Backcountry Skiing in the Coast Mountains

Coast Mountains | British Columbia
Trip Highlights

Top three reasons to backcountry ski in the Coast Mountains

  • Trip Highlight

    Abundance of high-quality skiing options for intermediate and advanced skiers

  • Trip Highlight

    Take in the stunning views of British Columbia’s rugged wilderness

  • Trip Highlight

    Excellent weather conditions and snowfall guarantee a high-quality backcountry experience

The Coast Mountains’ endless glaciers and deep powder are just begging to be skied. Stretching from the very edges of the Northern Cascades all the way to British Columbia’s grand icefields, there’s so much backcountry here, you may experience choice overload. The conditions are almost always favorable, and the powder is abundant—a fit backcountry adventurer could cover up to 5,000 feet of vertical descent in a day! And if you’re still on the fence about your inevitable trip to the Pacific Province, the views of Canada’s signature untamed wilderness from the many rustic huts and lodges should seal the deal. Find your inner peace and experience true backcountry bliss in British Columbia’s Coast Mountains. Learn more about the best places for backcountry skiing in Canada from Greg Hill, ACMG ski guide extraordinaire.


December through April

Nearest city

Whistler, BC, is 1-1,5 hours away from the trailheads


1 day

Skill level

Intermediate to advanced


Choose how you spend your day

A Customized Day of Private Backcountry Skiing in the Coast Mountains


Round up your friends and family and explore the Coast Mountains on this private backcountry skiing tour customized just for you! You’ll have an experienced local guide all to yourself, meaning that your guide will fully tailor the trip to you. Where to go? What to do? The choice is yours!

A Guided Day of Group Backcountry Skiing in Duffey Lake


Head to Duffey Lake for a full day of classic coastal summit-to-sea backcountry skiing! Let your experienced local guide pick out the perfect ride for your group—there’s a lifetime of excellent slopes to choose from. Enjoy Duffey Lake Provincial Park’s world-class powder and breathtaking lakeside vistas.

A Guided Day of Group Backcountry Skiing in Squamish


Squamish offers great touring opportunities for skiers of all skill levels and abilities—discover the best ones on this one-day backcountry skiing tour! Your seasoned guide will choose the venue based on your group’s fitness levels and proficiency—from the rolling meadows of Paul Ridge to the challenging and engaging terrain of Squamish’s peaks, everyone finds their ideal slope here!


Reviews (3)

Tim E. about Mountain Skills Academy on Tripadvisor

Highly recommended Whistler experience for backcountry skiers/snowboarders. My friend Bruce and I spent a gorgeous day skiing the backcountry adjacent to Whistler Ski Resort with Cam from Whistler Alpine Guides in February 2014. The snow conditions in the resort were not very good, as it hadn’t snowed in a while, but it was cold and clear and we found some amazing wind-deposited powder stashes around Oboe Summit. Cam was a cool guy and a great guide and made sure we hit some good turns and wore us out pretty well. Definitely a highlight of the trip.

benoitleger about Mountain Skills Academy on Tripadvisor

We, a group of 14, were professionally guided by 3 guides of MSAA. (Eric, Alexis, and Kurk) In this to be respected terrain, we felt safe at all times. Our expeditions were well planned, interesting, and respected the needs and abilities of each member of the group. Generosity and good spirits prevailed! Choosing MSAA for an amazing excursion is a no-brainer! Thanks to Eric and the guys!

Damon S. about Mountain Skills Academy on Tripadvisor

SO MUCH FUN!!! This was our (My wife and me) first time venturing out into the backcountry and we had the best time. Heaps of info on Avi awareness, search and rescue techniques, and above all else, awesome skiing! Our guide’s ability to put us in just the right level of terrain was spot on the mark. Very friendly staff, good gear, and very professional. 100% the best days I have spent in Whistler. Will be back for more…

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Things to know

Things to know

Covid measures in the Coast Mountains, British Columbia

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 traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in British Columbia’s Coast Mountains, please refer to British Columbia’s COVID-19 travel advice.

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
    • A full day of backcountry ski touring

What’s not included:

    • Technical backcountry ski touring equipment
    • Accommodation
    • Transportation
    • Food and snacks

How fit do I need to be?

In order to enjoy this backcountry adventure, you need to have very good fitness levels. You will be on your feet for a full day, doing 3-5 runs with up to 5,000 ft of vertical descent, depending on your ability and fitness level. All participants should feel comfortable on challenging blue or black-level resort runs and in a variety of snow conditions. You should also be able to carry a loaded daypack while skinning up variable degrees of terrain.

What if I’ve never backcountry skied before?

This backcountry skiing tour is geared for intermediate, advanced and expert skiers or snowboarders. You will be skiing, touring, and summiting on glaciated terrain for around 8 hours. 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. If you’ve never backcountry skied before, we suggest joining a guide for a beginner-friendly backcountry ski tour in Whistler.

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
      • Lightweight climbing harness for glacier travel

For personal items, we recommend bringing:

    • Helmet
    • Sunglasses and/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
    • Sunscreen
    • 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:

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

Ski rental locations are in Whistler 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:

    • For the Squamish and Duffey Lake tours, the max client-to-guide ratio is 6:1. The cost is per person and it doesn’t decrease as the group grows. A minimum of 3 participants is required for these tours to run.
    • For the private tour, the max client-to-guide ratio is 6:1. For this tour, costs per person decrease as the group grows, so it’s the perfect opportunity to climb with friends and family.

Backcountry skiing in the Coast Mountains 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 British Columbia’s Coast Mountains, most people fly into Vancouver International Airport 1.5 hours north of Whistler, BC. From there, you can rent a car or take a shuttle service to Whistler. It takes about an hour from Whistler to the trailheads.

Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet depending on your touring destinations, whether that’s at the guide shop in Whistler 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.

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