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Featured Trips

Mountaineering and Adventuring, for over 25 years.

We offer all types of mountaineering adventures. In the winter season we specialize in high end ski touring trips to BC’s finest Backcountry lodges as well as exotic international destinations like Svalbard, Greenland, Antarctica and Europe. For the 2021 season we have added some local trips as well as some exotic Wild Skiing trips. Here is a selection from our upcoming season.

Wild Ski Trips

Really “off the grid”

Every ski guide I know started with these kinds of trips. Ski traverses and ski camps are where our hearts lie. Even though they are hard work and involve at least a bit of suffering, being in these remote, wild places has an irresistible lure.

Nirvana Pass

Mountains as awesome as their mythical namesakes

“Rows of glaciers on either side of the valley are lined up one beside the other at varying degrees of steepness, all perfect for skiing. The peaks are towering and rugged. I’ve been to most of the best backcountry ski lodges in the world … Nirvana tops them all for terrain.”

Fjords of Northern Norway Ski and Sail

Explore Northern Norway’s fjords and glaciers

The first week will be spent skiing along the coastal mountains of the Lyngen Alps, staying in quaint mountain huts and hotels in small towns. On day 6 we will board the Rembrandt van Rijn and continue along the rugged coastline of Northern Norway, exploring the fjords and glaciated peaks that makes this region so famous.

Burnie Glacier Chalet

A few spots still available for March 2021

One of Canada’s very best ski touring lodges, Burnie is surrounded by towering glaciated peaks with epic 1500 m runs, and 700 m tree skiing behind the hut!

Antarctica Ski & Sail

Ski, sail and kayak tour on the Antarctic Peninsuila

In November/December 2022 we are partnering with Ski Antarctica to provide an unforgettable trip of a lifetime to Antarctica by sailboat.

Bow Yoho Traverse

Comfortable hut to hut ski touring in the Canadian Rockies, April 2021

We are the Wapta Deluxe experts. For years we have offered the very finest Bow Yoho traverses. Our clients have confirmed that this is the closest you’ll get to a luxury Euro-style traverse in Canada and certainly on the Wapta. Find out why! Book now!

Bugaboos to Rogers Pass

Canada’s Great Haute Route

The Bugs to Rogers traverse is arguably the most coveted ski traverse in Western Canada. It starts with the spectacular Bugaboos and continues across the beautiful northern section of the Purcells, finishing with a high line through the Selkirk Mountains to Rogers Pass.

Avalanche Skills Training 2

Intermediate level decision making in avalanche terrain

This course expands on the AST 1 program with more advanced weather and snow evaluation and, a lot more time in the mountains with our professional guides observing and moving in and around avalanche terrain.

JaPOW

Ski the Land of the Rising Sun, now booking February 2022

Japan has formed a legendary reputation for deep powder skiing in January and February. The saying “Don’t Leave Powder to Find Powder” is common in western Canada – why leave Canada when we have the best skiing in the world? Well, Japan is a strong contender, and when you add the incredible cultural experience to the mix it rises to the top of any serious skier’s bucket list.

Bonnington Traverse

Kootenay Hut to Hut Skiing

The Rockies are known for the great glaciated hut-to-hut traverses: the Wapta Traverse and the Yoho Traverse (or the “Bow-Yoho” Traverse as it’s also known). Deep in the Kootenays is a completely different kind of trip, the Bonnington Traverse. This is a 3-day (with heli-drop) or 4-day traverse that links alpine and sub-alpine ridges from Ymir all the way to Porto Rico, just a few minutes drive south of Nelson

Northern Selkirks Traverse

Booking for 2021

North of Rogers Pass is a chain of high glaciated peaks that forms the Northern Selkirks Traverse. We begin the trip near Sorcerer Lodge at Ventego Lake at the base of the south face of Mt. Iconoclast. Over the course of 7 days we work our way northward, exiting either via Stitt Creek or over the Adamants and fly out from Fairy Meadow.

Avalanche Skills Training 1

An effective framework for riding safely in avalanche terrain

Our AST 1 courses this season will be run over two online evening sessions and a full field day.  The theory sessions are set up within the framework of Avalanche Canada with a focus on getting people as familiar with the field day content and concepts as possible and the field day focuses on practical application of safe travel techniques and rescue systems.

Svalbard Ski & Sail

Explore the Fjords of Svalbard from the s/v Noorderlicht

The most exotic guided ski touring trip possible: backcountry ski touring and sailing along the west coast of Spitsbergen in the Greenland sea, 1000 km north of Norway, in the Svalbard archipelago of over 60 (mostly unpopulated) islands. It is a wild and remote place, and at a latitude of greater than 78º, high in the Arctic, it is level with Canada’s Ellesmere Island, or the northernmost end of Greenland. Yet it easy to access – with three-times daily flights from Oslo – and offers the supreme comfort of a luxury sailing yacht.

Guided Backcountry Days

Local guided backcountry skiing adventures at a great price point

Join us on a guided backcountry splitboarding/skiing in the Canadian Rockies. These days are set up as objective based outings with a large element of education built into the day. An ideal way to get out and see/experience more committing terrain under the guidance and leadership of our fully certified ACMG ski/board guides.

More About Us

Sawback was founded by Tom Wolfe in 1995, running mountain hiking trips for groups. Since then we have expanded programming to offer just about any mountaineering adventure you could imagine. Tom is a trained and internationally certified Mountain Guide and a member of the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG) and the International Federation of Mountain Guides (IFMGA).

We work with a variety of other certified guides. See our Guides and Partners Page for some photos and brief bios.

For existing trips, simply use our Book Now link to fire off a quick booking request. We will follow up quickly with you to confirm the booking with you.

If you are looking for a custom trip – e.g. a day of ski touring or ice climbing or a multi-day trip that we don’t offer – email or phone us or use our contact form. We will offer suggestions and personally help you organize the best possible trip for you .

Sawback is primarily a small one-man operation. While there are guides who work with large operations in Western Canada there is also a small, co-operative community of independent guides who pass work they can’t do on to others who can. If Tom can’t join you in your mountain adventure we will refer you to another independent mountain guide who will.

Sawback’s guides are members of the following associations:

Canadian Avalanche Association members are dedicated to upholding the highest standards of avalanche safety, and are committed to life-long learning and pursuit of excellence in their fields.

The International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations (IFMGA/UIAGM), founded in 1965, is the international umbrella for mountain guide associations from more than 20 countries in Europe, Asia, the Americas, and Oceania, representing a total of almost 6,000 guides.

Avalanche Canada aims to minimize public risk in avalanche terrain by providing leadership, development, communication, coordination and delivery of public avalanche safety education, warnings, products, and services.

The Association of Canadian Mountain Guides has been the voice for all aspects of mountain guiding and instruction in Canada for over half a century and the first guides outside of Europe to be recognized by the International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations.

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