Wilderness Ski Trips

Get away from it all

We’ve got one to match your ambition

We have offered ski camps and ski traverses for many years. This season there is an increasing demand for more local trips geared towards Canadian clients, not to mention trips that allow for better social distancing than the huts allow.

Every ski guide I know learned their craft starting with these kinds of trips in the company of others on the same path. Ski traverses and ski camps are where our hearts lie. Even though they are hard work and involve at least a bit of suffering, being in these remote, wild places has an irresistible lure.

So we are pleased to offer the following trips in the winter and spring of 2021. Each is a bit different, and we’ve arranged them starting with hard and getting harder as you go down the list!

Nirvana Pass
Nirvana Pass

Nirvana Pass Ski Camp

In the centre of the legendary Pantheon Range, Nirvana Pass is home to mountains as awesome as their mythical namesakes: Osiris, Thor, Siva, Vishnu, and many others. What is most incredible about this area is the number of skiable lines to be found amongst the tumbling glaciers. We will spend a week in March based out of a comfortable tent camp at the apex of the pass, exploring a few of the many incredible ski runs and mountaineering objectives out our front door. We will have a heated kitchen/cook tent and a drying/shower tent. Access is by helicopter. If you need a tent we can provide you with one.

Our Nirvana Pass camp is a great way for you to get your wilderness ski camp legs under you. You’ll be camping in the sub-alpine with the comforts and amenities of a basecamp, but it’s still winter camping!

Dates: Mar 7-13, 2021 (NP21)

What’s included: Heli flights in and out of Nirvana Pass,  all meals from dinner on March 7 to breakfast on March 12, Guiding and Cook’s fees.

What’s not included: Equipment, transportation, gratuities, trip cancellation and evacuation insurance.

Price: $3250 CAD + GST

For more details visit our Nirvana Pass Ski Camp information page. We ran a very successful trip there in 2018, check out our 2018 Nirvana Pass Trip Report for details.

Camp on Platform Glacier, Day 2

Spearhead :: Blackcomb to Whistler

A quick hit from Vancouver, this is a world class ski traverse with world class terrain. We use the lifts to access the slackcountry out of Blackcomb and then head south along the horseshoe spine of the Spearhead range, finishing up in Whistler and exiting via Singing Pass.

While the Spearhead can be done in a day we will take 4 days. The best part of the Spearhead is not so much the traversing but the outstanding skiing that can be done from the crest of the spine down, down, into the depths of the valleys. In a typical year we’re competing with the heliskiers but this year promises to be less of an issue in that regard, so perfect timing!

This is a great first wilderness ski traverse. In some ways it’s the real deal: you’re carrying your gear, you’re skiing real, awesome ski lines. But access is assisted by the lifts in Blackcomb, and there are plenty of opportunities to ski down with light day packs from your camp on the spine. A gentle introduction to some really rad skiing.

Dates: Custom, contact us to book your dates.

Difficulty: Classic pace; advanced skiing.

What’s included: Virtual pre-trip training (food prep, gear selection, etc.), Guiding fees.

What’s not included: Food, transportation, equipment, tents, gratuities, trip cancellation and evacuation insurance.

Price: $750 per person + GST (based on minimum group size of 3)

The Great Traverses

Sir Sandford, Day 4

Northern Selkirks Ski Traverse

This is an abbreviated version of the Great Traverse of the Northern Selkirks. Essentially it’s an extension of the Bugs to Rogers traverse. Traditionally it starts across the road from where the Bugs to Rogers finishes and continues up to Mica Dam. This version begins with a heli drop in the alpine north of Rogers Pass (close to Selkirk Lodge in fact) and finishes either up Stitt Creek or at Fairy Meadow. We did a couple of these traverses in the years before lodge trips started dominating our winter months. So I look forward to returning to do this excellent trip, which fits nicely into a one-week ski holiday. Excellent below-treeline camping every night as well as fantastic ski mountaineering options are the trademarks of this trip. You must be in good physical condition and have solid intermediate to advanced ski skills. No special mountaineering experience is required. It’s an ideal “first” wilderness traverse.

Dates: April 3-10, 2021 (NS21)

Difficulty: Classic Pace; good fitness. A resume for a participant in this trip would consist of a couple of trips on the Wapta plus something like the Spearhead traverse where you’re carrying your camping gear on your back.

What’s included: helicopter access (to Ventego Lake and back from Fairy Meadow), food, food drops, shuttles from / to Golden BC, and guiding

What’s not included: personal gear, gratuities, transportation to Golden BC, hotels & food in Golden, gratuities, trip cancellation and evacuation insurance.

Price: $3250 per person + GST

For more details visit our Northern Selkirks trip information page. Our last time guiding this traverse was in 2012, here’s a link to the photo album!

Camp at the Malloy Igloo, Day 2

Bugaboos to Rogers Pass Ski Traverse

We have run several successful Bugs to Rogers ski trips over the years. It’s a lot of work but worth it. It’s considered one of the big plums of ski mountaineering in Western Canada due to the seriousness of the terrain and the difficult mountaineering challenges such as the Deville Headwall. Tom has guided this route successfully in a wide range of conditions.

Dates: April 11-25, 2021

Difficulty: Advanced; excellent fitness and good mountaineering skills are required for this demanding trip. Your resume should include at least a couple of wilderness ski mountaineering trips (such as the Northern Selkirks Traverse above) and some summer mountaineering experience on rock and glaciers.

What’s included: helicopter access, food, food drops, shuttles from / to Golden BC, and guiding.

What’s not included: personal gear, gratuities, transportation to Golden BC, hotels & food in Golden, gratuities, trip cancellation and evacuation insurance.

Price: $4450 per person + GST (BR21)

For more details visit our Bugaboos to Rogers Pass trip information page. Our last time guiding the Bugs to Rogers traverse was in 2014, here’s the trip report!

Sawback Alpine Adventures
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