Getting Up to Get Down: Backcountry Touring in Revelstoke
Revelstoke backcountry touring offers you a whole new way to experience the serenity of the mountains in winter: with two feet and a heartbeat. With some of the deepest, driest snow in the world and moderate winter temperatures, Revelstoke backcountry touring is second to none. Located in the central Columbia Mountains, Revelstoke is a backcountry skiing mecca – go backcountry touring in the Monashees and the Selkirks in the same weekend! If you plan to go backcountry touring in Rogers Pass in Glacier National Park, be sure to stop at the Parks Canada Information Centre or visit their website for the latest updates on closures and avalanche conditions and to pick up a permit.
Easy: Before heading out for a day in the mountains, make sure you and your group have the appropriate equipment, knowledge, know-how, and information about the snowpack, avalanche conditions, and weather. We highly recommend hiring a professional guide to help you out! A good zone for first time backcountry enthusiasts is at Mount Macpherson. “The Fingers” are ideal for a shorter day or multiple descents. For access, park at the Nordic ski club lodge ($5) and follow the Main Loop to Mountain Climb Trail. Turn left – the cross country ski trail ends with a bridge crossing and the uphill track starts from there.
Intermediate: Abundance and variety are both blessings and challenges for backcountry tourists in the Columbia Ranges. For those looking to advance their skills, an Avalanche Skills Training (AST) course provides a good base of knowledge. Revelstoke Mountain Resort hosts a few of these courses each season, as the backcountry terrain surrounding the resort is second to none. Greely Trees (on the outskirts of Greely Bowl) is a great place to get some powder turns. Bring all your gear for out-of-bounds travel.
Difficult: Glacier National Park is the Shangri-La for experienced ski tourists. Stop in at the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre to learn about the areas which are restricted or prohibited by the Park’s highway avalanche control program, and to get permits for areas which may be open that day. If you have the fitness, the Seven Steps of Paradise are considered one of the 50 classic ski descents in North America! As part of Canada’s 150th birthday, all National Parks are free in 2017, so get out there and enjoy!
Check out Revelstoke pro skier Chris Rubens on “Gettin’ Up to Get Down: Ski Touring in Rogers Pass”
You’re responsible for your own safety when you’re backcountry touring. Before you venture out for some Revelstoke backcountry touring, you need to read the avalanche forecast from Avalanche Canada, Canada’s national public avalanche safety organization which is based right here in Revelstoke. Their public avalanche forecasters write daily forecast for the regions around Revelstoke and beyond, and avalanche forecasters for Parks Canada write a daily forecast for Glacier National Park. Read the North Columbia forecast, the South Columbia forecast and the Glacier National Park forecast.
Want some background on why avalanche safety matters? Know Before You Go: Staying Alive in the Backcountry
Everyone in your group needs to carry avalanche safety equipment (transceiver, shovel and probe), and know how to use it. If you have never taken an avalanche skills training (AST) course, this is a great place to do so to get ready for Revelstoke backcountry touring.
PHOTO: Explore the unknown safely. Hire a certified ski guide to make the most of your day.
Revelstoke Backcountry Touring FAQ’s
Where do I find avalanche information?
Visit Avalanche Canada’s website for information on regional avalanche conditions, weather reports, AST information and much more. Know before you go.
Where should I go?
If you’re unfamiliar with the area, consider hiring a ski guide to safely show you the goods. If you’re interested in Rogers Pass, make sure to check out Revelstoke resident Doug Sproul’s guide Rogers Pass: Uptracks, Bootpacks and Bushpacks.
Revelstoke Backcountry Touring – Locals Tip
Hit up a local coffee shop to stock up on snacks before you start your day of backcountry touring, and you’re guaranteed to run into other adventure seekers in snowpants doing the same!