Northern Selkirks Traverse
A week long traverse north of Rogers Pass
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.
This is a gorgeous traverse with many excellent ski objectives. The bonus of this trip is the camping, which is consistently in the shelter of the treeline. It passes through some of the most famous ski zones in the Selkirks including Bachelor Creek, Mount Sir Sanford and the Great Cairn hut, and finally the Adamants.
The Northern Selkirks Traverse serves as an excellent introduction to the Great Traverses. This version takes about a week versus the original traverse which had a long start from the road (we skip that part using a helicopter) and continued all the way to Mica Dam several days further north of Fairy Meadow.
Join us in April 2021 for a trip of a lifetime in the Northern Selkirks!
You might also be interested in our 14-day Bugaboos to Rogers Pass Traverse
DAY 1 (Friday evening)
Meet in Golden, review equipment, distribute group gear, helicopter safety briefing. Overnight in Golden.
Meet at the heliport at 6:30 am, fly in to Ventego Lake area near Selkirk Lodge and begin our tour
We make progress as conditions and group fitness allow. There are many variations that allow steady progress in all but the most challenging of conditions. There are many cruxes requiring mountaineering techniques as well as many high passes with steep slopes that must be navigated in good stability at certain times of the day. Alternates are possible but require a solid knowledge of the terrain and route.
DAY 9 (Saturday morning)
Fly out of Fairy Meadow after a trip of a lifetime in the space of one action packed week!
TRIP FEES INCLUDE:
- Flight into Ventego Lake in the Selkirks and transport back to Golden at the end of the week.
- Guiding fees and permits
- Food, tents, group gear for camping, ropes and emergency gear
TRIP FEES DO NOT INCLUDE:
- Hotel and food in Golden, BC before and after the trip
- Transportation to Golden
- Flight out of the traverse in the event of adverse conditions making completion impossible
- Gratuities (see Pricing for details)
This is one of our most challenging trips.
- Multi-day ski traverse with 50+lb backpacks
- Winter camping, including camps in exposed alpine
- Peaks up to 3000 m asl
- Up to 1500 m climbs / descents, travelling up to 20 km in a day
- Glaciated terrain
- Often variable snow conditions
- Technical ski mountaineering
Our Trip Ratings Page outlines more specifically how we rate our trips.
In this tab you can include a link to an equipment list page or just put the list here.
- 1 – Long underwear top – synthetic or wool (light colors are good)
- 1 – Light fleece or wool sweater
- 1 – Light weight wind jacket – nylon or ‘Schoeller’
- 1 – Waterproof -breathable shell jacket
- 1 – Warm insulated jacket – down or synthetic
- 2-3 Pair of wool or synthetic socks and liner socks
- 2-3 Pair wool or synthetic underwear
- 1 – Long underwear bottoms – synthetic or wool
- 1 – Multipurpose stretch nylon or ‘Schoeller’ type pants
- 1 – Waterproof breathable shell pants (full zip is best)
- 1 – Warm hat – wool or synthetic
- 1 – Brimmed cap for sun protection
- 1 – Handkerchief
- 1 – Face warmer – scarf, neck tube or balaclava
- 1 – Light gloves – wool, synthetic or leather
- 1 – Insulated gloves or mitts with waterproof outer shell
- 1 – Spare warm gloves or mitts
- 1 – Down or synthetic camp booties (optional)
- Skis or split board
- Ski boots or snowboard boots
- Ski poles
- Climbing skins
- Skin wax (or a candle)
- Ski crampons (for spring tours)
- Specific binding repair items to fix your personal travel setup
- Harness – fitted for over your ski clothing (Cilao and Camp make the best
- lightweight ski touring harnesses)
- 3 – Light weight locking carabiners
- 3 – Light weight non-locking carabiners
- 2 – 6mm by 5m prussik cord (7mm cord is generally too large!)
- 1 – 120cm sewn climbing sling (Dyneema or Spectra blends)
- Crampons – fitted to your ski boots (Aluminium crampons are recommended)
- Lightweight ice axe without a leash
Snow Safety Equipment
- Avalanche beacon with spare batteries
- Probe 2-3m in length
- Pack (60-80 litres)
- Garbage bag to line your pack
- Sunglasses (Having both orange and dark lenses is a real benefit for uphill travel
- in all conditions)
- Goggles (orange lenses)
- Sunscreen (60 spf+) and lip cream (30 spf+)
- Head lamp with good batteries
- Insulated water bottle(s) 1.5-2L
- Lunch bag/container (optional)
- Personal blister kit and/or tape
- Pocket knife
- Camera (optional)
- Sleeping foamy (Ensolite 5-10mm)
- Sleeping pad (Inflatable style)
- Sleeping bag (-15 to -25’C rating)
- Plastic eating cup (500 to 750ml)
- Personal mug (optional)
- Hygiene kit – “Wet Wipes”, toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, hand lotion
- 1 roll of toilet paper and lighter in a Ziplock bag
- Pee bottle – 1L (optional)
- Personal medications
- Personal liquor or treats
- Large stuff sac for carrying food
- Map(s) and compass
- Stove(s) and pump(s)
- Pot set(s)
- Fuel – generally 200ml/person/day
- Stove repair kit
- Snow and/or bush saw
- Snow study kit
- First aid kit
- Emergency tarp
- Emergency toboggan
- Group repair kit
- Radio, satellite phone or cell phone
- Rope for glacier travel
- Guide book/Route description
This trip has a special payment schedule; otherwise, our standard Payment & Booking Conditions apply. Please read these carefully before booking.
January 20, 2021 – $1500 deposit
March 20, 2021 – $1750 balance due
Q – Am I fit enough for this trip?
A – Contact us to discuss this. This is one of the most demanding trips that we offer. If we have skied with you in the past we’ll be able to give you a good answer to this question. If not, we will discuss the demands of the trip in detail, your resume of experience, your current fitness level, and will likely ask for references.
Q – Do I need all of the equipment on the equipment list?
A – If you’re missing any equipment contact us. We can likely loan you gear that you need free of charge (e.g. lightweight tents, and all other group gear, are actually included in the trip fees). If you want to bring your own tent or other group gear contact us so that we can make note of the fact.
Q – What if conditions don’t allow us to complete the trip?
A – This does happen on the Great Traverses. There are a number of exit options that allow us to escape if need be. And there’s always the option of calling a helicopter as a worst case scenario, as happened while I was guiding the Bugs to Rogers trip in 2012 at the Beaver-Duncan divide when the temperature rose to 15 C in the Alpine and was forecast to remain that way for days.
DATES: April 3-10, 2021
PRICE: $3250 CAD per person + GST
PAYMENT SCHEDULE: January 20, 2021 – $1500 deposit; March 20, 2022 – $1750 balance due.
INCLUDED: Flights into Ventego Lake in the Selkirks and ground transport back to Golden at the end of the week; guiding fees and permits; food, tents, group gear for camping, ropes and emergency gear. See below for more details.