Canada is well known for having dream-like conditions coinciding with our backcountry skiing destinations. When you enter the backcountry, you’ll be able to find untracked powder for miles and jaw-dropping vistas. You can book one of the cozy alpine huts peppered throughout the big wild that offer memorable base camps for your multi-day trip. And above all else, you will create memories that will last a lifetime.
Canada is a huge country and deciding where to begin your venture can be tough. So where do you start? With one of these backcountry skiing destinations!
Backcountry skiing comes with inherent risks. Know your level of skill for skiing or split boarding. Ensure you involve the proper safety training in your preparation. This may include learning, or brushing up on, your Avalanche Skills Training and following AdventureSmarts 3 T’s to trip planning. Visit AdventureSmart or Avalanche Canada for more details.
Backcountry Skiing Destinations
Banff National Park
Banff National Park offers some amazing hotspots for backcountry skiing close to the resorts. This means you’ll be able to find some epic untouched lines during the day, join a bumpin’ apres ski party in Banff during the evening, and snuggle into your warm hotel bed at night. Just to do it all again the next day!
Filled with bowls and alpine tree runs, Lake Louise won’t disappoint. But with complex terrain and snowpacks, you’ll need to ensure you do your research and pick your lines carefully. You can also book your first experience in Lake Louise with Yervana Local, Jeff.
A great perk to Sunshine Village Ski Resort is the area called Delirium Dive – a controlled backcountry area. But please note, that doesn’t mean you get to slack on your prep! Avy gear and proper research is still a must.
The Icefields Parkway is located between Banff and Jasper. This road offers scenic views and plenty of opportunity to stop, skin up and ski. So many it becomes a distraction to getting from point A to point B!
Kananaskis (K-Country) is as close to Calgary as you can get for a wicked backcountry skiing destination. This terrain will offer you a variety of options: glaciers, glades, bowls and more. Remember to keep an eye on the snowpack before you head out.
If this is your destination, be prepared to share the snow with cross country skiers, snowshoers and wildlife! It’s a popular spot due to its proximity to the big city.
From Sherpas Cinema
This location is the mecca of backcountry skiing in Canada. And it’s known by skiers worldwide for a reason! Not only can you find beginner to advanced runs here, but you can also find a variety of terrain, tons and tons of dry/light pow, a long season and a hut or two to stay in.
Consider booking a trip with Local, Jeff! He can teach you the ins and outs of Rogers Pass. Find out more here.
Although located directly beside Whistler, Blackcomb is a totally different mountain. Calling to intermediate to advanced skiers, this mountain offers a higher number of gladed runs versus Whistler. You’ll also be able to find other terrain in this sweet spot! Blackcomb offers slackcountry options for those who don’t want to skin up on a quick day out looking for gnarly turns.
To discover Blackcomb with a certifed Local guide, book a day in the backcountry with Whistler local, Dave.
From Sherpas Cinema
Be ready for world-class apres following your day in the backcountry! This mountain is great for those in the beginner to intermediate stages, but also offers epic options for those who classify in the advanced range.
Duffey Lake Road
Not too far from Whistler, Duffey Lake Road offers some wonderful options for a quiet and secluded day. Depending on what your plan is, you’ll also have access to a sweet hut hidden in the mountains.
Remember, safety is paramount! Bring your avy gear, know your avalanche skills and be prepared. You can book an avalanche skills training session (1 and 2) through one of our experienced, knowledgeable and certified Locals!
From Travel Alberta / John Price
Each one of these backcountry skiing destinations offers something different and exciting. Remember, this is just a starting point for your trip planning! If this is your first time out in the big wild, go with a guide. This will make your trip easier, your knowledge grow faster and your overall experience safer. Book with a Yervana Local today.
See you on the mountain!
ROGERS PASS DEEP DECEMBER
Three days of Deep December Powder, what a great Christmas present! Rogers Pass is renown for its huge snowfall and cold deep powder skiing and in late December it can be waist deep. We will be staying at the Kicking Horse River Lodge. This is an ideal trip for intermediate to strong skiers who like to ski and ride a lot.
HUT BASED AST 2
This trip involves a total of 9.5 hr in the classroom and three days in the field. Each morning we’ll have short morning sessions for trip and day planning, then aim for full day field trips with an emphasis on student leading: objective selection, route planning, navigation & timing, track-setting, terrain and hazard evaluation, snowpack evaluation and more.