Backcountry Skiing at Purcell Mtn. Lodge

Golden | British Columbia
5.00
4 REVIEWS
Trip Highlights

Top three reasons to go skiing at Purcell Mt. Lodge

  • Trip Highlight

    Unwrap a holiday ski trip of a lifetime

  • Trip Highlight

    Christmas comes early with limitless champagne powder

  • Trip Highlight

    Make merry in the world-class Purcell Lodge

‘Tis the season to be riding fresh powder! Since you’ve been so good this year, gift yourself a guided backcountry skiing adventure from a luxury lodge in the heart of British Columbia. On this 5-day trip just before Christmas, you’ll step onto the untracked snow of the Purcell Mountains full of alpine meadows, sub-alpine basins, countless ridges, and fields of deep powder—terrain for every ski ability. The lodge itself is no ordinary basecamp: with three stories and 10 bedrooms, the building boasts a sauna, library, and plenty of wood-burning fireplaces for you, your friends, and family to get cozy. Have yourself a merry little pre-Christmas, with plenty of pow!

Season

December

Nearest city

Golden, British Columbia, is a three-hour drive from Calgary International Airport

Duration

5 days

Skill level

Intermediate to advanced

Itineraries

Book this adventure

Guided Backcountry Skiing at the Purcell Mtn. Lodge

5 days

Just open the door and step onto fresh snow. Backcountry skiing goes well with a cozy, luxurious lodge perched at 7,200 feet, deep in the Purcell Mountains. During this 5-day off-piste adventure, you’ll be riding big pow stashes and getting fresh turns on alpine meadows, basins and ridges. The deep champagne powder your skis will be gliding on are due to the area’s consistent cold temperatures and sheltered location. After a day out, retreat to the world-class Purcell Lodge. Its facilities ensure everyone’s enjoyment—whether you’re a boardgame geek, a bookworm, or a sauna enthusiast. Gift yourself five days of ski touring right before Christmas.

Trip Highlights

Itinerary

Day 0: Arrival

The day prior to your backcountry adventure at the Purcell Mtn. Lodge, you’ll meet your guides and your group in the town of Golden for dinner. You’ll go through details for the trip and the guides will tell you everything there is to know. Get a good night’s sleep for your pre-Christmas backcountry adventure!

The town of Golden in British Columbia

Day 1: Get settled and head out

Meet your guides and your fellow skiers at the Alpine Helicopters Base. Kick off the trip with a heli ride to the fairytale Purcell Lodge, your home for the next few days, perched at 2,200 m (7,200 feet) amidst the alpine slopes of Bald Mountain. The lodge offers top-notch facilities: it’s a 10-bedroom lodge with 3 separate showers and bathrooms, a large veranda overlooking the Canadian Rockies, a cedar wood-burning sauna, a quiet library, and an open log fire! Get settled in and head out for the day. Your guide will go through companion rescue training and then you’ll get onto backcountry skiing. After getting some fresh turns in, return to the lodge.

Purcell Mountain Lodge covered in snow

Day 2, 3 and 4: Ski days

For the next few days, you’re going to ski a ton of deep champagne pow. Parked on the west slopes of the northern Purcell Mountains, the lodge and its surrounding area offer a wide range of both tree and alpine skiing for every ski ability. Sub-alpine basins, rolling alpine meadows, fields of deep powder, countless peaks—limitless untracked powder is waiting for you to set new tracks. The guides won’t be there only to show you the best spots, they’ll also customize plans for the day according to your skills and objectives—the perfect opportunity to challenge your abilities with help from your experienced guides. It’s up to you whether you want to stay in the snow for a while longer or you want to go back to the lodge, where you can relax in a sauna or have a glass of wine next to an open log fire.

Backcountry skiers on the snow

Day 5: Departure

All good things come to an end, and so does leaving the fairytale setting of the Purcell Lodge and its surrounding vastness of trackless powder. Pack up and fly back to the town of Golden. However, if you’re keen to stick around for a few extra days, your guides have something else up their sleeve—you can do some more backcountry skiing behind Kickinghorse and the premier powder skiing location, Rogers Pass. If you’re interested in a few extra days, just let us know!

Purcell Mountains and a skier
Reviews

Reviews (4)

Ashley Green about Black Sheep Adventure Sports

Monte is a great guide! Very knowledgeable, fun and safe. I would recommend him to anyone wanting to get out in the back country or rock climbing. He can teach you skills or just show you a great stress free time in the mountains!

Colin N about Black Sheep Adventure Sports

I have been on a number of backcountry ski/ski mountaineering trips with Monte & Black Sheep Adventure Sports over the past several years. These trips have included avalanche safety training (level 2), and multiple multi-day hut trips in some expert level terrain (such as the Tantalus range near Squamish, BC).
On all the trips Monte and his guides have displayed excellent professionalism, tuition, and decision making in the mountains.
In mixed ability groups, Monte will tailor the trip to all ability/fitness levels, ensuring everyone has a great time. Monte has also pushed me to tackle steeper terrain than I was used to skiing in the backcountry (both on the up and down).
I would not hesitate to go on more trips in Monte in future.

Adam Thompson about Black Sheep Adventure Sports

I’ve used 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.

Ovi Van about Black Sheep Adventure Sports

I have done multiple instruction courses and guided trips with BlackSheep Adventure Sports over the past years, and can’t praise Monte’s professionalism and experience as a guide enough.
From rock climbing (sport, trad, multi-pitch), ice climbing, backcountry skiing/touring, crevasse rescue training, glacier travel and multiple adventures climbing mountains, Monte has been my trusted mentor on my journey to become an alpinist. During all the group courses and trips he still paid close attention to my individual development and risk tolerance, and he keeps pushing me to the next level, taking me places I’d never imagine I could go. We are already planning what training and trips we could do next.
He also brews a pretty decent alpine coffee, so that’s a plus. 😉

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Things to know

Things to know

Covid measures in Canada

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 Canada, please refer to British Columbia Centre for Disease Control.

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, ACMG certified ski guide with extensive knowledge of the area
    • Five days of backcountry ski touring
    • Helicopter flights
    • Accommodation at the lodge
    • Meals (except for lunch on day 1)
    • 5% GST

What’s not included:

    • Personal ski & safety equipment (transceiver, probe, shovel, etc.)
    • Transportation to the staging area
    • Accommodation in the valley
    • Alcoholic beverages and WiFi
    • Travel and medical insurance

How fit do I need to be?

To enjoy the backcountry skiing tour at the Purcell Mtn. Lodge, you need to have at least a moderate fitness level. The Purcell Mtn. Lodge adventure offers intermediate to expert levels of difficulty, which means that some previous backcountry skiing experience is required. There will be two guides on the trip and each one can team up with skiers on different levels. If you’re intermediate, your expert guide will help you improve your skills and coach you when things get a bit more difficult. Don’t worry if you’re on an advanced to expert level, the terrain is challenging so you’ll still have lots of objectives to tackle! For the latter level, you’ll need to be in excellent physical shape.

What if I’ve never backcountry skied before?

To participate in this Purcell Mtn. Lodge skiing tour, you need to have at least some previous backcountry skiing experience. Levels for which this trip is tailored are intermediate to expert. Your guides will take care of the planning, oversee your technique and teach you how to manage the terrain. Whether on an intermediate or an expert level, you can be excited for some new challenges and polishing up your technique. If you’ve never backcountry skied before, we suggest joining one of our beginner-friendly backcountry adventures!

What equipment do I need to bring?

For technical backcountry ski and safety equipment, you will need to bring:

    • Touring skis or splitboard with skins
    • Touring boots and poles
    • Helmet
    • Ski and boot crampons
    • Avalanche safety equipment (can be rented):
      • Digital, 3-antenna avalanche transceiver or beacon
      • Lightweight snow shovel and avalanche probe
      • Mountaineering axe

For the Purcell Mtn. Lodge, you will need to bring:

    • Comfortable clothing for lounging around the lodget
    • Slippers
    • Alcoholic beverages (optional)
    • Bathing suit
    • Headlamp
    • Toiletries

For personal items, we recommend bringing:

    • 20-30L ski pack
    • 50L duffel
    • Sunglasses and ski goggles
    • Sun and lip cream
    • Face mask
    • 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
    • Mid-insulation fleece of puffy jacket
    • Warm outer puffy jacket
    • Toque (wool or synthetic)
    • Brimmed cap
    • Face warmer (scarf, neck tube, face mask, buff, etc.)
    • Light gloves and insulated gloves or mitts
    • 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
    • Lunch for day one
    • First aid kit
    • Camera — optional

Keep in mind that no extra skis or baggage will be allowed over and above the ski level pack and 50L duffel weighing no more than 35 lbs (16 kg). Extra equipment may result in additional charges or exclusion from the trip.

Can I rent equipment?

All mandatory gear can be rented if you don’t have your own. You can rent an avalanche safety pack (transceiver, probe, and shovel) with your guide for $30 a day or $100 a week.

Other mandatory gear is available to rent from the following companies in the town of Golden: Higher Ground Sports or Tourism Golden. Make sure to make plans on time.

Accommodation and amenities

Purcell Mountain Lodge is a beautiful 10-bedroom lodge that sits at 7,200 feet overlooking the Canadian Rockies to the East and Rogers Pass to the West. There are numerous room options from 2 & 3 person private rooms to 5 person shared room.

Amenities include:

  • 3 Separate showers and bathrooms
  • Large veranda
  • Power (in bedrooms and common areas)
  • Spacious library with fire places for lounging
  • Cash bar
  • WiFi (for a fee)

Group sizes and age requirements

Group sizes and pricing:

    • This tour is not private.
    • If joining alone, you’ll be placed with peers that share a similar level of experience.
    • For this adventure, the max number of participants is 12. All prices are per person.
    • Cost is per person and it doesn’t decrease as the group grows.

Ski touring at the Purcell Mtn. Lodge 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 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.

Deposits and cancellation policy

A $750 deposit is due upon Booking. Full payment is due a hundred (100) days prior to the trip. Failure to make this final payment by the deadline will result in forfeiture of the trip and deposit.

  • Deposits are non-refundable, but transferable at the discretion of your guiding company as long as the cancellation is made more than sixty (60) days prior to the trip or is initiated by your guiding company.
  • Cancellations to trips made less than thirty (30) calendar days prior to the departure date for any reason are non-refundable but potentially transferable to another trip or date at the discretion of your guides. Any such transfers are subject to a 25% administrative fee and recovery of any sunk costs. No more than one transfer will be offered. Your guiding company will accept a substitute guest should you not be able to attend, provided they meet the skill level requirements for the trip. Your guiding company reserves the right to determine if the substitute guest meets these requirements. Any such substitutions are subject to a 10% administrative fee.

Your guides reserve the right to modify or cancel a trip at any time due to unfavorable weather conditions, injury/illness, or other reasons without penalty. Clients will be notified as soon as possible and refunded less any sunk costs. If the weather doesn’t permit flying into the hut/ lodge, the client would not be refunded for the day. However, the guides would still take clients skiing somewhere. On the other hand, if the weather doesn’t permit leaving the lodge on schedule, the client would not be charged for the extra lodge day.

Getting there and meeting location

To get to the town of Golden, which is the starting point of your adventure, most people fly into Calgary International Airport. From there, it’s a three-hour drive to the town of Golden.

You’ll meet your guide in the town of Golden the day before your departure for dinner. You’ll discuss some details about the trip and you’ll meet the next morning at 8 am at Alpine Helicopters Base to fly into the lodge.

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