Spearhead Traverse, BC
Canada West Mountain School Guides have been leading the Spearhead Range ski mountaineering traverse since 1985 and we know all the best route variations possible! This allows us you to experience the best skiing with the fewest tracks and no crowds! Join our professional ACMG Ski Guides this season on our three-day traverse between Blackcomb and Whistler Mountains. Crossing 12 glaciers on a traverse of the Spearhead Range, the route stays above 2,000 meters most of the way, allowing for amazing skiing and spectacular views.
- 2023 Dates:
Feb 24-26, 2023
Mar 24-26, 2023
April 21-23, 2023
The Spearhead Range Ski Traverse is conducted in the backcountry regions of Garibaldi Park. Participants must be very comfortable skiing in any snow conditions on Black runs in a ski area. At least strong Intermediate skiing/riding skills and above are recommended. While you will not be skiing steep or technical terrain on this trip, conditions will be un-groomed and variable, and include a lot of ski descents each day with a big pack on. If you are unsure of your ability or if this trip is suited for you, please contact our office directly to discuss the requirements.
Previous overnight summer or winter backpack camping is required, the Spearhead Traverse includes 2 nights of tent camping. You will be skiing with an overnight backpack on as well, so previous skiing experience with a pack is helpful.
Boarders interested in joining on a split-board will need to be very comfortable with fast transitions; skiing downhill in split mode (ski mode); using their poles to propel across flats while in boarding mode; and, are in excellent physical condition. This trip is not recommended for snowboarders on snowshoes.
Skiers must have Alpine Touring (AT) or Telemark (Tele) skis, bindings and climbing skins.
The Spearhead traverse is a high ski traverse linking the glaciated alpine region between Blackcomb and Whistler mountains, travelling through the Spearhead Range of the Coast Mountains in Garibaldi Provincial Park. The tour starts at the top of the alpine lifts on Blackcomb Mountain at 2,280 meters and follows a route across at least 12 glaciers over the full 36 km distance, staying above 2,000 meters for the first 21 km's before the final descent back down to Whistler Village.
Canada West Mountain School Guides have been leading the Spearhead Range ski mountaineering traverse since 1985 and we know all the route variations available! We prefer to take 3 days for this traverse as it allows us to spend more time skiing without the big packs on, and gives us an opportunity to get more vertical skiing in than on a typical 2-day traverse!
- The following is a brief outline of the Canada West Mountain School 3-day Spearhead Range ski mountaineering traverse. Many different variables (such as weather, snow and route conditions, group experience levels, etc) may influence the final details and logistics, so the following should be considered a general outline only.
Canada West Guides have been leading the Spearhead Ski Traverse since the 1980's and we know many variations that will get you off the beaten path and onto the best hidden ski runs that are rarely skied!
Meet in Whistler at 08:00 am at the base of Blackcomb Mountain ski lifts. After a review of current avalanche, weather and snowpack conditions you will perform a thorough gear check with your Guide. After this, you will head up the lifts to begin the tour into Garibaldi Park. Your first day will likely get you out into the heart of the Spearheads, with camp established close to Mount Pattison. After camp is set up there is usually time for a ski ascent (and descent!) of nearby Mt. Trorey, Mt. Pattison or Mt. Decker.
You will be up early and out across the glaciers heading towards the high passes and across to the Iago Glacier and a spectacular high ridge camp! Again, after camp is set up, you can leave the big pack behind and focus on skiing. Alternately, your team may choose to get some runs in "en-route" between camps, if the conditions are right.
From your camp on the Iago, you will enter into the most challenging section of the Spearhead Traverse, with a big ski descent into the Diavolo Glacier before you climb back up and over Overlord Mountain. After an exciting ski descent down the massive Overlord Glacier, you will then ski out to Singing Pass and onwards to the final destination in Whistler Village to relax and enjoy your accomplishment!