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Backcountry skiing in British Columbia

Perfect balance of legendary snowfall, bluebird weather, and dry pow that stays for weeks
Powder skiing in the backcountry.
Day trips
Quick getaway for all skill levels
Ski Touring in the Canadian Rockies - Backcountry skiers earning their turns in the Selkirk Mountains, British Columbia, Canada.
Great ski traverses
Commit to a challenging, breathtaking, and rewarding journey
A winter scenic of a rustic, timber-framed lodge in the Canadian backcountry. Horizontal colour image. British Columbia, Canada. Rocky Mountains. Image taken at night with log cabin structure lit with moonlight and starlight.
Hut-based trips
Re-energize in remote lodges in the heart of BC
Back country skier digging a pit to check snow stability
Avalanche safety
Avoid hazards in rugged terrain
Powder skiing in the backcountry.
Day trips
Quick getaway for all skill levels
Explore adventures
Ski Touring in the Canadian Rockies - Backcountry skiers earning their turns in the Selkirk Mountains, British Columbia, Canada.
Great ski traverses
Commit to a challenging, breathtaking, and rewarding journey
Explore adventures
A winter scenic of a rustic, timber-framed lodge in the Canadian backcountry. Horizontal colour image. British Columbia, Canada. Rocky Mountains. Image taken at night with log cabin structure lit with moonlight and starlight.
Hut-based trips
Re-energize in remote lodges in the heart of BC
Explore adventures
Back country skier digging a pit to check snow stability
Avalanche safety
Avoid hazards in rugged terrain
Explore adventures
Worldwide adventures with the best local guides
Unique adventures
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Backcountry ski tours in British Columbia

Marilyn F.

An awesome trip with a great, conscientious, and professional guide. Definitely felt that Tom listened to the whole crew and took our collective objectives, safety, weather, snow conditions, and skillsets to get the maximum we could have out of our Bow-Yoho traverse over New Year 2018. Super fun trip and lots of hilarious and educational stories and experiences Tom shared with us. And Eric was great in lending a hand where needed and carrying a ton of weight too. Would definitely recommend both Tom and Eric for any high adventure trips and any furthering of backcountry education. Not only do they really know their craft, but they also present their knowledge in a smooth and easy way for all to understand and learn from. Great guides, great guys. All five stars for sure!

George M.J.

I was out on trips with Tom Wolfe of Sawback Alpine Adventures twice during the ski season of winter 2018. Both trips were great. The Bow / Yoho Wapta Traverse was particularly spectacular traveling between Alpine Club of Canada huts. Tom really knows this area well.

debbie m
 • February 2024

For an older person who has skied at many of the backcountry lodges in complex terrain in BC, Purcell Lodge is a fabulous step down. It offers rolling terrain for mellow days where you can ski alone (with a radio to keep you safe) and absorb the views across to the Selkirks, great tree skiing, and terrain that will satisfy your needs of steep and deep when you feel more energetic. There is an added bonus offered at no other lodge I know, of a heli-bump to a nearby peak to access the beautiful powder bowls. The Lodge itself is deluxe and rivals any new Lodge. Treat yourself and you won’t regret it.

Ody Loomis

Thank you for all that you do to make these experiences happen!!! “We like it here” is an understatement… Love the details in the new cabins and the amazing terrain each hut/cabin/lodge access has- the views are beyond beautiful. Easily top favorite place’s on earth! A huge thank you and shout out to Corin Lohmann- he is a fantastic guide. Two full Traverse trips with him, and I hope to have another in my time. Always a grand adventure!!!

Phil Mitchell

Monte was a fantastic guide for our 4-day ski touring trip. He has an unbelievable amount of knowledge of the backcountry, weather and snow but struck an outstanding balance between the level of information he provided and the practicality of applying it in a backcountry scenario. We couldn’t have asked for a better guide! His dry sense of humour also kept thing fun on the skin track!

Richard Somerset

Monte is a very professional guide and teacher. The biggest compliment I can give anyone is to let them take my son out without me in the mountains. With Monte I would not hesitate to let him take my 15 year old son out climbing. That alone speaks to the trust I have in his skill, safety and preparation. Monte also has an immense amount of knowledge.

Dillon Duley

Conor is one of the best guides I have ever been out with. He was fully flexible and catered to our group, while still being very safe. He also offers some custom programs and locations that no one else does!

Matt P

As recent participant of a week long, hut-based, AIARE 2 avalanche course with Rob, I must recommend him as an excellent educator and entertainer. Rob and his colleague, fellow IFMGA guide, Tim Brown went above and beyond to cover the course curriculum and way beyond. They were able to also offer us incredible opportunity to apply the course concepts in the field. As avalanche education is a never ending process, I’m already in talks with Rob for the next trip/course.

Mike M

I have been guided by Tom for over 10+ years. In that time we have been on numerous trips and every time when you think that the trip couldn’t be better it does. Tom’s attention to safety when in the backcountry is the definition of professional and never once have I felt that anything we did was unsafe. If there is ever a question about terrain that we are entering, Tom takes the time to explain to the group his decision making process. On top of that Tom has a sense of where the good snow is and always seems to lead us to the powder. All of our trips have been well organized and the booking process is very easy. I would highly recommend any trip that Tom is involved with.

Ashley Green

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

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.

Angela T.

Organized, personal and fun adventures. All my trips with Black Sheep Adventure Sports are definitely full value!
Monte is a great guide and knows his way around the Squamish area / West Coast, so if you can give him an idea of what you’d like to experience, he can find the right objective!

Darren K.

I have been doing backcountry ski trips with AAA for 3 years now and have been impressed every time. They’re very good at adapting the plan to fit the group and have the knowledge to take you into some full-on terrain if that’s what you desire. Thanks for pushing my limits and I can’t wait for the next one!

Chris K.

AST2 course with MSAA was excellent! Eliel Bureau-LaFontaine was our instructor and he did an incredible job of providing us with a systematic approach to this complex topic when backcountry skiing. I definitely feel much more informed about avalanches risks and now have more tools to make informed trip planning decisions. I would definitely recommend Eliel and this course!

Damon S.

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…

 

Lenka R.

I participated in the two-days Intro to Mountaineering course and I loved it. We were a small group of three people and being lucky with the weather, we enjoyed the full attention of our guide, who shared his knowledge and skills that we could put into practice the very next day. It is the best and safest way to enter the mountaineering world. Totally recommend!

Ben S.

Eric D went out of his way to ensure the full course syllabus was covered on this complex and potentially lifesaving topic. Repeat MSAA customer and continue to be very impressed with the service.

Mccormtm

I took AST 1 from MSAA in Whistler – had a great time and learned a ton. Kurt and Tim were fantastic classroom instructors – direct, patient and not patronizing or bro-y. Rob was our instructor in the field and again, was super passionate about the subject and very clear with instruction, feedback and direction. He answered all questions thoroughly and made the experience relevant to each of our experience levels. I highly recommend the crew at MSAA – the office crew is awesome as well!! Thank you all!

Climber64254398745

Guided ski touring with AAA is unreal. I keep coming back for more and only get more addicted! The knowledge of conditions and routes is deep enough that you can have excellent days even when most people choose to stay in. I’ll be back!

Tim E.

Highly recommended Whistler experience for backcountry skiers/snowboarders. My friend Bruce and I spent a gorgeous day skiing the backcountry adjacent to Whistler Ski Resort with Cam from Whistler Alpine Guides in February 2014. The snow conditions in the resort were not very good, as it hadn’t snowed in a while, but it was cold and clear and we found some amazing wind-deposited powder stashes around Oboe Summit. Cam was a cool guy and a great guide and made sure we hit some good turns and wore us out pretty well. Definitely a highlight of the trip.

Freya T.

Fantastic AST Course! Small group, well-executed, and professionally run. Great content and relevance. Thanks for the rad weekend!

Connector40795863569

I Learnt heaps from Jeff, highly recommend doing the avalanche safety course, I can’t speak for any of the other courses, but I’m sure they have the same level of professionalism.

Thomas C

Brent put together an absolutely phenomenal AST2 trip and his crew Jay and Shabaz took great care of us. He always puts safety first and helped us to learn both experientially and with theory throughout the day.  We had 2 vegans in our group and the food was fantastic and accommodating for everybody.  If you want to ski some challenging, fun lines while constantly learning, definitely choose Peak Strategm – I would strongly recommend.

Aaron Massier

Chris and Monte were great to deal with and got us into some amazing terrain!

Stuart Conolly

Jeff Bullock is a remarkable mountain guide, with more than 25 years experience.. His professionalism is apparent from day one and it gave us confidence to tackle some big mountains is remote territory. In addition Jeff is a very friendly and a generous person who is easy-going and fun to talk with about lots of things. I have the highest regard for him.

Craig S.

Tom Wolfe was our guide in a Jan 2018 trip to Burnie Glacier in northern BC. We had the whole range of conditions of conditions from *cold* deep snow to near melting point conditions. He did a great job along with his assistant guide (name escapes me now – from Quebec) of finding places to ski with the existing/variable conditions, (despite having a terrible cold for part of the time, where he broke trail nearly all day in *deep* snow with no complaints). I’d recommend his guide services any time!

Marc F.

I’ve now spent 9 days in the mountains with Tom of Sawback Alpine Adventures. Tom is methodical in his snowpack analysis and does a great job of breaking down all the steps he takes to be safe. If you are keen on learning how to safely push your limits on snow, Tom does a great job on balancing safety and fun. My trips with him have always seemed to fully embrace the new slogan “send and return” where there is an equal amount of fun turns and exciting climbs as there are snowpack and weather observations.

Dennis J.

I enjoyed a backcountry ski trip to Valhalla Mtn Lodge in late February of 2018. Excellent guiding and trip management by Tom (and Lila). I’ll be doing more ski trips with Tom in the upcoming winters.

Jennifer T.

Tom Wolf was our back country ski guide for a week at the Selkirk Lodge 1/2020. He and the other guides over delivered everyday. Tom not only knows where to ski for amazing runs but makes sure it is safe. He handles group dynamics and made sure everyone’s needs where taken care of. He is just a super fun guy to hang with besides – out skiing or around the dinner table he is super fun to talk and joke with – just like an old friend and ski buddy. As soon as Covid restrictions are lifted for us Americans I plan to book a BC ski trip with him again- He’s the real deal and one of the best.

George J.

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.

Iwona E.

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!

Rob Eisen

Dave Cote was our guide.
He provided for an exceptional experience.
He was knowledgeable, patient and kind! He made us feel capable and secure.
It was a pleasure to spend the day with him!

It was so beautiful to get off the beaten path and the get away from busy Whistler.

Taylor Harmeyer

Jeff was amazing. Epic day on Rogers pass. 10/10 would do again and again.

Jennifer D.

I live in the area he primarily guides yet he has shown me new areas almost every time we have gone out together. Be it rock climbing or backcountry skiing/snowboarding we always have a great time. He is the best insurance policy I have that makes sure I am safe and have a great time.

The ultimate adventure in Canadian backcountry

North America’s backcountry skiing paradise

The province’s unparalleled terrain, featuring hidden gems and numerous mountain huts perched on top of exciting slopes offers a plethora of options for exploration.

Whether you’re drawn to challenging couloirs, serene tree glades, or wide alpine expanses, this area promises an unforgettable adventure at every turn.

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Snowboarder in the Kootenays, British Columbia.
Woman skier skiing fast in fresh powder.

A connection to nature in its purest form

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Spend your time making memories, not planning them. Enjoy a stress-free vacation and leave the trip logistics to us. You name it, we’ll take care of it!

Superb snow conditions
Shred unlimited world-class terrain stretching over 10 ranges boasting fantastic glaciers, bowls, forests and wide-open powder runs.

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Safety is our top priority when it comes to backcountry skiing. That’s why we’re super selective about the guides we team up with.

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More about backcountry skiing in British Columbia

  • There are four reasons why downhill skiing is such a hit in British Columbia:

    Prime Snow Conditions: The Coastal Mountains act as a barrier, trapping moisture from the Pacific Ocean and creating ideal conditions for abundant snowfall. Notably, the Kootenay Rockies region receives some of the highest snowfalls in North America, with areas like Mount Fidelity holding the record for the most snowfall in Canada.  This translates to consistent powder snow, a dream for many skiers.

    Diverse Terrain: From gentle beginner slopes to heart-stopping double-black diamond runs, BC boasts a vast range of terrain to cater to all skill levels. Whether you’re cruising groomers, carving through glades, or tackling challenging chutes, there’s something for everyone.

    Epic Scenery: Skiing in BC isn’t just about the slopes; it’s about the breathtaking backdrops.  Imagine carving fresh tracks down a mountain while surrounded by majestic peaks, pristine forests, and glaciers. The scenic beauty of the province adds another dimension to the skiing experience.

    Après-Ski Culture: After a day on the slopes, many resorts offer a vibrant après-ski scene with lively bars, restaurants, and shops. This allows skiers to relax, socialize, and share stories about their adventures on the mountain.

  • British Columbia, Canada is a world-renowned skiing destination, and here is why:

    • Long ski seasons: The ski season in British Columbia typically runs from late November to early May, with some areas offering even longer seasons.
    • Reliable snowfall: British Columbia receives plenty of snowfall throughout the winter, thanks to the Coastal Mountains. This means that you can be sure to find good conditions on the slopes.
    • Diverse terrain: There is something for everyone in British Columbia, from gentle beginner slopes to challenging expert terrain. The province also has a number of heliskiing and cat skiing operations, which allow you easy access to prime untouched powder.
    • Beautiful scenery: British Columbia is home to some of the most stunning scenery in the world, and the backcountry skiing is no exception. You can ski through towering mountains, pristine forests, glaciers, and more.
  • The “best” month for skiing in British Columbia depends on what you prioritize. Here’s a quick breakdown:

    • Snow conditions: Powderhounds looking for the most snowfall will favor January, which is typically the snowiest month.
    • Balance of snow and sunshine: For a good balance between fresh powder and bluebird days, February is a great choice, though it’s also the busiest and most expensive month.
    • Pleasant weather and good snow:  March offers longer days, warmer temperatures, and still boasts a good snowpack. This is a good option if you want to avoid peak crowds.
    • Spring skiing and affordability: Shoulder seasons like late November to mid-December and April can offer good deals on accommodation and lift tickets, with decent skiing conditions, especially at higher altitudes
  • British Columbia’s reputation as a skier’s paradise extends far beyond the resorts. Here are 3 top backcountry skiing destinations in BC:

    1. Rogers Pass: Located in Glacier National Park, Rogers Pass is legendary for its massive snowfall amounts, averaging over 12 meters (40 feet) annually. This translates to a long season with a phenomenal snowpack.
    2. Purcells: The Purcells offer a vast and diverse backcountry playground, with endless options for multi-day hut-based ski touring. From the majestic peaks around Valhalla Provincial Park to the bugaboo spires, the Purcells welcome seasoned skiers seeking adventure.
    3. Valhalla Provincial Park: This park offers a taste of backcountry adventure with a range of options for intermediate-to-advanced skiers, from lodge-based trips to day tours. You can base yourself at the historic Valhalla Lodge, which provides access to world-class slopes, or explore the area on day trips from the park gates.
  • No, you can’t ski all year round in all of British Columbia, but there is a caveat. 

    While the province has a long ski season and some regions receive exceptional snowfall, there isn’t year-round glacier coverage or consistently cold temperatures for reliable skiing.

    However, if you choose to go heli-skiing or travel deep into BC’s backcountry, you’ll find favorable ski conditions well outside the standard season!

  • The part of British Columbia that gets the most snow is concentrated in the Kootenay Rockies, specifically around the Selkirk Mountains and the Purcell Mountains. This region is nicknamed the “Powder Highway” for a reason!

    Mount Fidelity in Glacier National Park boasts the highest average annual snowfall in Canada, reaching a whopping 1399 centimeters (546 inches)!

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We’re happy to answer any of your questions. Send us an inquiry or talk to one of our adventure planners free of charge.
Get in touch
We're happy to answer any of your questions. Send us an inquiry or talk to one of our adventure planners free of charge.
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