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Backcountry Skiing on the Spearhead Traverse

Spearhead Traverse | British Columbia
5.00
1 REVIEW
Trip Highlights

Top three reasons to ski tour the Spearhead Traverse

  • Trip Highlight

    Enjoy the breathtaking views of Canada’s snow-capped wilderness

  • Trip Highlight

    Take on world-class ski touring objectives on the stunning Spearhead Traverse

  • Trip Highlight

    Ski your heart out on some of British Columbia’s finest and most challenging slopes

The Spearhead Traverse is one of Canada’s most well-known and spectacular ski touring routes. With 13 glaciers, 9 passes, and hundreds of runs spread across 20+ miles (32+ kilometers) of world-class terrain, Spearhead is a ski touring monolith. Due to its excellent quality, this U-shaped traverse is often compared to the world-famous Haute Route. Those are big boots to fill, but Spearhead Traverse doesn’t disappoint—the blend of passes, peaks, and glaciers is extremely engaging. The slopes are steep, challenging, and covered with deep and pristine powder. The views are jaw-dropping and the route maintains a remote and liberating atmosphere throughout. And the best part—the trailhead is basically in Whistler’s backyard, so it’s one of the most accessible ski touring routes out there. Whether you’re looking to up your touring game or just aching for an epic backcountry adventure, you can’t go wrong with the Spearhead Traverse.

Season

March through April

Nearest city

Vancouver, BC, is 1,5 hours away from the trailhead

Duration

3 days

Skill level

Intermediate to advanced

Itineraries

Choose how you spend your day

Group Ski Touring of Spearhead Traverse

3 days

Experience spectacular scenery and even better skiing with this ski tour of the famous Spearhead Traverse. Get ready for three days of pushing your ski touring skills to the next level with an experienced local guide. Spend your days in your touring boots shredding Spearhead and Fitzsimmons Range, and your nights camping in British Columbia’s serene wilderness.

Private Ski Touring of the Spearhead Traverse

3 days

Take your friends and family to the legendary Spearhead Traverse for a three-day ski tour to remember! Travel and camp across 13 6,500+ ft (2,000+ m) glaciers and ride some of Spearhead and Fitzsimmons Range’s finest backcountry slopes. Hone your winter skills in a challenging and engaging environment with an ACMG-certified local guide making sure you’re safe and satisfied.

Trip Highlights

Itinerary

Day 1: Head out with a guide

Meet your guides at 8:15 am. After a conditions and weather briefing and a gear check, load the Whistler Blackcomb gondola and head for the backcountry. Kick off the traverse with options to ski Mt. Trorey and Trory Glacier (26,250 ft/ 8000 m) or Mt Pattison (26,900 ft/ 8200 m), which offers an 8,200 ft (2500 m) ski run. Spend your evening camping on Trorey, Tremor, or Platform Glacier—the location depends on the conditions and pace throughout the day.

powder-spearhead-british-columbia

Day 2: More touring

After a hearty breakfast, meet your guide and discuss the plans for the day. Continue your traverse with penty of different options for descents. When the sun sets, camp at a location depending on your touring route throughout the day.

spearhead-traverse-ski-tourers

Day 3: Return to Whistler

Meet your guides after breakfast. Today’s task is to ski up to Fissile and out the Singing Pass trail through to the village. Alternatively, you enter over the Musical Bumps back to the Whistler Ski Resort over Whistler Mountain.

spearhead-traverse-climb
Reviews

Reviews (1)

Damon S. about Mountain Skills Academy on Tripadvisor

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…

 

Things to know

Things to know

Covid measures in the Spearhead Traverse, 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, their guides, and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures on Spearhead Traverse, BC, please refer to Canada’s COVID-19 travel requirements and British Columbia’s Travel and COVID-19 info 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’s included?

What you get in this adventure:

    • An experienced, certified ski guide with extensive knowledge of the area
    • Three days of backcountry ski touring
    • Camping and park fees
    • All group equipment (first aid kits, cooking stove, pots, rope, utensils)

What’s not included:

    • Technical backcountry ski touring equipment
    • Personal camping equipment (tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mat)
    • Transportation
    • Accommodation
    • Food and snacks
    • Lift ticket (available for purchase at Whistler Blackcomb resort)

How fit do I need to be?

In order to enjoy this backcountry adventure, you need to have very good fitness levels and some touring experience. The terrain in the Spearhead range is quite steep, ungroomed, and demanding. All participants should feel comfortable on challenging black-level resort runs and be able to carry a loaded daypack while hiking uphill for 4000-6000 vertical feet every day.

What if I’ve never ski toured before?

This adventure is suited for strong intermediate or above skiers with previous ski touring experience and good physical condition. To keep up with your guide’s pace, you should be comfortable hiking uphill for 4000-6000 vertical feet every day and navigating steep, ungroomed, and treed terrain. If you are an advanced skier but you have no experience in the backcountry, we recommend joining a guide for a day of beginner-friendly backcountry skiing in Whistler, BC.

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)
    • Ski crampons (can be rented)
    • Ice ax (can be rented)
    • Avalanche safety equipment (can be rented):
      • Digital, 3-antenna avalanche transceiver or beacon
      • Lightweight snow shovel
      • Avalanche probe
      • Harness for glacier travel
    • Crevasse rescue kit — optional

For personal items, we recommend bringing:

    • Helmet
    • Sunglasses
    • 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
    • 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
    • Sleeping bag and mat
    • Tent or tarp
    • Headlamp with fresh batteries
    • Backpack large enough to carry all items listed (45L or more)
    • Camera — optional

Can I rent equipment?

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

    • Ice ax and ski crampons can be rented from Escape Route
    • Avalanche safety pack, including backpack, beacon, shovel, and probe can be rented from Escape Route
    • Alpine touring or telemark skis, touring boots, and poles can be rented from Escape Route
    • Splitboards can be rented from Escape Route
    • All camping equipment, including tents and sleeping bags, can be rented from Escape Route

Your guide has partnered with Escape Route to provide you with rentals at a discounted price.
If you aren’t familiar with using the crevasse rescue kit, your guide urges you to bring two locking carabiners instead.
Ski rental locations are in Squamish 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 these tours, the max client-to-guide ratio is 6:1.
    • For the group tour, the cost is per person and it doesn’t decrease as the group grows.
    • For the private tour, costs per person decrease as the group grows, so it’s the perfect opportunity to tour with friends and family.

Ski touring in the Spearhead range 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 ski tourers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

Getting there and meeting location

To get to the Spearhead Traverse, most people fly into Vancouver International Airport 1.5 hours away. From there, you can rent a car or take a shuttle service to Whistler, BC.

Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet, usually at the Whistler Blackcomb ski resort. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ability of the group.

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Wired for a better world

Outdoor adventuring makes us fall in love with our planet and people, it gets our brains rewired differently and forces us to rethink our life priorities.

For years, we’ve dreamt of building a company that can make an impact on things that we deeply care about. Here are some initiatives we are grateful to be contributing to.

1% of our sales goes to environmental non-profits
We provide work to thousands of local guides worldwide
We operate on carbon neutral and renewable energy
1% for the education and diversity in guiding

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