Backcountry skiing in Revelstoke
Before you head out into the backcountry, make sure you are fully equipped for backcountry travel, you have the necessary skills and experience, and you’ve checked the local avalanche forecast. If you have less experience, hiring a guide is a great way to get into backcountry skiing.
Ski local at our go-to zone on Mount Macpherson. Whether you simply want to go out for a small day or a full one, Mt Macpherson never disappoints. Park at the Cross-Country ski lodge (5$ parking fee) follow the Main Loop up until you get to the Mountain Climb Trail, which is the second trail junction about 1.5 km from the Parking Lot. From there, the cross-country ski trail will end with a bridge crossing. The uphill track starts from there. There are several options from this point. You can either climb up “The fingers” which are the prominent avalanche corridors that can be seen from town. The Fingers are ideal for a shorter day or multiple descents. You can climb to the top of the fingers and explore the ridge finally leading to the summit if you have the legs and the lungs. From the summit, skiing “The Womb,” which is a large avalanche path on the skier’s right of the summit is always a great end to the day. If, from the bridge, you choose to keep going on the Mountain climb trail until the end, you will find yourself surrounded by large cedar trees. Lap these trees or climb higher to gain a zone called the Burnt Nub.
If you are willing to drive, nothing is quite like a day at the iconic Rogers Pass. Head 75km East of Revelstoke and you will find yourself in Glacier National Park, one of the best places to backcountry ski in Canada. The possibilities are endless here. The best place to start is a quick visit to the Discovery Centre where you can buy your Park Pass, get a Day permit for access, and find out what zones are open for the day. Please note that artillery is used regularly for avalanche control to keep the highway corridor safe for all, so it is your responsibility to check that the area you are wanting to explore is actually open that day.
One great place zone to ski/ride is actually right from the Discovery Centre. Walk behind the hotel to find the trailhead. Follow the trail up the Connaught drainage to find many options along the way. Grizzly shoulder, Teddy Bear Trees and Ursus Trees and 8812 are on the right hand side. Hour Glass & Cheops are on the left side of the drainage.
Itinerary Suggestions By: Melanie Bernier (National Ski Mountaineering Team)