. And the Mistaya really is as good as it gets: snuggly nestled among lofty conifer trees at 6,700 feet, your home for the week offers unparalleled views of tranquil peaks, glaciers, alpine, and subalpine meadows. After spending the day in untouched snow, retreat back to your lodge with a private chef, wood-fired sauna, and cozy atmosphere.

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Adventure highlights

  • Premium backcountry access

    Your lodge is ideally positioned, offering countless day tours on varied terrain

  • Upgrade to AIARE 2 or simply shred powder

    Choice between a week of AIARE 2 and ski touring, or simply enjoy a week of just touring

  • Cozy wooden lodge on a lake

    Enjoy an all-inclusive experience in a spacious wooden lodge with a private chef

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Available itineraries

AIARE Level 2 Avalanche Course at the Mistaya Lodge

Jamming the AIARE 2 course into 3 packed days is possible, but why rush it? Take your time testing new skills in the Canadian Rockies with a week-long level 2 course and a luxe lodge as your base. With more than enough time to sharpen new skills alongside your professional guide, there’s no room for pressure. After a day out in the deep snowpack of Canadian Rockies, return to your Mistaya lodge, where a cozy living room, a wood-fired sauna, and freshly prepared warm meals await.

  • Meet your guides in Golden, BC. Following a quick briefing and equipment check, enjoy a 20-minute flight to the Mistaya Lodge, your home for the week. You’ll spend your days learning and touring in Wildcat Creek Basin, a remote region of the Canadian Rockies that lies along the Continental Divide. Once you get settled in, your guide will take you through a safety briefing. Spend the rest of the day touring or enjoying the lodge.

    Snow Covering Pine Tree Woods in British Columbia.
  • The idea of the trip is not to rush your AIARE 2 course, but rather to have enough time to apply new skills on British Columbia’s unparalleled terrain with no rush. Not only do you get to spend 8 days shredding pristine powder in a remote region of Canada, but you also get to walk away from this adventure feeling more confident and safer out in the backcountry. Your guides will do their best to transfer all their avalanche knowledge, and you’ll get to comfortably test it over the course of a week.

    AIARE level 2 avalanche course at the Mistaya Lodge.
  • Following a week in the Canadian Rockies, it’s time to pack up and leave your lodge. Just a brief heli ride, and you’re back in Golden. It’s time to say goodbye to your amazing team and catch a flight back home.

    Backcountry skiers climb snowy Canadian Rockies.
Ski Touring Week at the Mistaya Lodge

Mistaya Lodge is a heli-accessed backcountry chalet, one of the finest ones in Canada. It sits just beneath towering alpine spires, it’s surrounded by lush conifer woodlands, and it’s next to the world-famous Banff and Yoho national parks—making this the perfect base for an 8-day ski touring adventure. Snow or shine, you’ll always have countless terrain options to spend your days on, either in open forest or out in the open on glaciers. The British Columbia snowpack needs no introduction, and your IFMGA Mountain Guides will make sure to find perfect, untouched touring spots, minimize risks, and help you reach your objectives. End your days in the cozy Mistaya, relish delicious dinner cooked by a private chef or unwind in a sauna.

  • Meet your guides and your team at around 8 am in Golden, BC. Following a quick briefing and equipment check, enjoy a 20-minute heli flight to the Mistaya Lodge, your home for the week. You’ll spend your days ski touring the western (and deeper) side of the Canadian Rockies. Once you’re settled in, your guide will take you through a safety briefing. Spend the rest of the day touring and enjoying your cozy lodge, which is snuggly nestled by a lake and surrounded by conifer trees.

    Snow Covering Pine Tree Woods in British Columbia.
  • Start your days with a cup of coffee with unparalleled views of Canadian wilderness. Ski out the door and explore this area, practically made for backcountry skiers. To the east are the world-famous national parks, Banff and Yoho. On stormy days, you can ski amongst open forests and protected glades. And when there are stable, bluebird conditions, your lodge is ideally positioned close to 7 glaciers nearby and spectacular scenery. After skiing, you’ll be up for a quick appetizer and you can then retreat to a wood-fired sauna (and bucket shower!) before dinner. Early to bed, wake up, repeat. This is Canadian hut skiing at its finest.

    Skier in BC Mistaya
  • Following a week in the Canadian Rockies, it’s time to pack up and leave your lodge. Just a brief heli ride, and you’re back in Golden. It’s time to say goodbye to your amazing team and catch a flight back home.

    One skier near Mistaya in BC
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Meet your guide

The Mountain Bureau
The Mountain Bureau
The Mountain Bureau is a craft mountain guiding service, rooted in the North Cascades, focusing on quality mountain guiding with highly skilled professionals. Their mission is to provide safe, high-value climbing and skiing experiences for their clients. Whether you’re just beginning to explore the mountains or building on years of experience, they will help you take it to the next level. The Mountain Bureau provides a sustainable work environment, using credentialed guides, and they strive to protect the environment through educational partnerships. They have spent decades climbing and skiing the world, and are proud to offer a unique approach forged by years of experience.

Things to know

  • What you get on this adventure:

      • An experienced, certified AIARE instructor and/or IFMGA Mountain Guide with extensive knowledge of the area
      • Depending on the chosen itinerary:
        • 8-day learn & ski at the Mistaya Lodge (AIARE Level 2 avalanche course)
        • 8-day ski touring adventure at the Mistaya Lodge
      • AIARE level 2 avalanche course (if you’re choosing the AIARE Level 2 Avalanche Course at Mistaya Lodge)
      • Helicopter transportation from Golden, BC, to the lodge and back
      • Lodge accommodations for the duration of the tour
      • All meals and non-alcoholic drinks for the duration of the tour
      • Private chef

    What’s not included:

      • Technical backcountry ski touring equipment
      • Transportation to and from Golden, BC
      • Insurance — Uniglobe Travel Link or Global Rescue are both reputable providers
      • Guide gratuities — optional
  • Regarding both the AIARE Level 2 option and the ski touring option at the Mistaya Lodge, you need to be in excellent physical shape. You will be on your feet for 5 to 8 hours for 8 days, gaining anywhere between 2,000 to 6,000 ft (610-1,830 m). The exact numbers depend on weather, psych levels, and snow conditions. You will need to manage controlled descents in variable conditions. All participants should feel comfortable on challenging blue or black-level resort runs and be able to carry a loaded daypack while skinning up variable degrees of terrain.

    Prerequisites for participating in AIARE Level 2 Avalanche Course at Mistaya Lodge:
    An AIARE 1 Course (strongly recommended) or equivalent Level 1 training is required, as well as an AIARE Avalanche Rescue Course. Although it is not required, it is suggested that you have had at least a year of backcountry travel experience after the Level 1 course before taking the AIARE 2 course. Participants must have the ability to travel in avalanche terrain.

  • These adventures are not suitable for beginners. You should have several seasons of ski touring experience and strong fitness. For the AIARE Level 2 Avalanche Course at Mistaya Lodge, you should have also completed a level 1 avalanche course as well as the AIARE Companion Rescue course.

  • Here’s what you’ll learn:

      • Differentiate where specific avalanche hazards exist within the landscape and identify avalanche terrain where consequences may be more severe.
      • Use and interpret weather, snow, and avalanche observations to locate appropriate terrain prior to entering and while in the field.
      • Demonstrate leadership skills within a small team that include facilitating small group discussion, promoting appropriate terrain selection, and utilizing simple risk management strategies.
      • Implement a basic forecasting framework that can be used in conjunction with and in the absences of local supporting avalanche information.
  • The Mistaya Lodge is a heli-accessed backcountry lodge sitting at 6,700 ft elevation (2,045m) in the Canadian Rockies. Due to its sustainable solar and microhydropower systems, the lodge bears minimum impact on the pristine surrounding environment. The Mistaya oozes a perfect blend of luxury and coziness, making anyone feel at home. With seven spacious bedrooms, indoor washrooms, a large kitchen, a sauna bath house, and a big sun deck, your only worry on this trip will be choosing the window with the best view.

    Kick off your days with a cup of coffee in your hand, marveling at million-dollar views of surrounding peaks and glaciers. If you’re worried about food, don’t be! An amazing private chef will come along, preparing delicious meals for you every day. We’re happy to accommodate special dietary requirements, but let us know in advance.

  • For technical backcountry ski touring gear, you will need to bring:

      • Alpine touring skis, telemark skis or splitboard with skins (can be rented)
      • Touring boots and poles (can be rented)
      • Avalanche safety equipment (can be rented):
        • Digital, 3-antenna avalanche transceiver or beacon
        • Lightweight snow shovel
        • Avalanche probe

    For personal items, we recommend bringing:

      • Ski helmet
      • Sunglasses or ski goggles
      • Sun hat and a beanie/ fleece hat
      • Face mask and neck gaiter
      • Synthetic lightweight gloves, midweight softshell gloves, and heavyweight waterproof gloves
      • Wind and waterproof softshell and fleece jacket with hood
      • Synthetic or down puffy jacket
      • Waterproof shell jacket
      • Lightweight and midweight synthetic or wool base layer tops and bottoms
      • Hardshell pants
      • Synthetic or wool base layers, underwear and socks
      • One triple-action locking carabiner or two conventional locking carabiners
      • Repair kit and Leatherman for your equipment (can be shared between several people)
      • Water bottle and 2L of water
      • Thermos with a warm beverage — optional
      • Food you can eat on-the-go
      • First aid kit — optional
      • Sunscreen and an SPF lip balm
      • Daypack large enough to carry all items listed (around a 30-40L backpack)
      • Camera — optional
  • All mandatory gear can be rented if you don’t have your own. You can rent: 

    Ski rental locations are in Golden and should be picked up the night prior to your outing. If you need to rent gear, let us know and we can help make arrangements.

  • Group sizes and prices:

      • Mistaya Lodge can accommodate up to 12 skiers with a 6:1 guest-to-guide ratio.
      • For the backcountry skiing week at the Mistaya Lodge, the client-to-guide ratio can be as low as 3:1.
      • The cost is per person and doesn’t decrease as the group grows. 

    Ski touring adventures and AIARE Level 2 courses at the Mistaya Lodge can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

    Min. age requirements:

      • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
      • Minors may be permitted to join private tours on a case-by-case basis.

    If your group has skiers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

  • To get to Golden, BC, the starting point of both adventures, fly into Calgary International Airport three hours away. Calgary International Airport has many direct flights and connections to major cities throughout Canada, USA, Europe, Australia, and Asia. From there, you can rent a car or take a bus to Golden.

    We recommend arriving a day early, especially if you’re renting equipment and need to pick it up. Golden offers a variety of hotels, and carpooling is encouraged to arrive in Golden.

    You will meet your guides in the morning of Day 1 at Alpine Helicopters hangar in Golden, BC, at 08:45 am. Guests are limited to 35 lbs. of gear (not including ski boots or skis). Any alcohol
    brought in should be in aluminum cans or a box (wine).

  • 57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity. 

    We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, their guides, and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in British Columbia, please refer to Canada’s COVID-19 travel guidelines and the BC Centre for Disease Control’s COVID-19 travel advisory.

    Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

  • A 50% deposit of the total price is due upon booking. Once your guide confirms your booking, your trip departure is guaranteed and the second payment is due 90 days before the trip.

    If you need to cancel a reservation, please do so in writing. Once your booking is confirmed, you and your Guides enter into financial obligations and they cannot refund payments or release you from your contractual obligations. Therefore, it is highly recommended to buy cancellation insurance to cover your losses in case you can’t participate or have to interrupt your trip “for any reason”.

    Your Guides do reserve the right to change guides, particular lodging, or the itinerary or venue should unforeseen circumstances (guide sickness, hut or route closing, etc.) force them to do so or should the physical condition of the participants, weather or mountain conditions make a continuation as planned too risky. Your Guides will not be deemed to be in default for any delay or failure to perform their obligations under this agreement resulting from acts of God, the elements, war, acts of government, civil or military authorities, natural calamities, catastrophe, fire, flood, accidents, epidemics, shortage of transportation, or any other like events beyond our reasonable control.

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