Top three reasons to backcountry ski in Golden
Escape the crowds and explore incredible light world-class powder
Golden offers miles of off-piste adventures for all skill levels
If you’re looking for vertical, you’ll find it in Golden!
Located in the Selkirk Mountains, just west of the Rockies, Golden offers miles of off-piste adventures for all skill levels — without the usual crowds. Full of possibilities with miles of pristine powder, this small town offers dozens of runs close to town, as well as the fourth-highest vertical drop in North America, of 1,315m (4,314ft). Lift-accessed backcountry skiing from Kicking Horse Mountain Resort lets you spend more time skiing and less time skinning. Let your guide take you to the best untouched powder stashes and explore one of Canada’s best backcountry skiing destinations.
Late November through mid-April
Book as many days as you want
Calgary, AB, is less than 3 hours away; Revelstoke, BC is 1.5 hours away
Beginner to advanced
Most Popular Itineraries
Private Intro to Backcountry Skiing
Explore the thrill of backcountry skiing just off Kicking Horse Mountain Resort and let your guide teach you skills to have you carving more advanced lines in this incredible terrain. Get some experience under your belt and conquer your first off-piste descent! Lift-access gets you where you need to be to start your adventure into the unknown with a guide who will make sure you get the best of your day.
Not sure if you should hire a guide? Listen to our ambassador Greg Hill debate the ultimate question: To be guided or not to be guided?
Powder Skiing for Intermediate and Advanced Skiers
An unlimited array of options await in Golden and your guide will tailor your day of ski touring to suit your skill level and objectives. Enjoy lift-access up to the fourth-highest vertical drop in North America — 3,790 vertical feet — and enjoy spectacular descents with your guide. Find untouched terrains of fresh powder in the Kicking Horse backcountry and enjoy a day on the insanely perfect virgin snow.
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 for introductions and going over the day’s plan
- 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
- 4:30 pm: Back to the cars for debriefing and high fives
Advanced Ski Tours & Mountaineering Objectives
Golden is a paradise for any serious backcountry skier in search of the best champagne powder and complex alpine skiing. Exciting bowls, couloirs and steep chutes with majestic scenery await for those looking for a challenge. Let your guide show you all the best spots in the area to get your blood pumping.
Meet your guides
IFMGA/ACMG Certified Guide
IFMGA/ACMG Certified Guide · 27 years of experience
Sawback Alpine AdventuresSawback Alpine Adventures
Sawback Alpine Adventures
I feel very fortunate to have met Tom several years ago on a trip he was guiding to Burnie Glacier Chalet. I’ve now had the opportunity to ski with Tom extensively, including a week of skiing at Sunrise Lodge in the Esplanade Range this winter, and I will be skiing with him in Svalbard, Norway on his sail & ski trip in a couple of weeks, and I’ve already booked a week long trip to Selkirk Lodge with him in 2020. Having spent countless hours, days, weeks, and months skiing, climbing, and learning from IFMGA guides, I feel confident saying you can’t go wrong with Sawback Alpine Adventures and Tom Wolfe!
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.
Tom was professional, well equipped and well prepared! The snow conditions we experienced at Sunrise Lodge made it imperative to have a guide with experience to keep us safe yet challenged. Hope to ski with Tom and his crew again soon.
Was a blast skiing with Tom!! Tom is a serious and very professional guide, I would be more than happy to take another trip with him. Thanks for all the fun turns.
I’ve done several trips and courses with Tom. He’s a fantastic guide. He has a tonne of knowledge, sets a friendly atmosphere on trips, and really works to make trips as good as he can for everyone on them.
Best skiing of my life! Awesome people, fantastic guides, and superb choice of terrain, and let us not forget all that delicious food. I will come back for more!
Things to know
COVID-19 measures in Golden
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 Golden, please refer to the Tourism Golden 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!
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
- Lift tickets for Kicking Horse Mountain Resort
- Food and snacks
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 Golden, 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.
For the enjoyment and safety of everyone involved, participants must be approved to participate in advanced backcountry skiing tours either through a previous trip with the guiding service or through recommendations.
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 about required equipment and rentals?
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 Higher Ground Sports.
- Alpine touring or telemark skis, touring boots and poles can be rented from Higher Ground Sports.
- Splitboards can also be rented from Higher Ground Sports.
Ski rental location is in Golden, BC, 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.
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 30-45L backpack)
- Camera — optional
Group sizes and age requirements
Groups and pricing:
- For this adventure, the max client to guide ratio is 5:1.
- For advanced ski touring, the recommended client to guide ratio may be lower depending on the objectives of your group.
- 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 Golden can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.
Min. age requirements:
- 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.
Getting there and meeting location
To get to Golden, most people fly into Calgary International Airport, rent a car, and drive three hours to Golden. However, you can take a shuttle service connecting Calgary Airport to Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. Shuttles are operated by BanffShuttle and RiderExpress.
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.