Climb the peaks, then carve your
turns into vast, remote
terrain: that's ski mountaineering!
Transfer your ski-lift technique to the steep and deep. The mountain
ranges of north central British Columbia rate alongside some of the
great mountain ranges of the planet - Mount Cronin, the Galleon,
Howson Range...Heli-ski a glacier or climb-and-ski the ridges of
your choice. The length and steepness of runs are comparable to the
Alps, yet crowds are non-existent and there is plenty of wildlife.
|Try the great King
Louis run down the front of Hudson Bay Mountain in the
beautiful Bulkley Valley - 1800 vertical metres at a constant
34 degrees, from peak to pavement in Glacier Gulch.
Climb the Babines and ski the steeps on local glaciers.
The spring snow is
magnificent in the Howson Range, where large glaciers loom
above deep forests of hemlock and fir.
You should be an advanced skier in
reasonable shape to try this. Guided trips range from one-day
adventures to two-week expeditions in the St. Elias Mountains.
Equipment is included at no extra charge for all courses and trips.
BEGINNER & ADVANCED COURSES
- use of skins, route selection
- avalanche skills
- living in a winter environment
The Burnie Glacier Chalet -
Backcountry skiing and mountaineering from a remote, comfortable,
and beautiful mountain lodge - that's what the Burnie Glacier Chalet
Howson Range is all about. Lots of snow, the best backcountry ski
terrain, an experienced ACMG/ UIAGM mountain guide, fantastic tree
runs and glacier runs, high icy peaks - just step out the door and
find yourself in the northern Coast Mountains of British Columbia,
Canada, 50 km from Smithers, as the helicopter flies.
in the summer of 2001, this 7x7m (24x24 ft) ski lodge sleeps
10 guests and two staff on three stories. Guests sleep in two
bedrooms with two beds and one bedroom with seven beds. There
is bedding and duvets - no need to bring a sleeping bag. The
main floor is the kitchen and dining area, seating 14. The
basement is for storage and for drying gear. The ski hut is
heated with a large wood cookstove and a heater in the
basement. Water is carried from a nearby creek. There are no
showers, and the sanitary facilities consist of a three-seater
composting outhouse. Lighting is by propane and generator.
The food will be simple and
wholesome. We will prepare it and ask for your help with bringing
water as well as the dishes. The ski hut has a liquor licence and
beer and wine will be available.
Groups who are responsible with the
hut and in the backcountry can rent it on a weekly base. The price
for a week for a group of ten is $7,500, for a weekend (Friday to
Sunday) $5000. For smaller groups, the rental can be arranged
at $45 per person and day, and $350 per person for the helicopter
flight. We regret to have to raise the helicopter rates because fuel
and insurance cost increases have driven our cost up dramatically.
A damage deposit of $1,000 is
required and will be
refunded after inspection. The hut rental includes the flight in and
out, use of the hut (without the guide's room), firewood and
The flights are included, but the
food is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your own
safety in the backcountry. Renters are responsible for any damage
they cause to the hut.
How to get here
Early in the winter, access is by
helicopter. Part of the group will start at the Canadian Helicopters
hangar in Smithers (near the district forestry office) and another
will drive up the Telkwa River Road to a staging area near Milk
Creek. Later in the winter, we will use a ski plane that starts from
the Smithers airport and lands on Burnie Lake. It is an easy 5 km
ski to the hut from there.
Communications and emergencies
The hut has a radio telephone that allows both outgoing and incoming
calls. It depends on electrical power, which depends on a generator,
and cannot always be relied on. If you have to be evacuated, there
is usually communication available. However, the cost for the
evacuation is your responsibility. If you have to leave early or
come late for a week, budget $800 for an extra flight
Tree runs from 400 to 700 vertical meters, corn runs up to 1100
meters, and long ascents over intricate glaciers topped with icy
ridges and faces: you pick your ski terrain. There is a great
variety that allows good backcountry skiing in most conditions. In
poor visibility, the tree skiing is excellent, while the higher and
longer alpine ski touring trips require somewhat better conditions.
For very stormy days, you can set a cross country ski track in the
meadows toward the lake or read by the warm stove.
You must be a competent skier or snowboarder. On most trips, there
are pitches as steep as a double black diamond on a ski hill.
Conditions can be difficult: windblown or crusty snow can be
encountered any day. You must be able to climb 1200 m or 4000 feet
in a day, even for the easier trips. We will, of course, make
allowance for slower skiers.
What to bring
Rental skis, skins, ski crampons, beacons, probes and shovels are
available, but we re-commend you bring your own. Your luggage will
be weighed and cannot be heavier than 15 kg (33 lb.). Bring ski
clothing and a set of comfortable clothes to change into.
- Large day backpack
- ski underwear
- 2 pairs of socks
- 2 light fleece
- 1 pile or fleece
- 1 shell
- ski pants and
gaiters if necessary
- light down jacket
- beacon, probe,
- personal first aid
kit and medications
- glacier sunglasses
- ski goggles
- warm hat or toque
- sun hat
- sun protection for
skin and lips
- good ski gloves
- thermos bottle
- map and compass
(optional, 1: 50,000 93 L/5 Burnie Lake)
- camera and film
- toothbrush, towel,
sponge, soap etc.
- slippers or camp
- headlamp or
- casual clothes for
wearing at the hut
- skis, skins, ski
- harness, prusik
slings, locking carabiner (available)
- ski mountaineering