Backcountry Skiing in the Canadian Rockies

Canadian Rockies | Alberta
5.00
5 REVIEWS
Trip Highlights

Top three reasons to go skiing in the Canadian Rockies

  • Trip Highlight

    Enjoy Lake Louise’s family-friendly tree skiing and alpine bowls

  • Trip Highlight

    Challenge yourself on Golden’s deep chutes and pillow lines

  • Trip Highlight

    Find refuge from the resort crowds in Canada’s breathtaking backcountry

Year after year, Western Canada draws tens of thousands of alpine adventurers to their snow-capped slopes in Alberta and British Columbia. To aviod the crowds, the craftier skiers have taken to the backcountry to explore the finest terrain, ride the freshest powder, and enjoy the greatest views. Canada’s National Parks – such as Baniff’s famous Highway 93N or Yoho’s Emerald Lake – give easy access to alpine and treeline tours in the Canadian Rockies. The Kootenays offers top-notch treeline skiing on dry powder. Revelstoke boasts North America’s longest vertical slope. Whistler Blackcomb houses some of the most complex and challenging glacier descents and couloirs in Canada. Wherever you turn, you see a deep chute, an alpine bowl, or a scenic glading route just begging to be skied. Beginner or veteran, adrenaline junkie or calm crusier – the Canadian Rockies can accommodate just about anyone. Find out more about the best backcountry skiing locations in Canada from Greg Hill, ACMG ski guide extraordinaire.

Season

Mid-November through March

Nearest city

Calgary, AB, Vancouver and Kelowna, BC

Duration

1 or more days

Skill level

Beginner to advanced

Itineraries

Choose how you spend your days

A Customized Day of Backcountry Skiing in the Canadian Rockies

Full-day

Whether you’re in for a one-day Rockies taster or a week-long backcountry expedition, this tailor-made ski tour is just what you need! Let your ACMG/IFMGA-certified guide pick out the perfect route for you based on your skill level and the current conditions. Put your skills to the test on the Canadian Rockies’ classic objectives, such as Bow Summit, Crowfoot Mountain, Mammoth’s Head, and many more!

Guided Backcountry Group Tour in Lake Louise

Full-day

Join your ACMG guide for a one-day backcountry splitboarding or skiing tour in the Canadian Rockies! Take on Lake Louise’s top-notch one-day objectives and push your backcountry skills to the next level. Learn from professionals, ski with other adventure-minded individuals, and get in some great runs!

Reviews

Reviews (5)

Stuart Conolly about Jeff Bullock on 57hours

Jeff Bullock is a remarkable mountain guide, with more than 25 years experience.. His professionalism is apparent from day one and it gave us confidence to tackle some big mountains is remote territory. In addition Jeff is a very friendly and a generous person who is easy-going and fun to talk with about lots of things. I have the highest regard for him.

Eric D. about Sawback Alpine Adventures on Guide’s website

Tom is a top-notch guide! In addition to delivering a great ski touring trip, he is a fun person to hang out with back at the lodge. I feel safe touring with Tom.

Dean P. about Sawback Alpine Adventures on Guide’s website

My family and I had the adventure of a lifetime. It was an incredible experience and Sawback did an excellent job. We would highly recommend the trip and Tom to everyone.

Karl M. about Alpine Air Adventures on Facebook

The backcountry awaits! Could be just over that ridge. You’ll never know unless you get a guide to show you! I took a one-day peak beyond the well-known slopes of Lake Louise with my awesome guide. Someone once told me riding those lines is like flying—and it is totally true! I’ll be back for more.

Jack P. H. about Alpine Air Adventures on Facebook

My partner Jen and I had 2 days splitboarding in the Lake Louise area with AAA. Jeff and Tamara were both super friendly and easy to get along with as well as extremely professional and knowledgeable. Both days were exactly what we had hoped for and more, and we were able to learn so much from Jeff and Tamara’s expertise on the mountain. We had some of the best runs of our lives and will definitely contact Jeff and AAA when we are next in Banff for more adventures.

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Things to know

Things to know

Covid measures in the Canadian Rockies, Alberta

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 Alberta’s Canadian Rockies, please refer to Alberta’s COVID-19 travel requirements.

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!

What’s included?

What you get in this adventure:

    • An experienced, certified ski guide with extensive knowledge of the area
    • One or more days of backcountry skiing
    • Avy Gear rental

What’s not included:

    • Technical backcountry ski touring equipment
    • Transportation
    • Food and snacks
    • Accommodations
    • Powder Pass

How fit do I need to be?

To enjoy these backcountry adventures, you need to be in excellent physical shape. You will be on your feet for 4-8 hours a day, covering miles upon miles of terrain. 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.

What if I’ve never backcountry skied before?

To participate in this tour, you need to have previous powder skiing experience. You will be skiing, touring, and summiting on glaciated terrain for 4-8 hours every day. Your guide will take care of the planning, oversee your technique, and teach you how to better manage the terrain. They also have the experience and avalanche training necessary to keep you safe.

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)
    • Locking and non-locking carabiners (for advanced touring)
    • Cord and sewn sling (for advanced touring)
    • Ski crampons (for advanced touring)
    • Avalanche safety equipment (can be rented):
      • Digital, 3-antenna avalanche transceiver or beacon
      • Lightweight snow shovel
      • Avalanche probe
      • Harness for glacier travel (for advanced touring)

For personal items, we recommend bringing:

    • Helmet
    • Sunglasses and ski goggles
    • Warm hat
    • Sun hat
    • Neck tube or balaclava
    • Waterproof gloves or mitts
    • 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
    • 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 and small blister kit
    • Toiletries
    • Pocket knife
    • Sunscreen and lip balm
    • Sleeping bag (if booking several days)
    • Daypack large enough to carry all items listed (around a 30-45L backpack)
    • Camera — optional

Can I rent equipment?

All mandatory gear can be rented if you don’t have your own. You can rent:

    • Avalanche safety pack, including backpack, beacon, shovel, and probe from GearUp
    • Alpine touring or telemark skis, touring boots, and poles can be rented from GearUp
    • Splitboards can be rented from GearUp

Some more advanced outings may require the use of ski crampons, carabiners, and glacier travel gear. Your guide will provide a more detailed gear list before the trip.
Ski rental locations are in 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.

Group sizes and age requirements

Group sizes and pricing:

    • For these adventures, the usual client-to-guide ratio is 8:1. All prices are per person.
    • Cost is per person and it doesn’t decrease as the group grows.

Backcountry skiing in the Canadian Rockies 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.

Getting there and meeting location

  • To get to the Canadian Rockies, most people fly into Calgary International Airport 1 hour away. From there, you can rent a car or take a bus or shuttle service.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. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ability of the group.
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