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Soft Selkirk Powder at Golden Sunrise
Sunrise Lodge is located at the headwaters of Wisted Creek and offers stunning views of Rockies to the west and Purcells to the south. Sunrise is the southern gateway to the amazing Esplanade range, including Meadow, Vista and Sentry Lodges. Consensus among those who’ve spent time at all four Esplanade Range Huts though is that Sunrise is the best: best terrain, best for storm skiing, and best snowpack of the bunch!
Dates: Saturday, Feb 9 to Saturday, Feb 16 2019
Price: $2,350 CAD (Currently $1,875 USD / €1,618 / £1,418) + 5% GST
Deposit: 50% payment secures your booking. Balance of payment is due 9 November 2018. See Payment and Booking Conditions tab for details.
- Day trips, hut-based
- Hut elevation 2134 m with 1200-1500 m/day tours on average (Relaxed Pace trip)
- Non-glaciated terrain
- Powder skiing
Fantastic skiing, close to home
One of the best features of Sunrise Lodge is how easy it is to get to. Staging is just a few metres off the Trans Canada Highway 20 minutes from Golden, BC. For those of you coming from Alberta and eastern BC -- there's no easier lodge to get to.
And of course there's the skiing. One of the closest tenures to the world-famous Rogers Pass, Sunrise is home to some great Selkirk skiing -- minus the crowds! You can expect lots of alpine and treed lines here, with everything from gentle open slopes to steep pillow lines. Our last trip to Sunrise in 2017 was a big hit and so I’m happy to be offering another one for 2019!
- 1200 square feet. Sleeps up to 16 people per night (12 guests, 4 staff)
- 6 guest bedrooms / 2 guide bedrooms
- Services: 2 outhouses, wood / propane heat, radio, limited cell coverage, water from Sunrise Lake, Heli pad
- Full cellular coverage at Sunrise Lodge and in most places near the lodge
- Brand new sauna built in 2014
- Full solar upgrade in 2013 provides task lighting in all rooms of the lodge
- New super high energy efficient Blaze King “Princess” fireplace installed in 2015
The lodge is equipped with AC power but does not have WiFi/internet access at all. It also has a wonderful sauna for the end of the day. Beer and wine are not provided, but feel free to bring your own.
Getting to Golden, BC, Meeting Place, Staging Info
If you are flying from out of town the most convenient international airport is Calgary, about 3 hours east Golden.
Other options for flying include Kelowna (about 4 hours drive west of Golden) or Cranbrook (2h45 south of Golden). Driving from Vancouver to Golden takes about 7h30, from Spokane the drive is around 6 hours. There is a regional airport in Golden but it only handles very small charter aircraft.
Kicking Horse River Lodge is a great place to stay the Friday night before the trip. They can handle a group with room rates that start from around $40/night. Sorcerer customers get a discount but in order to get that you must phone them directly. They cannot offer this if you book through an agency such as booking.com. It’s a nice timber frame building on the Kicking Horse River. We meet here Saturday night and breakfast is here Sunday morning so it is convenient. If you choose to stay here please book early. It fills quickly. http://www.khrl.com/aw 1-250-439-1112
The meeting place for your trip is at the Golden Alpine Holidays office at 104, 806 - 9th Street North. Your meeting time is at Saturday, Feb 9, 2019 at 7:00 am Mountain Standard Time (MST). You are expected to sign your waiver at this time. Flights to GAH lodges take place at our Helicopter Staging Facility west of Golden. Guests are required to get themselves to GAH Staging.
- Day trips, hut-based
- Hut elevation 2200 m with 1100-1300 m/day on average (Relaxed pace)
- Non-glaciated alpine and treeline terrain
- Powder skiing in trees
We do not provide any alcoholic beverages, however you are welcome to bring some along with you. Bring beer in cans. Small kegs are fine – no giants. We do suggest you bring your alcohol with you to Golden, as it’s a tad expensive here in small town BC. Pack your “stuff” directly into your daypack and a small – medium duffle bag, 60 litres max. Please avoid using the large duffle bags/packs and anything with wheels or hard sides, as they are awkward to handle and difficult to load into the helicopter.
We supply all linen and quilts so you don’t need a sleeping bag. BRING TOWELS. Skis are best left out of bags, bundled together with a ski strap.
Shovels should be loose outside your pack if they don’t completely fit inside with the hard edges all covered. Ice axes are left loose and will go in the ski basket for transport. Please don’t attach them to your pack. They can punch holes in the thin skin of the helicopter’s cargo areas. You are advised to dress for skiing when you get on the helicopter so you should have your ski boots on and all other footwear packed safely in your bags. It’s too easy to lose a single boot in all the powder that will be blowing around and you want to start out with dry feet.
Sunrise Lodge – Ski Touring – Equipment List
- Wool or synthetic socks and liner socks
- Long underwear top – synthetic or wool
- Light fleece or wool sweater
- Wind shell – nylon or ‘Schoeller’ type jacket
- Waterproof breathable jacket
- Warm insulated jacket – down or synthetic
- Long underwear bottoms – synthetic or wool
- Multipurpose stretch nylon or ‘Schoeller’ type pants
- Waterproof breathable pants
- Warm hat – wool or synthetic
- Brimmed cap for sun protection
- Face warmer – scarf, neck tube or balaclava (optional)
- Light gloves – wool, synthetic or leather
- Insulated gloves or mitts with waterproof outer shell
- Spare gloves or mitts
- Handkerchief for blocking the sun (optional)
Snow Safety Equipment
- Avalanche beacon with good batteries (and spares)
- Probe (2.4m or longer preferred)
- Skis or split board
- Ski strap
- Ski or snowboard boots
- Climbing skins
- Skin wax (or a candle)
- Ski crampons (mandatory)
- Binding repair kit to fix your personal travel setup
- Ski helmet (optional)
- Pack (30-40 litres)
- Sunglasses (both orange and dark lenses help a lot for travel in all conditions)
- Goggles (orange lenses)
- Sunscreen and lip cream (SPF 30+)
- Head lamp with good batteries
- Insulated water bottle or thermos (1-2 L)
- Lunch bag or container
- Personal blister kit (i.e: Leukotape-P and Compeed/Second Skin blister pads)
- Pocket knife (optional)
- Camera (optional)
- Duffle bag for flying into the lodge
- Shoes or sandals
- Winter boots for travel to the outhouse (boots at the hut for you to use as well if you prefer)
- Hut clothing
- 1-2 Towels and swimsuit for sauna
- Personal medications and toiletries
- Ear plugs
- Reading material
- Chargers for electronic devices (normal AC power is available via micro-hydro)
Note the following are provided:
- Pillows and duvets supplied at the lodge
- Beer, wine, liquor
Group Gear (supplied by the guides)
- Map and compass
- Snow study kit
- Snow and/or bush saw
- First aid kit
- Emergency tarp
- Emergency toboggan
- Group repair kit
- Radio & satellite phone
- Ropes for glacier travel
Booking & Payment
Book Now to hold your spot!
The Book Now form takes about 60 seconds to complete. We will hold your spot until we contact you to answer any questions you might have. This is your opportunity to figure out for sure if this trip is for you, without obligation. Then we’ll get you to complete our Online Waiver and Application Forms before paying your deposit.
Before signing through these documents read through them carefully and make sure you are comfortable with what you’re signing up for, and have a look through the booking “fine print” below. If you have any questions at any time do not hesitate to contact us.
Payment and booking conditions fine print
A deposit (typically 50%; see the trip description for the exact amount) to secure your place is due upon booking. Final payment of balance is due 3 months in advance of your trip start date unless specified otherwise on the trip information page and/or your invoice. You will be invoiced for your payments after you have confirmed your interest in the trip. Please note that deposits are absolutely non-refundable, and final payments (the remainder) are non-refundable after the final payment date.
Credit Card payments are encouraged, especially if you have a card with trip cancellation insurance! Charges are made in CAD (foreign payments are converted to your local currency at your card company’s rate). We charge an additional 3.5% fee for card transactions. If your credit card provides you with cancellation insurance for this trip indicate this on your registration form and we will lower the convenience fee to 2%. Cancelled trips that have cancellation insurance are much less of a headache for everyone. Please consider this option. It could be a very affordable way to protect yourself. But look carefully into your credit card’s fine print to make sure this trip is covered.
Non Credit Card Payments from Canadian clients: If you do not wish to pay by credit card we ask that you pay by E-transfer, sent to email@example.com. There is no additional fee for Canadian E-transfers.
Non Credit Card Payments from outside Canada (US, Europe, other countries):
- Third party electronic transfer: You will need to fill out an agreement with our currency broker, Ken Fukami from Payline in Canmore, that includes your banking information to coordinate an electronic transfer (SEPA, EFT, etc.) There is no charge for this service and it is $50-100 cheaper than all other methods of payment from foreign clients. Contact us, or visit Payline’s website for details.
- PayPal: send money via PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org. There is a 4% charge to receive PayPal payments unless you send funds using the “P2P” a.k.a. “Friends and Family” method, which may cost the sender a small fee but does not cost us anything on our end, so no fee.
- Wire draft (bank to bank): Your bank wires our bank the money in CAD. We charge a $20 CAD fee for receiving these payments.
- Cheque: in either CAD or in your local currency (e.g. EUR, GBP, USD) at the rate listed on the trip information page on our website on the date of your booking.
Mailing address: Please send cheques in CAD to Thomas Wolfe, 234 Grizzly Cr, Canmore, AB T1W1B5, Canada
All fees paid are 100% non-refundable. We cannot be held liable for cancellations of any kind. Therefore we strongly recommend that you purchase trip cancellation and evacuation insurance to protect you in the event that you need to cancel or there is an emergency during your trip. The Alpine Club of Canada and Lifetstyle Financial (BCLBC Plan) both offer plans for trips like this that might interest you although we can’t personally vouch for them. Note that many credit cards carry this insurance for trips paid with the credit card — contact your credit card company to be sure.
Many of our trips are in remote locations. If you are injured or develop an emergency medical condition that requires evacuation, significant costs may be involved. We cannot be liable for the costs of emergency evacuation and so you are therefore encouraged to sign up for third party rescue insurance. The most robust plan we know if is through Global Rescue Services which services all areas we run trips to including Svalbard. You may choose to go with another but be warned that there are often exclusions that will render your insurance worthless when you need it. Global Rescue membership is $119 USD for a one-week trip — and it will cover you.
You must sign our Waiver of Liability in order to register for participation in our trips. You can view a printable copy the waiver here: English Waiver and translated into several other languages (German, French and Japanese) here: Translated Waivers. If you have any questions about the waiver please talk to your lawyer and/or let me know prior to registration so I can help you.
The application form collects personal information which I use to make sure that I provide you with the best possible trip experience. If you do not want to answer any of the questions or you are unsure about anything leave it blank and/or contact me for clarification.
READ CAREFULLY – BOOKING, RESERVATION, DEPOSIT: A deposit of 50% of the total price or private guiding fee is due with your booking unless otherwise indicated. Please provide us with your credit card details, do a bank transfer (account information on demand), send an E-transfer to email@example.com or mail me a personal cheque payable to Thomas Wolfe. Final payments are due 90 days before your trip starts. If you wish to pay in a currency other than what our trips are quoted in, please inquire with us for a quote in your preferred denomination. Euro payments are only accepted by bank transfers in Euro denomination. We also accept bookings from minors; however we do require the signature of BOTH parents or ALL legal guardians on both, reservation form and liability waiver. CONFIRMATION / TRIP INFORMATION: Upon receipt of the booking form with your check or credit card details we confirm your booking. Each Backountry Ski Trip we offer has a detailed Information Package (available on our website) with the trip details, equipment list, proposed itinerary and logistics, etc. Read through this carefully before completing your registration. TRIP (CANCELLATION / MEDICAL / EVACUATION / THEFT) INSURANCE: Once we confirm your booking, we enter into financial obligations on our side and we cannot refund payments or release you from your contractual obligations. Therefore, we highly recommend buying cancellation insurance to cover your losses for the case that you can’t participate or have to interrupt your trip “for any reason”. Also, all participants need to have internationally accepted health insurance for all activities pertaining to the trip, including coverage for emergency rescue and evacuation. If you already have insurance, please make sure that you will be covered for “roped travel” booking a technical trip including “Via Ferrata” trips. We gladly refer you to a travel insurance provider who offers “adventure travel insurance packages” and with whom our clients have had positive claims experiences in the past. Generally, you will receive the best benefits if you buy your insurance within 10 days of our booking confirmation. CANCELLATIONS: If you need to cancel a reservation, please do so in writing (best by e-mail). Please see the trip information package for details on your trip’s Cancellation Policy. CANCELLED PROGRAMS: Once we confirm your booking, we guarantee your trip departure. However, we do reserve the right to change guides, particular lodging or the itinerary should unforeseen circumstances (guide sickness, hut or route closing etc.) force us to do so or should the physical condition of the participants (see below), weather or mountain conditions make a continuation as planned too risky. PERSONAL FITNESS and GROUP TRAVEL: Our programs rely heavily on the integrity of each individual to assess his or her skill level and physical condition accurately. It is the responsibility of each participant to be aware of the necessary skill and fitness level for a particular trip. When in doubt, please call and discuss this with us! For the protection of yourself and other group members, we reserve the right to deny participation to any unprepared participant at any time of the trip, in which case we cannot offer a refund! In order to accommodate diverse levels of ability and ambition as well as diverse personalities, the decision making of the guide has to be geared towards safety and finding a consensus within the whole group, which may not please each individual participant at all times.
Snow & Climate
Snowpack and Climate
It begins in September when cool moisture laden clouds stack up along the west edge of the Selkirk Mountain Range. Snow starts piling up as clouds are forced up and over the crests of the 3000 meter and higher elevations. At GAH which operates in the Esplanade Range in British Columbia, major storm tracks help to funnel in the powder. Another key to the quality of the snow is proximity to the colder/dryer areas near the Rocky Mountain Trench which means more sun and lighter powder than the western portions of the province which tend to receive much more rain.
Meteorological data gathered over 6 seasons show that day time temperatures in the Esplanade Range are very stable and rarely if ever rise above zero during the winter season.
The Esplanade range has a typical settled, mid winter snow pack depth of 4 meters (over 50 meters cumulative snowfall) and a 200+ day season
Here’s a link to a blog about a recent trip to Sunrise Lodge to give you a better idea of what to expect:
Numerous feature length movies and media projects have been shot over the past few years at Golden Alpine Holidays. Here are some samples:
- https://vimeo.com/187076140 Smith Female Athletes Rachael Burks, Amie Engerbretson and Hadley Hammer at Sunrise Lodge 2016
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5Vc9-sNigg Slaying Pillows Teton Gravity
- http://skimovie.com/msp-sentry-lodge-gallery/ Matchstick Media shoot 2016
- https://vimeo.com/108679294 Sweetgrass Productions “Afterglow”
- https://vimeo.com/138346245 “Shaping Skiing” by 4FRNT Skis
- https://vimeo.com/31047821 Freeride Touring Helmet Cam Video
- https://vimeo.com/83625080 Golden Alpine Holidays Freeride Camps
- https://vimeo.com/33038392 “Attack of La Nina” Athlete Extra-Eric Hjorleifson
- https://vimeo.com/55307324 Sweetgrass Productions “Valhalla Trailer 1”
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYvM6j56IBk Eric Hjorleifson “The way I see it”
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDpbVOyxKEI “The Big Mountain Tour-Sunrise Lodge, Canada” by Volkl Skis International
Tom Wolfe (Mountain Guide ACMG/IFMGA) has been guiding since moving to Canmore in 1995, the place he calls home with wife, son and daughter. He guides year around, with winters being a mix of ski guiding at lodges, heli-ski operations, and remote backcountry destinations throughout western Canada.
Rob Coppolillo - Rob brings his US guests across the border to experience the amazing powder skiing Canada has to offer. This trip will be a 50-50 mix of Tom's and Rob's clients; the meeting of two worlds. Rob runs Vetta Mountain Guides out of Boulder , CO and is the author of The Mountain Guide Manual.
Finally, your week at Sunrise includes superb meals. These are prepared by our gracious chef, Michelle Heerschop, who consistently amaze guests with her beautiful, tasty, and abundant food. We are happy to accommodate special diets (additional fee applies).
Our goal is to provide you with the best skiing possible in the comfort and ease of a fully catered backcountry chalet.