Revised and renamed “Sickness Policy” 2023 March 18

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 three seasons despite many serious challenges.

Sawback Alpine Adventures will be monitoring and following current and pertinent provincial health orders during the 2023 ski season. Our policy will be modified on an ongoing basis to be in compliance with the active health and safety guidelines as set out by national and provincial health authorities as well as what we feel is necessary in the specific context of our trips, most of which run in remote locations in tight quarters such as mountain huts and boats.

While skiing with us this season, you must follow current government regulated 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 “Sickness Policy” is as follows.

  1. Symptoms: if you are sick or show symptoms of a covid infection, flu or even common cold on the trip start date you will not be allowed to participate in the trip. For this reason you are strongly urged to obtain adequate trip cancellation insurance. See our Insurance Info page for tips.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Masks: we encourage you to use PPE (e.g. N-95 masks, eye protection) if you feel it is necessary during the trip. 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 unsymptomatic guests.
  5. Pre-trip health precautions: Please take all possible precautions to avoid getting sick in the week prior to your trip start date. This means getting lots of rest, minimizing stress, avoiding crowds, eating and drinking healthily, getting good excercise and so on. We very strongly encourage you to use a mask and take other hygiene precautions diligently (hand washing etc.) while using mass transportation (airline flights) when travelling to your Sawback trip. This is not just for your sake but for the sake of all guests on the trip you are participating in. Nobody wants to get sick during their ski vacation so please don’t be the one who gets others, who arrived healthy, sick. At best it’s incovenient and disruptive; at worse it may require an evacuation.
  6. Getting sick during the trip: 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 try to isolate you or at least keep a spacing between a sick guest and other participants if it is reasonably possible. We understand this could be embarrassing or inconvient and will try to be as sensitive as possible. No that in the close quarters of mountain huts, hotels and boats adequate isolation may not be possible. If you get sick but 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 stay behind or, in a worst case scenario, evacuate. Again, please ensure you get trip interruption insurance if you are at all concerned about your risk exposure to this possibility.
  7. Heatlhy guests & compassion: In the event of guides or participants that develop an illness during a trip we will expect all healthy 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. While we will make reasonable efforts to contain “surprise” illnesses on our trips, it is now, ultimately, the responsibility of each member of the group to protect themselves as well as decide, before participating in a ski trip in a remote location, if they can accept the risks of being in tight quarters and exposed to others who may be carriers (symptomatic or asymptomatic) of viruses or other illnesses. This may mean, for example, using PPE or even isolating yourself if you feel the need to protect your own health. We will do our best to support your efforts at the same time as maintaining compassion and dignity for all participants.
  8. 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). This is a local healthy authority regulation still in effect 2023 March 18.

COVID 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 October 2022 all tourist travel to Japan is now possible for both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers.