In the Selkirk Range, close to Rogers Pass, British Columbia, Canada
Ski touring week in one of BC’s premier backcountry skiing destinations, with helicopter access.
Sorcerer Lodge ski touring highlights:
- 10 m /33 ft average snowfall per year
- Up to 1,200 m- / 4,000 ft-vertical ski runs
- Breathtaking scenery with big glaciers
- Lots of summit opportunities
- Comfortable hut with sauna
- Optional Calgary airport shuttle
Imagine spending a week in a remote wilderness area, surrounded by big glaciers, powder snow, and long ski runs. This is a truly Canadian backcountry skiing experience!
This ski week is based out of Sorcerer Lodge (2,040 m / 6,700 ft) — a quick 15-minute helicopter ride from the Trans-Canada Highway between Golden, BC and Rogers Pass. Just outside the boundary of Glacier National Park, the area receives a legendary snowpack which usually accumulates to about 4 m / 13 ft of settled snow by March.
The ski terrain is high alpine, largely glaciated, and quite serious. On the many northerly aspects, the powder snow stays well into May, at which time one also finds good corn snow on the sunny pistes. There are many summit possibilities, some of which yield almost 1,200 m / 4,000 ft runs. There is also great tree skiing right below the hut for snowy weather or low-stability days. After your delightful day of ski touring with a light pack, you will come back to the cozy lodge for hot (and cold) drinks, a delicious meal and a wood sauna! It’s hard to beat!
Detail and Logistics
Two options: 1) Meet the evening before the first day of the trip at 5PM in Parsons or Golden, BC at our preferred Inn/Hotel for a trip briefing and dinner with the group and guides. 2) On Demand, we also offer organized van transport from Calgary Airport or Canmore and Banff, AB to Parsons or Golden BC. From there, we will all drive together to the staging area, which is located just a couple of kilometers east of Heather Mountain Lodge at the Trans-Canada Highway (Hwy 1), about 30 min or 55km west of the town of Golden, BC or 20 min northeast of Rogers Pass. Departure time for the first helicopter shuttle to Sorcerer Lodge is scheduled for 7.45am on Saturday morning.
The Selkirk Range in BC’s Columbia Ranges are primarily influenced by a moist, maritime climate (very much in contrast to Canadian Rockies) with moderate winter temps. During a typical ski touring week, you should be prepared for heavy snowfall and temps from -1C (30F) to -15C (5F). But of course, it can get as cold as -30C (-22F) in a cold mid-winter week and as warm as 10C (50F) during a warm, spring skiing week in May.
For spring skiing weeks, powder snow (dry, cold snow) usually preserves well on the many northerly aspects even if it hasn’t snowed in days. At the same time, the southerly aspects will start to corn up (melt-freeze cycle) with sunny weather, which yields nice spring skiing, if the descents are well timed with the day time heating. Unfortunately, as with any backcountry skiing, we can’t exclude (but do our best to avoid) the “in-between stages” of powder and corn: Crud a.k.a breakable crusts!
Services Included in the Total Price
Regular trip package: Guiding and instruction by an internationally (UIAGM / IFMGA / ACMG) certified mountain or ski guide, 7 nights bunk bed lodging in the Sorcerer Lodge, 7 multi-course dinners and breakfast (meals are professionally precooked and will be prepared with assistance of the group members in the hut), lunch supplies, non-alcoholic beverages (juices, tea and electrolyte beverages), helicopter transfer to and from the lodge, equipment rental (harnesses, Barryvox Pulse transceivers), all trip organisation.
Not Included in the Total Price Are:
Airfare, Ski touring equipment (can be rented),Snacks, Alcoholic beverages (should be purchased by each participant individually), optional single room supplement for Pre / Post trip package in Canmore, Parson or Golden.
Any Special Meal requests will incur an additional fee of $10 / day.
Any additional cost due to changes in the itinerary, may they be caused by weather, mountain conditions or personal preferences.
Strenuous backcountry ski tour in alpine, mostly glaciated terrain.
You need to be at least an intermediate skier, who can safely and controlled descend even in difficult snow conditions with a day touring backpack!
You need to be in good physical and mental condition, ready to be on your feet for about 7-8 hrs each day.
However, on some days, there will be an option for shorter days with relax time at the hut! If in doubt, give us a call!
You need either sturdy telemark equipment or (more common in Canada) alpine touring equipment – either is available for rental at our base in Canmore, Banff or Golden, BC. Please call ahead, so we can advice you and set you up with the right equipment for you. As with all our trips, we will provide you with a detailed equipment list with your booking confirmation.
Bring the following, or rent it (see ‘Trip Info Links’ at the bottom of the page):
Alpine touring (or telemark*) skis and ski boots
Collapsible, lightweight ski poles
Climbing skins (stick-on), fitted to your skis
Ski crampons (rent these with rented skis, or purchase your own for your own skis)
*Only bring telemark skis if you are an advanced telemark skier with backcountry experience.
If you do not have one or more of the following items, you can rent them from one of the listed retailers or from OnTop. Please book in advance.
Digital, 3-antenna avalanche transceiver
Lightweight snow shovel
Avalanche probe (two to three meters long)
Harness for glacier travel
One triple-action locking carabiner or two conventional locking carabiners
Bring the following:
Two small or a medium size duffel bag, or backpack, to transport your things in the helicopter
Daypack for ski touring (30-45 liters)
Crevasse rescue equipment, if you are familiar with it. (Prusik cords, webbing, pulleys, auto-locking device). Your guide will bring a full set.
General repair kit and Leatherman (can be shared between several people)
Spare parts specific to your equipment
Temperatures in the Western Canadian mountain ranges vary hugely. Between December and February, temperatures can be well below 0°C during the day and drop as low as –30°C overnight. Between March and May, it can be above freezing during the day with overnight lows not normally going below –10°C. Having several clothing layering options is important.
Wind and waterproof shell jacket with hood (Gore-Tex or similar)
Wind and waterproof over-pants (Gore-Tex or similar)
Ski touring pants (eg. lined Schoeller fabric or similar)
Thick fleece or wool pullover, or PrimaLoft jacket
Medium weight fleece shirt
Thin synthetic or wool underwear, top and bottoms
Two or more pairs of gloves (lightweight and heavier weight)
Scarf or neck gaiter (eg. Buff)
Socks (synthetic or wool, thick outer and thin liners)
Wool or fleece hat that covers your ears
Gaiters that fit over your ski boot (unless pants seal tightly to your boots)
Sun hat, preferably with a wide rim
Around the lodge
Space and weight on the helicopter are limited. Please keep personal items to a minimum.
Clothing for the hut and for sleeping
Extra underwear and socks
Light down jacket or vest
Light hut slippers or Crocs
Towel and sauna-wear (optional)
Games, books, etc. (optional)
Moderate quantity of après-ski beverages (optional)
Sunglasses with high UV protection
Ski goggles with high UV protection
Sunscreen and lip protection with high SPF
One-litre water bottle with insulator. Water bladders not recommended
Headlamp with spare battery
Snacks (eg. candy bars, dried fruit, nuts, etc.)
Personal first aid kit and other needs (eg. blister kit, prescription medicine, anti-inflammatory, contact lenses, prescription glasses, etc.)
Pocket knife (optional)
Health and travel insurance documents
Ziploc bags to keep important items dry (optional)
Rain cover specific to your pack, or large plastic bag
Camera with spare batteries (optional)
Compass, maps, GPS (optional)
Ski wax / skin wax (optional)
Hand sanitizer or sanitary hand wipes
- Intermediate skiing
- Good fitness required
- Light daypacks
- Mostly open terrain
- Some tree skiing
- Lots of glaciers
Individual and Small Group Bookings, 8 Days;
Mar 24 – 31, 2019 – SOLD OUT!!
Custom Trips / Group Bookings:
Please contact us.
- CA $2550
plus 5% GST
On request, we can quote you in your preferred currency
2 guides and guides’ expenses, 7 nights Sorcerer Lodge, 7 x dinner, 7 x breakfast, lunch supplies & snacks, helicopter transfer.
Extra: transport to staging area (can be quoted separately), rental of ski equipment, rental of avalanche safety equipment ($100 for the avalanche safety items, $50 for the harness and carabiners).