Trip Reports and Stories

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Looking for inspiration? Wondering what our trips are all about? Here’s a bunch of trip reports and stories, complete with photos, for you!


Riddle Glacier

Hallam Peak Alpine Club General Mountaineering Camp

The Alpine Club of Canada’s General Mountaineering Camps (GMCs) are a very old tradition, dating back to 1906 and the dawn of mountaineering inCanada. They have always been pretty big affairs, attracting mountaineers from all over. The first one, in Yoho Valley, attracted about 100 participants and was considered a ...
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Dragonfly on the Wapta

Wapta Traverse June 2018

I know what you're thinking -- Tom, it's summer... the Wapta traverse? Well it was a lot more pleasant than my experience 6 months ago leaving Bow Hut in the dark at 8:00 am with -35°C temps and clouds and wind. And the snow was pretty good too -- from ...
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Svalbard Ski and Sail 2019

Svalbard Ski and Sail | Ski touring the Arctic Archipelago with the Midnight Sun

Svalbard, or Spitzbergen as it is also known, is made for skiing. Countless ski peaks rise 500 to 800 m or more directly out of the ocean, blanketed in snow and rugged glaciers as far as the eye can see ...
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Sorcerer Lodge 2018

Sorcerer Lodge 2018

Just back from a sensational week up at Sorcerer Lodge. Epic spring powder ski mountaineering for the first four days, then three days of backing off in the face of the big meltdown -- but still excellent steep skiing with extra early starts and back to the lodge for beers ...
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Bow Yoho Traverse #3, amazing winter skiing in late April!

Bow Yoho Traverse #3, amazing winter skiing in late April!

Today I completed a week-long guided Bow-Yoho traverse from Bow Lake to Field, my 3rd and final Bow Yoho of the season! Throughout the week the area saw up to 50 cm of storm snow. Early in the week (Wednesday) there was a strong wind event and a natural avalanche ...
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Nirvana Pass Siva Glacier

Nirvana Pass Ski Camp 2018

In early March 2018 I ran a ski camp out of Nirvana Pass. Located just a short distance from Mount Waddington, Nirvana is a hybrid between Coast and Chilcotin terrain. The glaciers are massive and tumbling, but the relief is not as severe as the neighboring peaks. And, while there’s ...
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Lila Under the Rhino

Valhalla Mountain Lodge

Feb 24-March 3 was spent at the unbelievable Valhalla Mountain Lodge, where we had over 140 cm of storm snowfall throughout the week with very little wind. Needless to say the skiing was perfect, day after day after day. The only day was the snow shoveling to keep the lodge ...
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Racing the sun at Burnie Glacier

Racing the sun at Burnie Glacier

Today I did three Burnie runs I’d never done before — Mystery Rib Left and Right, and Thataway Far Right — so now I think I can say, after almost 15 years, I’ve skied every line on the sunny side of Tom George! We got them — mostly — before ...
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Sunny tree skiing at Burnie

Sunny tree skiing at Burnie

At Burnie Glacier Chalet, or anywhere for that matter, what’s better than tree skiing on a powder day? Well, nothing, but a very close second is tree skiing in the sun the day after a powder day. This happy fellow welcomed us to his home but warned us of the ...
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Loft Peak, Burnie Glacier

Loft Peak, Burnie Glacier

John Baldwin calls it “a ski tour on the upper edge of classic”. Today, my guests — who have been visiting all of the very best backcountry ski lodge for over thirty years together — called Loft Peak one of the very best days of ski touring ever. 1400 m ...
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Powder Day :: Burnie Glacier Chalet

Powder Day :: Burnie Glacier Chalet

That was my best powder day in years. We hit Tom George hard. Heavy trail breaking slowed things down but the ski quality... wow. Deep dry powder in -15° temps meant face shots every turn top to bottom. Nothing like 700 m tree runs with a beautiful lodge to warm ...
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Solitaire Ski Peak

Solitaire Ski Peak :: Burnie Glacier Chalet

Yesterday a temperature inversion meant +1°C. This morning we woke to more snow and -4°C. Throughout the day the temperature has been dropping and by the time we returned from our day of skiing it was -14° with 10 cm new fluffy snow on the ground and still falling! Today ...
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Molly welcomes the ski tourers back from their Day 1 companion rescue practice. Burnie Glacier Chalet

Exchange day at Burnie!

The weather cleared for an uneventful flight into the Chalet. Well not quite uneventful -- after takeoff the passenger door on the A-Star popped open twice so we had to return for a quick repair. An inversion today meant -6° in a Smithers and +1° at the Chalet. Moist snow ...
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Rectory Couloir

YVR stopover en route to Burnie Glacier

Today I'm flying to to Smithers for two weeks of skiing. In the past two weeks they've got well over 200 cm of storm snow and it's forecast to keep coming down hard this week. High Avalanche hazard, storm, crazy amounts of snow! But I'm stoked, I've worked Burnie in ...
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The Molars

Ski Tour :: The Molars :: Kicking Horse Slackcountry

Today we did a short ski tour up onto the East facing Molars, the backcountry accessed off Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. It was a fun, casual end to the weekend. We started from the old kicking horse lodge at around 10:45 and were back at the car by 2:00! The ...
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McGill Shoulder

Rogers Pass

Wow what great ski touring conditions at Rogers Pass this weekend. The avalanche situation is still tricky but the ski quality is fantastic in the alpine and treeline elevations. On Saturday we skied one of the gun barrels off McGill shoulder, which was pretty fantastic until the lower elevations where ...
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Illicil Cracking 14 Jan 2018

Rogers Pass :: Advanced Avalanche Skills Training :: AST-2

I spent this past weekend in Rogers Pass finishing the second part of an AST-2 class. We had a great time, spending Saturday in the Ursus Trees area and Sunday up the Illicilliwaet drainage. Sure enough the surface hoar problems discussed in the Parks avalanche bulletins were easy to find ...
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Sunshine Slackcountry

Sunshine Slackcountry :: Bye Bye Bowl

The best of both worlds: lift accessed powder backcountry skiing at Sunshine Village! January 4th I headed out with Rohan, Deb and Miriam to the south side of Bye-Bye Bowl. Great slackcountry skiing, with a short little tour back inbounds to catch the Divide Chair for another lap! ...
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Des Poilus Glacier

Bow-Yoho Traverse

I completed a 4-day Yoho Traverse yesterday with a very hardy group Dec 29-Jan 1. We experienced very cold temperatures, ranging from -35C to -17C. Face protection in the form of buffs and goggles were essential at times, especially on the glaciers, and toe warmers helped keep things as comfortable ...
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Sugar Bowl

Ski touring :: Sugar Bowl :: Icefields Parkway

On my birthday I like to go for a ski with the family. This year on December 23rd we headed to Simpson Bowl. It’s also known by “Secret Bowl” or “Hidden Bowl” which are tongue in cheek I think since you can literally see it from the road 500 m ...
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Hero's Knob

Hero’s Knob Ski Tour :: Canadian Rockies

Hero’s Knob is a super popular destination for classic loops and powder backcountry ski touring descents, both moderate and fairly extreme. Dec 21 I spent the day doing the classic loop with Jörg, Mike, Alicja and Maryke. The descent down the Hero’s north bowl was fantastic!! ...
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Ice Skating on Spray Lake

Skiing and Skating

Today was a multi-sports day for me. I spent the bulk of the day teaching an AST-1 field day at Chester Lake where we skied on some incredibly beautiful surface hoar. Surface hoar is mountain dew that forms in the winter time, the result of cold surface snow (super-cooled by ...
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Ice climbing in the Sanitarium, Totem Ck., Banff National Park

Ice climbing in the Sanitarium, Totem Ck., Banff National Park

NEW ROUTE INFORMATION The Sanitarium General:  The following routes are all located within a few minutes of each other on the south east flank of Murchison in an area referred to as The Sanitarium. These routes were discovered in November during a season when nothing seemed to be forming which ...
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