December to early May
Calgary is only 1.5 hours away
Beginner to advanced
Endless options and epic terrain await in Banff National Park
Summit a peak before skiing down numerous alpine slopes, between trees and open glades, all the way down to valley bottom! Nestled in vast, pristine and protected wilderness, Banff National Park, Canada’s oldest national park, has such rich and vibrant cultural and natural history that it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. The area hosts three resorts within the iconic Canadian Rockies, offering every kind of run imaginable, making Banff the epicentre of Rockies ski tours. Explore a whole array of breathtaking and challenging landscapes, from 11,000+ feet ascents to massive glaciers and icefields.
Most Popular Itineraries
Private Intro to Backcountry Skiing
If you are tired of the crowded resorts and wish to experience something more adventurous, backcountry skiing is the perfect solution. Let your guide take you to the most beautiful spots in Banff National Park. Master the basic moves and techniques, and learn about safety and risk mitigation, so you can soon enjoy more advanced trails on your own.
A Customized Day of Private Guided Backcountry Skiing
The Banff area offers an array of alpine slopes and unique and challenging terrains. Don’t waste your days by trying to find the best lines — let your guide show you the best powder stashes and most stunning peaks. Whether it’s deeper in the backcountry, around Lake Louise, Sunshine Village or exploring the hidden gems of the nearby Mt. Norquay, let a guide do all the planning for you and make the most of your ski day!
Advanced Tours & Ski Mountaineering
Advanced riders will be thrilled with the consistent snow conditions, plenty of bluebird days and limitless terrain with fresh champagne powder. If an image likes this pumps you up, then Banff is your skiing Disneyland. Challenging and cruisy runs, steep lines and open slopes will quench your thirst for the ultimate thrill rides.
Things you need to know
Covid measures in Banff National Park
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, guides and the communities they’re travelling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Banff, please refer to the official Alberta website.
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!
Why should I book with 57hours?
With us, it’s all play and no work for you! 57hours is an open platform that connects you with trained and certified outdoor adventure professionals all over the world. Using our tech-savvy, we make it super easy to find and book adventures worth tackling, with guides worth booking, all gathered from the first-hand experiences of the locals who adventure in these amazing locations.
Why should I go backcountry skiing?
Nothing beats the rush you’ll get from laying down first tracks on an incredible route with nothing but endless terrain laying before you. Alpine peaks, open bowls, steep and secluded tree shots, cruisy, mellow runs — it’s all out there waiting to be explored in the backcountry. You’ll spend less time waiting in chairlift lines and more time skiing, so leave the crowded resort behind and head off-piste for some of the best powder you’ll ever experience!
What can I expect from skiing with a guide?
A certified ski guide will take all of the guesswork out of your time in the backcountry. From tour planning to route selection, terrain management, avalanche safety, and gear knowledge, your guide’s expertise and backcountry experience will ensure you have an unforgettable ski touring adventure. It doesn’t matter your skill level, whether you’ve never backcountry skied or you’re seasoned on the slopes, skiing with a guide has its advantages. Your techniques will sharpen, you’ll learn how to navigate terrain safely, make smart decisions, and most of all, you’ll remain safe in unfamiliar terrain.
What if I’ve never backcountry skied before?
Backcountry skiing isn’t just for pros looking for the ultimate thrill ride, it’s also beginner friendly, meaning anyone with blue level resort experience can have fun in the backcountry. If you’ve never backcountry skied before, heading out with a guide is your best bet. They’ll take care of the planning, introduce you to the basics, like skinning uphill, and teach you how to manage the terrain. They also have the experience and avalanche training to keep you safe.
What you get in this adventure:
- An experienced, certified ski guide with extensive knowledge of the area
- A full day of backcountry ski touring
What’s not included:
- Technical backcountry ski touring equipment
- Trip insurance
- Transportation and lodging
- Food and meals
- Fees for Banff National Park (entry and service fee)
- Lift tickets for Sunshine Village, Lake Louise or Mt. Norquay, if necessary
How fit do I need to be?
In order to enjoy this backcountry adventure, you need to have a moderate level of fitness. You will be on your feet for a full day. While there is terrain for all skill levels in Banff, you will need to manage controlled descents in variable conditions. All participants should feel comfortable on blue level resort runs and be able to carry a loaded daypack while skinning up variable degrees of terrain.
What equipment do I need to bring?
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:
- Sunglasses or ski goggles
- Gloves and hat
- Wind and waterproof shell jacket with hood (Gore-tex recommended)
- Ski pants (Gore-tex recommended)
- Down jacket or vest
- 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 1L of water
- Thermos with a warm beverage — optional
- Food you can eat on-the-go
- First-aid kit
- Daypack large enough to carry all items listed (around a 30-40L backpack)
- Camera — optional
Can I rent equipment?
All mandatory gear can be rented if you don’t have your own. You can rent:
Ski rental locations are in Banff or Canmore, AB, 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.
What’s the itinerary?
Your backcountry ski tour will be fully customized to match your skill level and objectives. You and your guide will discuss route selection, skills development, and whatever else you’d like to focus on. From there, your guide will plan the perfect day tailored just for you taking into consideration factors such as weather and snow conditions.
Depending on your objectives, full days may start earlier and end later, but in general, your day will look like this:
- 8:00 am: Meet your guide at the guide’s recommended location
- 8:30 am: Head to the location of your backcountry ski tour
- 9:00 am – 4:00 pm: Gear up, go over safety considerations, and spend the day backcountry skiing on routes selected to best suit your group, stopping for lunch and breaks as needed
- 4:00 pm: Back to the cars for debriefing and high fives
What is the minimum age requirement?
- Everybody over the age of 18 is welcome to book this backcountry skiing adventure.
- Minors may be permitted to join private tours on a case-by-case basis. If you plan to ski with anyone under the age of 18, please contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.
What about group sizes and pricing?
For this adventure, the max client to guide ratio is 6:1.
The cost per person decreases as the group grows, so it’s the perfect opportunity to backcountry ski with friends and family.
Ski touring in Banff, AB, can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.
What about bad weather?
Mitigating avalanche risk is paramount for any excursion in the backcountry — that’s why it’s best to tour with a guide! Rest assured, your guide will set objectives that are attainable for the weather conditions on that particular day. Of course, inclement weather can always get in the way of backcountry skiing, but your guide will know the best course of action to take if the weather takes a turn.
On the rare occasion of truly bad weather, your guide will present you with suitable, safe alternatives. The most common practice is to move to a nearby location if it exists, or to reschedule your backcountry ski tour to a more favorable day.
If backcountry skiing is not possible on your scheduled day and no options presented are viable, you will be issued a full refund.
Do I need an insurance policy?
We highly recommended that you cover all your bases with both emergency medical and travel insurance. With medical insurance, if you have an accident or medical emergency on or off the mountain, you’ll avoid paying out of pocket for costly expenses. This covers everything from hospital treatments to emergency air transportation and more.
As we’ve recently seen, travel plans can be abruptly halted, so it’s a good idea to purchase travel insurance that covers cancelled flights, natural disasters and other scenarios that may interrupt your travel plans. For peace of mind, we suggest you consider both options of insurance.
If you need assistance selecting the right insurance for your group, let us know and we will be happy to help!
With 57hours, you benefit from both our own cancellation policy as well as that of the individual guiding service that delivers your adventure. All policies regarding cancellation will be clearly laid out by your guide after booking your adventure, but rest assured that our own cancellation policy will work on top of what is provided by your guide.
For this adventure, 57hours offers a Strict Cancellation Policy, which states:
Strict: If Client cancels the Booking anytime prior to thirty (30) calendar days in advance of the trip contemplated by the booking, Client is entitled to a refund in the amount of fifty percent (50%) of the total amount paid when Booking. After that deadline, Client is not entitled to any refund.
For more information on terms and conditions, please visit our Terms of Service page.
Getting there and meeting location
Calgary International Airport is located around 1.5 hours from Banff and 2 hours from Lake Louise. From there you can rent a car or take a shuttle service providing hourly transport from the Calgary Airport to the Bow Valley – Canmore, Banff, and Lake Louise.
Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet, whether that’s at the guide shop or a predetermined location. From there, you’ll head to your tour. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ski ability of the group.