Covid-19 Response

Revised June 15, 2022

We have successfully offered trips and courses throughout the pandemic starting in October 2020, following the evolving  government and health authority regulations as they apply to our guided trips. The result is many weeks of safe skiing for our guests over the past two seasons, despite the many challenges.

Operating Procedures:  Health and Safety Protocols

Sawback Alpine Adventures will be monitoring and following current and pertinent provincial health orders during the 2023 ski season. Our COVID-19 health and safety protocols will be modified to be in compliance with the active health and safety guidelines as set out by national and provincial health authorities.

While skiing with us this season, you must follow current COVID restrictions or protocols that may be in place during your stay with us, and these may change without notice.

Please note that any travel recommendations or restrictions traveling from your home to our various trip locations and back again are the responsibility of the traveler.

Effective immediately, Sawback Alpine Adventure’s Covid-19 Response Plan is as follows.

  1. Vaccination: we take Covid-19 very seriously and strongly advise you to get fully vaccinated, including booster shots, according to the schedule recomended by your home country’s health authority guidelines.
  2. Testing & Vaccination requirements: we no longer require testing or vaccination for participation in Sawback trips. We encourage you to bring rapid tests for your own sake but we will not test before or during trips.
  3. Masks: we encourage you to use PPE (e.g. N-95 masks, eye protection) if you feel it is necessary. We recognize there are many reasons to continue to be cautious: e.g. for your own safety or that of your loved ones back at home, or in the interests of staying healthy so you can fly home without delay or additional cost. However, masks are no longer required for any of Sawback’s trips at any time.
  4. Symptoms: if you are sick or show symptoms of a cold or covid infection on the trip start date you will not be allowe to participate in the trip. For this reason you are strongly urged to get trip cancellation insurance. If you develop symptoms during the trip we will respectfully ask you to wear a mask as much as possible when mixing with other group members. We will make our best effort to isolate or at least keep a spacing between you and other participants if it is reasonably possible. However, in the close quarters of mountain huts, hotels and boats this may not be possible. If you are well enough to continue the trip then you may do so, but if your illness jeapardizes the safety of the participants in any way (and that might just mean slowing us down) then we may require you to evacuate. In the event of illness developed during a trip we will expect all trip participants to use the same common sense as they would have used prior to the pandemic, but with a little more caution and a lot more compassion.
  5. Recent Covid cases: We ask that you please comply with health authority regulations and stay at home if in the last 5 days leading up to your trip with us you have tested positive for COVID-19 (PCR or antigen rapid test).


Rapid antigen and pcr tests for leaving canada by air

If you require a Rapid Antigen or PCR test for leaving Canada we can test you with a rapid test and provide you with a letter indicating your test result on Sawback letterhead. This may or may not satisfy the requirements for your destination country — it is up to you to check your destination country’s requirements. However, this past season our test result letters seemed to satisfy the requirements for entry into the USA for example.

Here are some other options to consider:



If you’re flying out of Calgary International Airport (YYC) an easy and affordable solution for testing is to stop in Canmore on your way. There are two pharmacies in town that offer this service. Contact them to make and appointment or enquire about drop-in capacity.

Shopper’s Drug Mart: to book an appointment click here. Make sure that Alberta province is selected (there’s a selection option near the top). Open 09:00 – 22:00, 7 days a week. Rapid test results in 30-60 minutes, PCR test results in 12-48 hours. Cost is $40 for rapid testing, $150 for PCR.

Grassroots Pharmacy: Call them at (403) 609-4100 to book an appointment. Open 09:00 – 17:00 6 days a week (closed Sundays). Rapid test results in 30-60 minutes, PCR test results in 24 hours. Cost is $50 for rapid testing, $150 for PCR.

British Columbia

Kelowna Airport:

If you’re flying out of Kelowna International Aiport (YLW) then you can get rapid test results in 30 minutes or PCR tests in 24-49 hours at the airport. Cost is $120 for rapid testing and $240 for PCR. Whitecap RSC is the provider. To book an appointment, visit or call 604-966-3777. Open Monday-Saturday 08:00-21:00 and Sunday 10:00-16:00 Click here for details.

Oslo airport:

There is a covid testing clinic conveniently located in Gardermoen airport. Cost is about 895 NOK.

Guests travelling from the US and other countries

Before leaving home, please be sure to have a full understanding of what is required to cross the border into Canada and also returning to your home country, either by air or ground travel. It is not the responsibility of Sawback Alpine Adventures to inform guests of what test results or documents are needed to enter Canada and return to your home country through various airports or border crossings.

Please understand, that if you have shown up with the wrong paperwork or test results and are denied access into Canada, we cannot issue refunds. As always, it is a strong recommendation to purchase both trip cancellation and travel insurance in order to protect your holiday investment.

Other Resources

Norway and Svalbard — As of 18. February, 2022 Norway lifted almost all restrictions relating to covid, including travel to Svalbard. That means no vaccine passport or testing required before or after entry. Please see the Norwegian government’s press release (currently only available in Norwegian). When leaving Norway at the end of your trip, if you are travelling to a country that requires testing for entry there are testing facilities available in Gardemoen airport.

Transport Canada travel requirements — check this page for the latest requirements for air travel in Canada and entering Canada from abroad.

Alpine Helicopters Vaccine Protocols — proof of vaccination is no longer required to fly in helicopters in Canada but you may be required to wear a mask.

COVID-19: Travel, testing, quarantine, and borders— government of Canada advice for travel during the pandemic

Alberta’s Guidance Documents for Workplace — a broad range of documents that we have consulted in implementing our Covid Policy for 2022.

British Columbia Centre for Disease Control Travel Advice — When travelling, follow the same public health guidance you use at home to prevent COVID-19, and plan ahead by checking that towns, communities and regions are ready to welcome you.

Japan— as of June 2022 tourist travel to Japan is now possible for both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers.

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