Backcountry Skiing at Kees & Claire Hut in Whistler

Kees & Claire Hut | British Columbia
Trip Highlights

Top three reasons to go backcountry skiing to Kees & Claire Hut

  • Trip Highlight

    Re-energize in a comfy hut after shredding world-class powder

  • Trip Highlight

    Get away from the crowds and discover epic ski descents in Whistler’s backcountry

  • Trip Highlight

    Enjoy the picture-perfect vistas both while touring the backcountry and from your cozy hut

Located in Whistler’s pristine snowy wilderness right next to Russet Lake, the Kees & Claire Hut sounds like the ideal weekend getaway destination. This picture-perfect hut is ideal for seasoned skiers looking to relax and unwind after shredding top-of-the-line powder all day long. With state-of-the-art equipment, homey atmosphere and majestic vistas, this charming backcountry alpine oasis is bound to win you over. The hut is even more unique once you learn that it was built in homage to Cornelius “Kees” Brenninkmeyer and Claire Dixon, a couple that tragically passed away in 2007. Hundreds of volunteers donated and built this stunning backcountry shelter where their names and legacy will continue to live on forever. On this adventure, you’ll traverse some memorable peaks and ski descents and get to spend 3 days in Whistler’s winter wonderland—all with the help of an expert guide.

Season

December through April

Nearest city

Vancouver, BC, is 1.5 hours away

Duration

3 days

Skill level

Intermediate to advanced

Itineraries

Book this adventure

3-Day Backcountry Skiing Trip in Whistler’s Snowy Wilderness

3 days

Spoil yourself with a backcountry skiing trip to the Kees & Claire Hut! Spend 3 days in Whistler’s world-class alpine terrain and let your guide take you through some memorable ski descents after passing Musical Bumps and getting to the hut. Ski near Fissile Peak and Overlord Mountain on the excellent snowpack and kick back and relax for 2 nights in the modern and cozy backcountry digs. Don’t forget to appreciate Whistler’s winter wonderland around you and soak up some mountainous views while you’re at it.

Trip Highlights

Itinerary

Day 1: Meet up and head towards the hut

On the first day of this backcountry skiing trip, you’ll meet up with your guide at 8:15 am at Escape Route Alpine Demo Centre for gear check and waivers. At 8:45 am, you’ll load up Whistler Gondola and begin your ski tour out to the Kees and Claire Hut. From the Peak Express chairlift, the hut is 9.4 km away and is accessed via the Musical Bumps. The trips take 2.5-4.5 hours. Drop off your gear once you get to the hut and ski for the rest of the afternoon. At the end of the day, you’ll have dinner with the guide in your cozy hut and end the day with a debrief.

Day 2: Spend whole day skiing in Whistler’s wilderness

You’ll start off your day with a morning breakfast and at 9:00 am your skiing adventure can continue. Ski until afternoon accompanied by your knowledgeable guide who’ll show you stunning ski descents and the best powder stashes in the area. After you’re done skiing for the day, get back to your hut, have dinner with your guide and spend the evening exchanging experiences and anecdotes.

Day 3: Returning to Escape Route Alpine Demo Centre

On the last day of this adventure, you’ll have your morning breakfast in your comfy hut and return to Whistler via Singing Pass or Musical Bumps. The adventure ends with a debrief at Escape Route Alpine Demo Centre.

Things to know

Things to know

Covid 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, 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
    • Hut accomodation and two nights in the hut

What’s not included:

    • Technical backcountry ski touring equipment
    • Transportation
    • Food and snacks
    • Lift Ticket (unless you already have a Season Pass, Edge Card or Epic Pass)

How fit do I need to be?

In order to enjoy this backcountry adventure, you need to have a very good level of fitness and ski touring experience. From the top of the Peak Express, there is a 515 m elevation gain to the hut. The trip takes 2.5-4.5 hours and once you get past the hut, the peaks start getting much larger with mountains such as Fissile & Overlord. All participants should feel comfortable on challenging black-level resort runs and be able to carry a loaded daypack while skiing.

What if I’ve never backcountry skied before?

This adventure is suited for intermediate and advanced backcountry skiers with previous skiing experience in the backcountry. In order to keep up with your guide’s pace, you should be comfortable ski touring for 2.5-4.5 hours to get to the hut and skinning uphill. If you’re not an intermediate or advanced skier, we recommend checking out this beginner-friendly backcountry skiing trip 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 (telescopic poles required for splitboarders) (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

For personal items, we recommend bringing:

    • Helmet
    • Daypack large enough to carry all items listed (45L+ backpack)
    • Glacier travel kit
    • Ski and/or boot crampons
    • Mountaineering axe
    • 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)
    • Multi-tool
    • Water bottle and 1L of water
    • Thermos with a warm beverage — optional
    • Food you can eat on-the-go
    • First aid kit with blister kit
    • Sunscreen
    • Sleeping bag and sleeping pad
    • Headlamp with fresh batteries
    • Personal care kit (toilet paper, toothbrush, toothpaste, personal medical drugs)
    • Camera — optional
    • Ear plugs — optional
    • Bandana — optional
    • Map, compass, GPS — optional
    • Watch (with altimeter, barometer, compass, thermometer) — optional
    • Hut booties/slippers — optional
    • Reading material — optional
    • Field book and pencil — optional

Can I rent equipment?

All mandatory gear can be rented if you don’t have your own. Your guiding service has teamed up with a local rental company to provide discounted rentals.

    • Avalanche safety pack, including backpack, beacon, shovel and probe 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

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 this group tour, the max client to guide ratio is 6:1.
    • Cost is per person and it doesn’t decrease as the group grows.
    • If joining alone, you’ll be placed with peers that share a similar level of experience.

Ski touring in Whistler, BC, can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

Min. age requirements:

    • If you are older than 19, you’re good to go.
    • Minors may be permitted to join private tours on a case-by-case basis.
    • Guests under the age of 19 must have a parent or legal guardian sign the waiver on their behalf.

If your group has skiers under the age of 19, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

Getting there and meeting location

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

The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ability of the group. On the first day of this trip, you will meet up with your guide at Escape Route Alpine Demo Centre.

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