Top three reasons to backcountry ski in Whistler
Discover untouched powder in a world-class destination
A great family destination, there is terrain for all skill levels
With an abundance of tree skiing, alpine meadows and steep chutes, you’ll find it all in Whistler
Skiing adventures begin in Whistler’s backcountry. With plenty of tree skiing, alpine meadows and steep chutes, you’ll find options for all skill levels, including fantastic beginner terrain just beyond the Whistler Blackcomb resort boundaries. For intermediate and advanced skiers, the options are endless. Stunning views combined with light, perfect powder make Whistler the go-to option for skiing on the West Coast. Discover why Whistler is one of the best places to backcountry skii in Canada with a certified guide showing you the best powder stashes the area is famous for.
December through April
Book as many days as you want
Vancouver, BC is 1.5 hours away
Beginner to advanced
Choose how you spend your days
Private Intro to Backcountry Skiing
Whistler is the perfect place to take your resort skills out of bounds. New backcountry skiers will be introduced to suitable terrain under the care of an experienced guide. Learn about route finding, avalanche safety and risk management all while staying safe and being shown the best kept secrets just outside the Whistler ski area. Powder stashes, alpine bowls and gladed runs are waiting just for you.
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
Your day of private ski touring with a certified guide will be tailored to your skiing objectives and pace. With a multitude of bowls, glaciers and gladed runs to choose, even the most adventurous appetites will be satisfied. Take advantage of the incredible knowledge that local guides have and find untracked powder on the east flank of Oboe, Flute Backside, or any of the dozens of other areas for an incredible day in Whistler.
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
For those seeking a challenge on some big mountain lines in the backcountry, Whistler’s backcountry is the place for you. Whether it’s Fissile Peak, where you’ll be rewarded with challenging, glaciated alpine terrain, or classic lines on Cowboy Ridge, you can look forward to experiencing some big ascents in the most magnificent off-piste conditions. Let a guide customize the perfect day to suit your big objectives.
Meet your guides
ACMG Ski Guide, ACMG Apprentice Alpine and Rock GuideACMG Ski Guide, ACMG Apprentice Alpine and Rock Guide
ACMG Ski Guide, ACMG Apprentice Alpine and Rock Guide · 11 years of experience
IFMGA/AMGA Rock, Alpine and Ski GuideIFMGA/AMGA Rock, Alpine and Ski Guide
IFMGA/AMGA Rock, Alpine and Ski Guide · 18 years of experience
Black Sheep AdventuresBlack Sheep Adventures
Black Sheep Adventures
Altus Mountain GuidesAltus Mountain Guides
IFMGA/ACMG Certified Guides
Altus Mountain Guides
IFMGA/ACMG Certified Guides
I’ve use Monte (head guide at Black Sheep) for 2 seasons now for backcountry ski-touring. He’s very experienced, inspires confidence, and ensures you develop your skills as you go while feeling safe. He’s also highly capable of finding fine powder lines, great views, and good company to ski with. Can’t recommend him enough.
My son and I did a two-day crevasse rescue course with Monte and Dan; two experienced and friendly guys who know their stuff. Good info that advanced our abilities and inspired confidence for future endeavors. Two weeks after completing the course my son and I climbed Sky Pilot, something I’d been wanting to do for years but had avoided because of the snow-slope approach, which we had no problem with thanks to our newly developed skills. Go for it!
Things to know
COVID-19 measures in Whistler
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 Whistler, please refer to the Tourism Whistler 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
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 Whistler, 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 can be rented locally from Escape Route or Premium Mountain
- Alpine touring or telemark skis, touring boots and poles can be rented locally from Escape Route or Premium Mountain
- Splitboards can be rented locally from Escape Route or Premium Mountain
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.
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:
- Wind and waterproof shell jacket with hood (Gore-tex recommended)
- Ski pants (Gore-tex recommended)
- Synthetic or wool base layers, underwear and socks
- Down jacket or vest
- Gloves and hat
- 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
- Food you can eat on-the-go
- Sunglasses or ski goggles
- First-aid kit
- Daypack large enough to carry all items listed (around a 30-45L bag)
- Camera — optional
Group sizes and age requirements
Groups and pricing:
- For this adventure, the max client to guide ratio is 4:1.
- The cost per person decreases as the group grows, so it’s the perfect opportunity to backcountry ski with friends and family. A deposit of $250 per booking is needed to secure your spot. The balance of payment is due one month prior to the departure date.
- Ski touring in Whistler 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 Whistler, most people fly into Vancouver International Airport. From there, you can rent a car or take a shuttle service the 1.5 hours north to Whistler.
Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet, usually at a local cafe, your accommodations or the ski area.