Backcountry Skiing & Splitboarding
Join our local Ski Guides for an exciting day skiing and riding in the Whistler Backcountry – we will show you the best lines, tips on finding good powder, how to stay safe and have a great backcountry adventure at the same time! Spend a full day in the back bowls of Whistler/Blackcomb and cover everything – gear, where the best skiing is, route finding, hazard awareness, avalanche safety, ski/riding techniques and more. Get yourself prepped to head out and see why the backcountry is the place to be this winter!
- Cost: $135 + GST
Included in course cost:
- All instruction by Professional Guide/Instructors
- Use of our avalanche beacons
- Use of G3 probe
- Use of G3 Avi-tech shovel
Costs do not include lift access, transportation, food, accommodation, or personal equipment not listed.
Lift Acces on Whistler/Blackcomb:
All participants require lift access for the Whistler/Blackcomb day. Lift access or reservations are not included in the course fee. If you have a Whistler/Blackcomb Pass (Epic, Season, Edge, etc.) you are responsible for reserving your day as soon as possible.
If you do not have a Pass or cannot secure a reservation, Canada West Mountain School can supply a Backcountry Pass for $59/day (select Lift Pass option when booking), this does not require an advance reservation
If you have your own pass but cannot secure a reservation, we suggest you continue to try reserving a day through your own pass if you have one, as Vail is constantly updating the inventory available for each day and you may still be able to get a reservation. If not, our Guide will have extra Backcountry passes available for you on the morning of the tour, so you can continue trying to make a reservation up until the last minute.
Scheduled programs for 2021:
January 2, 2021
January 16, 2021
January 23, 2021
January 30, 2021
February 13, 2021
February 27, 2021
March 13, 2021
March 20, 2021
Our Backcountry Skiing course can be booked as a Private trip for any date with any size of group. Please contact us directly for details on setting up a Private program - firstname.lastname@example.org
All of our Backcountry Programs are held in areas that have terrain suitable for all levels of ability. We will not lead our participants into terrain that is above your comfort level. We will also choose locations based on current avalanche, snow and weather conditions - safety is always our first priority!
The Backcountry Skiing course is typically held in the bowls and peaks behind Whistler or Blackcomb, as this region offers an immense variety of terrain and skiing options plus easy access via the lifts. This program is often arranged for Private groups as well and can also be held in the Duffey Lake area; on Mount Seymour; at Diamond Head; and, in the Coquihalla region
Students are responsible for getting to and from the course areas.
The emphasis of the day will be for you to learn through actively participating in a full day of backcountry touring. You will be moving all day through a variety of terrain, yet you will have ample to time to learn all the skills and ask questions throughout the day. Your Instructor will choose objectives that are appropriate to your ski and riding level as well, of course! Here are some of the basic objectives of the day:
- Intro to avalanche safety – basic awareness of bulletins, Danger scale, etc. This is not an Avalanche course, but you will certainly cover the basics
- Intro to use of transceivers, probes, shovels
- Use of ski touring gear – bindings, skins, what to carry, emerg gear, comms, etc. Tips and tricks to help you out
- Understanding of route finding, map use, terrain management
- Track setting, uphill route choice and group management
- Downhill line selection, skier management, etc
- Situational awareness, pacing, time management, etc
- Backcountry ethics and the difference between resort skiing and backcountry skiing
- Good turns!
All of the above will be covered throughout the day in discussions, practice and actual application.
In regards to travel and terrain, you will be heading into the Musical Bumps area behind Whistler; or, into the backcountry behind Blackcomb. The final decision will be made on the morning of your tour, based on current conditions and if there are any lift closures affecting access on either mountain. The Whistler Backcountry Map by John Baldwin is the best map for both these areas if you are interested, though you do not need to have this.
You will require a lift pass for the day, please confirm in advance with our office if you wish to purchase a Backcountry Lift pass for $59 for the day, or if you already have your own pass.
Plan for a full day of touring into the backcountry, please be prepared for a lot of touring and skiing in a variety of weather and snow conditions. You will alternate between periods of uphill travel of about 1 hour, with skiing downhill. Please choose clothing that allows for ease of layering systems to adjust between uphill and downhill skiing activities.
Plan for a full day of touring into the backcountry, please be prepared for a lot of touring and skiing in a variety of weather and snow conditions. You will alternate between periods of uphill travel followed with skiing/riding downhill. Please choose clothing that allows for ease of layering systems to adjust between uphill and downhill skiing activities.
Please review this Gear List - Backcountry Ski Touring Gear List
If you have questions regarding the equipment required for the Ski Touring course, please contact our office directly.
Review these documents, and bring completed Waiver and Medical Forms to your program:
Canada West Mountain School Medical and Waiver Form - CWMS Medical & Waiver form
Cancellation and Transfer policy - Cancellation and Transfer Policy
CWMS Gear List - Backcountry Skiing - Backcountry Touring Gear List